Motherhood can be hard, and sometimes draining, work but incredibly fruitful. Still, it’s important that we spend some time focusing on our own self-care and wellbeing with these 6 healthy tips for moms (& women in ALL seasons of life too!)
Take care of ourselves through self-care is so important but sometimes we don’t always have a good perception what true self and soul care looks like. I believe filling our cups falls into three different categories: spiritual self-care, physical self-care, and emotional self-care.
Today let’s examine ways to tend to our physical needs as busy women.
Let’s face it, being a mom is hard and sometimes draining work.
We spend most of our time, energy and focus caring for the little ones that we love with a force we didn’t even know was possible before motherhood.
We tend to their needs on a
daily, hourly basis… OK on a minute-by-minute basis!
While I wouldn’t have it any other way, sometimes motherhood can zap all of my strength so that is why it is so important that as mothers – and women in general, not just mothers – spend some time caring for ourselves, to fill our cups through true soul-care.
Sometimes that means we have a whole day to ourselves whereas most of the time it means that we just spend a few minutes taking care of our needs.
It’s so important for us, as women, to stay healthy so we have the strength and energy to pour into our family.
It’s even more important that we focus on our own health as we are now well into cold and flu season.
While there are plenty of natural remedies to help keep illness away, I think the number one thing you can do now is to focus on keeping your body healthy by following some of these simple healthy tips for moms.
6 Healthy Tips for Moms (& Women in ALL Seasons)
1. Eat plenty of vegetables
Part of the reason I’m in the middle of a 4th Whole 30 is that I have been eating a pretty unhealthy diet, thanks to the holiday season. I am definitely feeling the effects of not getting enough healthy fruits and vegetables along with some healthy fats.
It’s no secret that when you eat healthily, you feel better. Vegetables tend to get a bad rap but when eaten in season or sprinkled with your favorite herb seasonings and roasted, they are actually quite delicious and filling.
Make it a priority to get plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet, along with healthy fats like those found in nuts, oils, avocados, and even eggs.
You don’t have to eliminate certain foods, like during a Whole 30 challenge. However, I would dare to say that when you eat a diet high in fruits, vegetables, lean protein and healthy fats while reducing your sugar intake and possibly even reducing the number of grains you eat, you will probably feel much healthier not to mention more energized.
When I eat well and have removed those unhealthy cravings and foods, I feel amazing.
Resources to help you eat the best:
- The Whole30: The 30-Day Guide to Total Health & Food Freedom
- Full: Food, Jesus, and the Battle for Satisfaction
- Against All Grain: Meals Made Simple
- 100 Days of Real Food: Fast & Fabulous
2. Drink a lot of water
Staying hydrated is so important all year long, not just during the hot days of summer.
Now that we are in the very cold weather that winter brings, I don’t drink as much water as I should. It’s more comforting to drink hot coffee and warm teas but when we are dehydrated we usually feel tired, hungry and sluggish.
I try to always keep a water bottle with me at all times. When I’m at home, I use a large mason jar to drink from and I always keep water bottles for my kids full.
To make sure I’m getting enough water, I try and challenge myself to fill my jar or bottle up twice before lunch and again before dinner.
Plus most of the time when I feel hungry in between meals it’s usually because I’m just thirsty, our body has a funny way of telling us we are thirsty.
I have also been making myself drink a small glass of water before I have my morning cup (or two) of coffee so that way I am starting my day by hydrating myself.
To make homemade flavored water keep some lemon or cucumber slices handy in your refrigerator. Recently I also started to put some berries in my water too for a little sweetness without adding those processed water enhancement products that are becoming so popular.
Favorite Ways to Track Water Intake:
3. Get Moving
We all know that exercise is important but sometimes finding the time and motivation to actually get up and purposefully get moving, is challenging.
It’s not always practical to go to the gym to workout but thankfully there are so many things you can do at home with the kids to get exercise in.
Going on walks around the neighborhood, chores around the house, playing with the kids at the park or in the backyard are a few examples of what it could look like to get moving every day.
Need more ideas? Check out this post filled with ideas for busy moms to fit exercise in their days.
