Mamas, I know first hand how hard it is to put prioritize yourself first, but trust me when you do your whole world opens up.
When you put your health and yourself first you ensure there is enough energy to meet the demands of your day with more ease and enough resources to live a life that you love. When you honor your basic physical, emotional and social needs you:
- Decrease stress
- Regulate and tend your nervous system
- Increase your capacity to be in the present moment, both with yourself and your children
- Communicate in a calm, non-reactive way
- Have the capacity to consider your children’s behaviors from a different
- Experience more joy
- Live our lives in alignment with your best selves
And when we prioritize our health we are also teaching our children how to care for their little bodies, hearts and minds. This role modeling deeply imprints on our children and the self care behaviors our children observe us doing become the self-care habits and coping strategies they pick up and learn to rely on. Even if our children move away from these nourishing self-care habits in their teen years, they will return to the old familiar nourishing habits that resonate with them in their 20s and 30s.
So Mamas, what are the key areas to tap into when it comes to prioritizing your self and your health?
There is nothing more nourishing and restorative than sleep. There’s nothing you can take that will replace what sleep does for you mentally, physically and emotionally. Prioritizing sleep means:
- Aiming for 8 hours of sleep each night, and I mean 8 hours of actual sleeping time. So if you’re waking multiple times in the night with little ones this may mean that you plan to be in your bed for more than 8 hours a night.
- Go to bed early. In terms of restful and rejuvenating sleep, every hour of sleep before midnight counts as double, so aiming to be in bed by at least 9-10pm is ideal. I see many women in my practice who cherish their nights because it’s the only time they get to themselves, so they regularly stay up late into the night. But this starts a nasty cycle of sleep deprivation, fatigue, irritability and overall depletion.
- Prioritizing sleep also means that if you are waking multiple times in the night with little ones, having difficulties falling asleep or consistently waking in the early morning hours that you may have an underlying hormone imbalance causing your sleep issues that I can help you with.
Focus on fueling your body with nutrient-dense whole foods, eating well-balanced meals and snacks.
- Ensure your breakfast that has protein and healthy fats so that you can maintain balanced blood sugars throughout the day
- Eat foods that make your body feel good and energized
- Finding delicious recipes that nourish your soul
- Being mindful that you’re not over caffeinating or reaching for simple carbs to get through your days
Cultivate your ability to actually BE in the present moment.
When we actively cultivate the ability to be in the present moment we calm our nervous system; decrease stress chemicals; and promote the release of the neurochemicals associated with bonding, attachment, joy, pleasure and reward. This increases our capacity to cope and makes dealing with the challenging parenting moments easier.
My favorite ways to help busy moms cultivate their ability to be in the present moment is to focus on activities that indulge your 5 senses.
- Take the time to slow down and really take in the beauty that surrounds you
- Allow the beauty of a fresh cut flower, the sound of bird song or a cuddle from your little one to anchor you in the present moment
- Share these mindful moments verbally with your little ones so they can learn how to regulate their emotions too
- Give gratitude for your mindful moment and allow yourself to really feel that gratitude deep within yourself
- If you’re finding your nervous system is overwhelmed, you’re having a hard time settling and being present, be kind with yourself. Keep practicing bringing your attention to the little sounds, sights and smells that transport you back to the present moment and consider seeing someone to help you regulate your nervous system better.