Make Time To Rejuvenate
1. Put your energy first
So many moms think that to be a great mom you have to take care of everyone else first and yourself last. But you actually must put your energy first so you have the energy to give.
We learned from the recent black outs and power crises that if you don't have energy, then nothing else works. And as a mom, if you don't have energy you can't share it. So if you are always giving your energy away and never stocking up, eventually you will burn out and the people you love most will suffer. Think of yourself as an energy vending machine. When your family comes to you with their quarters, make sure you are stocked up and ready to dispense energy.
2. Plan your energy foundation
The most common complaint I hear from moms I coach is that they have no time to take care of themselves. They don't have time to work out. No time to eat right. No time to take a break. I tell them that their situation is a priority issue, not a time issue. They have to make time to create an energy foundation. They have to plan. They have to schedule two or three rituals a day that will become their energy foundation. These rituals will serve as a solid foundation when the winds of life seek to uproot them.
To create an energy foundation, identify three habits that increase your energy. You might say eat breakfast, exercise and meditation or yoga, power nap and energizing afternoon snack. Then make appointments with yourself in a daily planner or calendar. Make these appointments as important as a doctor's visit. Your energy is that important. Select the best time of day to fit your energy boost into your schedule. Be realistic. Schedule your energy appointments, take action and watch how your energy soars.
3. Recharge your batteries
Make one day each week your recharge day. Do something special for yourself. You can do this during the week and have a family member or sitter watch your children or you can take a day on the weekend and have your husband watch the kids. You expend energy all week, giving, giving, giving and it is imperative to rejuvenate, refocus and recharge your batteries. You'll be a better mom when you learn to practice self-care.
4. Give your kids a "red light" when you need to breathe
Play red light, green light with your children. When you get stressed or your children are going nuts, stop and say "Red light." This means to calm down. Start breathing and have your children breathe too. Learning to calm down is a great skill for children to learn as well. It sounds easy but amazingly, breathing is something that we all forget to do.
Breathing will help you focus your energy and feel more in control instead of feeling scattered and powerless. Take five to 10 energizing breaths and breathe in energy and breathe out today's worries.
I do this with my children and they enjoy it. Then it's the time for the yellow light. Here, you think about being calmer as you reengage. Then you go to green light as you and the children reengage.
5. Keep it simple exercise
Sure you know it's good for you, but unfortunately many moms don't make the time. Either there is too much on the "to do" list or the baby was up all night or it's not a priority. Regardless of the reason, it is essential for moms to exercise.
It will reduce your stress. Increase your energy. Make you feel more alive. Empower you. Help you deal with life's daily challenges and make you a better mom. Exercise doesn't have to be complicated so, let's make it simple.
You have several choices to make exercise a daily ritual. If your children are infants you can walk them in a baby jogger. If your children are of various ages you can work out at a gym that has child care. You can work out while they are in school. You can bring in a sitter for an hour while you exercise and increase your happy hormones. You can exercise in the evening when your husband comes home.
If you are a single mother and your children are older you can walk together after dinner. You can ride a bike with a child's seat or pull several children in a cart. The key is to do something every day and keep it simple. Remember you don't need expensive equipment or a gym membership. All you need is 30 minutes, a pair of shoes and a place to walk.
6. Use the power of thanks
It's physiologically impossible to be stressed, anxious or fearful and thankful at the same time. So whenever you find yourself getting overloaded and stressed, start being thankful. Identify all the things you are thankful for, say your "thank yous" and you will override your stress based physical response system.
Instead of energy depleting stress hormones coursing through your body, you fuel your life with the powerful energy of thank you. This works great when the kids are driving you nuts. Instead, identify how thankful you are that you have children and you' ll handle stressful situations much better. Say, "I'm thankful that I have these children even if they are driving me crazy."
Quick tips:Write a thank you list. What are you thankful for? Tape this list to your mirror and carry it in your car. Whenever you get overwhelmed pull the list out and read it.
7. Eat smaller. Eat more often
Eating three smaller meals and two snacks during the day will help you maintain your blood sugar level and reduce hunger-related tensions that lead to stressful, angry, anxious emotions and yelling and screaming. An afternoon snack is especially important since you are likely to feel more tired during this time.
So before you pick up the kids from school or before they walk in the door make sure you eat a healthy snack. This will help you take charge of your thoughts and emotions when your house is chaotic.
Quick tips: Carry a bag of nuts and raisins in your car with you. Switch your candy bowl with a fruit bowl. Make a ritual out of an afternoon snack -- sit down and eat with your kids when they come home from school.
8. Choose positive energy
Remember that we have a moment-to-moment choice to choose positive energy over negative energy. If you focus on what your children are doing right, more than what they are doing wrong, your positive thoughts and behavior will boomerang right back to you. If you are negative, your children will reflect negativity back to you.
If you are positive, your children will be the light of your life. Imagine a light inside each of your children. The light is their positive energy and positive attributes. The more you focus on nurturing that light, the bigger and brighter it will get. You are the sun and water that help your children grow. Give them lots of great energy and they will soar as high as you can dream.
Quick tips: Write down a list of your children's positive qualities. Look at that list each morning and focus on two or three qualities each day that you want to reinforce with positive praise and positive energy.