As homemakers and mothers, we tend to put ourselves on the back burner. With so many little people needing us and a husband to care for, the thought of taking care of ourselves never occurs. Read more to discover why YOUR wellness is a gift to your family.
If you’ve flown before, you’ll recall that the instructions in the event of an emergency are to secure your own oxygen mask first before helping those around you.
The idea being if you pass out from lack of oxygen, you are no help to anyone. And, you actually require extra help and attention once you are passed out.
This illustration carries over into everyday life, as well. You must look after your own wellness and well-being if you are going to continue caring for your children, husband and home.
Your wellness is a gift to your family.
No, your family may not see it like that in the moment, but the minute you have a stomach bug or a broken arm or are tied up with the joys and schedules of a newborn, they will see how important a role you fill.
Use these following six tips to prioritize your wellness. Keeping yourself well is the first step to being able to help and love on everyone else in your life.
There is truth in this old saying:
“If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.”
Tips for Looking after Your Own Wellness
1. Take a Moment
Depending on your stage in life or motherhood, this suggestion may seem like a pipe dream.
But do it.
Taking a moment to yourself (really, this may be sitting on the toilet with the door locked and a good book) will reenergize you. It will clear some of the mental craziness that has ruled your day and extend your patience.
Take a walk up the sidewalk and back, run up and down the stairs 5 times, do a summersault. Whatever it is, just do something for you that isn’t on your to-do list.
Read More: How to Be a Joyful Homemaker
2. Eat Smart
When you fuel your body with sufficient nutrients, it will serve you better. Choose protein packed breakfasts to start your day and anchor each meal with a serving or two of protein.
Keep healthy fats as part of your diet, too. Fats keep your body running. The human brain is 60% fat and needs it to function. Your hormone production requires sufficient healthy fats, too.
If your brain and your hormones are struggling, you aren’t going to hold up under life’s demands.
Yes, indulge in sweets occasionally as a treat. Keep dark chocolate on hand, homemade cookies or homemade ice cream. Making your own sweets may seem time consuming but it ensures they aren’t packed with unnecessary ingredients.
Read More: Healthy Convenience Foods to Keep on Hand
You don’t have to have a gym membership. You don’t have to be super athletic.
You just have to move.
If you have kids, this may be easier. Join in with them on a game or two of hide-and-seek. Push them on the swing. Play a game of tag or Red Rover. Ride bikes.
According to the American Psychological Association, leisure exercise can help with mood, anxiety, increase serotonin, and improve sleep.
Singing makes everything more fun.
(Unless you have a cranky, moody child at the time!)
Singing helps the kids have fun and takes your mind off the moment of craziness at hand. It doesn’t have to be a kid’s song, it can be a Sunday school song or a worship song.
Just not Baby Shark or What Does the Fox Say!
This article from the Chicago Tribune sites some studies about the benefits of singing.
5. Control Your Weight
I may step on your toes here, but give me a chance.
Keeping your weight in a healthy range is important for your wellness. I know, the cool thing is “You’re beautiful the way you are.” But you have to respect your body enough to not let it stay that way if it is unhealthy: too thin or too heavy.
When you maintain a healthy weight you have energy to complete the day’s tasks. You have energy to play with the kids. You have energy to interact with your husband when he gets home at the end of the day.
Maintaining a healthy weight also reduces the chance of illness and disease. Your wellness is a gift to your family because that is less time and resources you need to pour into doctor appointments and treatments.
Another way your weight blesses your family is in your old age or terminal prognosis. I never thought of this before until my Grandpa was diagnosed with Parkinson’s.
Shortly after his diagnosis, he began carefully watching what he ate. The little excess weight he had started dropping off his six foot something frame.
When I asked him why now, he said because he knew others would have to take care of him soon and the better he controlled his weight, the easier it would be for them to care for him.
What a selfless motivation and perspective I’d never thought of before.
6. Keep Learning
As weird as this sounds, learning can help your overall wellness.
Whether it’s reading the news, listening to a biography or trying a new food, learning keeps us stretching and growing.
Learning will help you teach and guide your children. It will also remind you of the world outside your home and your circumstances.
Read this article from Harvard about how learning helps with memory, brain mass and slow cognitive aging.
I urge you to remember that your wellness is a gift to your family. Take these suggestions seriously and take care of yourself as if your life and the well-being of many others depend on it!