These days my current exercise routine is to do an at-home workout with a mix of using my Simply Fit board for about 10 to 15 minutes a day (usually while I’m watching a favorite show) or doing one of Robin Long’s pilates videos. On days I have more time, I will attend a Jazzercise class.
Favorite Workout Resources:
4. Spend time outside every day
Can I confess something?
I’m TERRIBLE at getting outside. I’m not an outdoorsy person and I hate to be hot or cold, so unless it’s the perfect temperature out, which hardly ever is :), I always find an excuse to stay inside.
Terrible, I know.
But a few years ago, I read a book that really challenged me to try to get outside every day with the kids.
It doesn’t always happen (especially thanks to extreme temperatures here in the Midwest) but it started to get me thinking about just how good it feels to spend some time outdoors on a beautiful day.
Did you know that getting outside can improve your mood greatly?
Sometimes you just need a change of scenery to feel more energized and motivated to tackle some of your to-do list and chores, not to mention to improve everyone’s moods and attitudes (mine included!).
Being out in God’s creation is a wonderful reminder of all the blessings and gifts He provides.
Plus, when you are outside you are probably moving too, whether it be a nice walk through the neighborhood, pushing your kids on a swing or chasing bubbles with them.
5. Get Plenty of Sleep (or Rest Time)
There’s a funny quote that I’ve seen floating around Pinterest and Facebook about how motherhood is a scientific experiment to prove that moms don’t actually need sleep!
Oh my, sometimes it feels that way, especially when they are younger (but I’ve been told that when they get older you continue to lose sleep as you wait up for them at night) 😉
While you may not get the recommended 7-9 uninterrupted hours of sleep every night (who really gets that much sleep?), you can still make sleep a priority.
Some practical ways to make sure you are getting sleep is to make a bedtime routine and stick to it.
Sometimes just winding down, turning off the electronics and spending some time at the end of the day relaxing can help you get to sleep faster and stay asleep. I have a reminder set on my phone that goes off at 9 PM every night as a way to remind me to start winding down and head to bed.
Other times it might mean taking a little nap or rest while your little ones nap during the day, although I have to admit that I’m not much of napper so I rarely do this.
My version of rest is sitting in our big brown comfortable chair with my feet up reading while my kids nap.
6. A little “Me” time is always beneficial
I feel sometimes the idea of “Me” time as a mom sounds selfish and is often frowned upon but the truth is that in order for us to be able to give our best to our families then we also need to spend some time recharging ourselves by filling our cups.
Now when I’m talking about “Me” time I’m not emphasizing that we should spend time ignoring our children or responsibilities or spending money that our budgets might not have.
Some examples of activities:
- using nap and quiet time to read your Bible and pray
- taking a bubble bath after the kids have gone to sleep and listen to an audiobook or podcast
- arranging a child swap with another mom so you can have an hour or two in your own house without the kids (there is nothing like having an hour or so ALONE in your home!)
- having your husband take the kids for an hour or two over the weekend so you can go to a coffee shop or the park to read and plan (a little pre-planning makes this work well)
- or, my personal favorite, sending the kids to Grandma’s house to spend the night (it’s a win-win for all!)
Maybe once every week or few weeks you can plan to have an hour or two where the kids go somewhere else or are occupied with an activity to give yourself time to do something you love but never get the chance to do it during a regularly scheduled day.
Maybe you just want an hour to sit and read in your quiet house with a cup of coffee or tea. Or maybe you just want the opportunity to review your mission statement, set some goals and make a plan for a new schedule or routine.
Yes, motherhood can be exhausting but it’s also such a blessing too.
I want to be able to cherish every moment of it and not feel weighed down by not feeling healthy or energized.
Making the effort to make sure I eat a balanced diet, drink enough water, work out on a regular basis, spend time outdoors, get plenty of rest and spend a few minutes to myself every once in a while, will help me maintain my healthy goals so that I can pour out and serve my family the way God called me to and created me for.
What are your favorite tips for staying healthy during a busy season of life?
*updated from the archives, originally posted August 2014
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