The modern mom is BUSY. There is no doubt about it.
Whether your children are just learning to walk or just learning to drive, life’s chaos never really seems to end. Between work, appointments, sports, playdates, housework or whatever else comes along, there often seems to be little time left for yourself. And unfortunately, little “me time” all too often means that there is little time to cater to your health, both mentally and physically.
While parenthood comes with many sacrifices, your health does not need to be one of them. These tips can help the modern mom stay healthy and on top of her game.
- Find small times in the day to get active.
Sometimes the idea of fitting in a workout during the day seems Ludacris (and I am not talking about the rapper). On top of everything else, to commute to and from the gym and spend an hour working out, showering, and returning to your regularly scheduled programming seems impossible. But who says the gym has to be involved when you want to sweat? Finding ways to work exercise into your daily routine can keep those happy hormones coming, keep you feeling more energized, and hey, the calorie burn doesn’t hurt either.
Well, being a modern mom means we are living in the modern world. There are a plethora of apps available for at-home workouts that can be done with nothing more than some tennis shoes and motivation (and okay, maybe a sports bra too). Finding 20 minutes during naptime, after the kids are asleep, or before you get ready for work can make all the difference in your day.
But 20 minutes doesn’t seem like much, will it make a difference?
YES! A great example is Tabata. This workout burns as much as 15 calories per minute. That is even more than the average running minute. Even better, there are plenty of (free!) YouTube videos available, making this option extremely convenient and affordable.
After you get your workout in having a healthy smoothie with some added protein powder can really help you reap the benefits. This will not only help your muscles recover, but the added protein will help keep you fuller for longer until your next meal.
- Stay on top of your nutrition and be ready for the unexpected with meal prepping.
Meal prepping for the week is a GREAT way to eliminate one major stressor from your daily life. Coming home from a day of work, the last thing you want to do is prepare a meal. But what if it was already prepared and all you had to do was heat it up?
Not only does this save time, but also it helps keep you prepared for the unexpected. Life comes at you fast. Kids get sick, parents get sick, appointments are canceled, and new ones come up all the time. Even with the best planning, it’s impossible to predict the future. But, meal preparation can help keep something constant in your week and can be the difference between a drive-thru for or a healthy meal for dinner on a crazy evening.
While it does take some time on the front end to create the meals, think of it as a one-time investment to save much more time and stress in the upcoming week. Not only will it save you time, but also preparing this meal can ensure that you have at least one nourishing meal per day without even trying. Who doesn’t love that?
Luckily, nowadays there are plenty of resources to find ideas for quick meal planning recipes and also to help with meal planning for the rest of the week. Search around for a website you like and bookmark some recipes for the upcoming week.
- Take your multivitamins.
On the topic of our nutrition, multivitamins cannot be ignored. Small but mighty, getting your daily dose is an easy and efficient way to make sure you’re staying on top of your health each day. Even with meal prepping and doing our best to eat healthily, sometimes we don’t get everything we need. Thankfully, supplements exist to do just that, supplement your diet. Think of it as an extra security blanket each day for when the unexpected occurs and getting your five fruit and veggie servings a day just isn’t realistic.
It can’t be stressed enough that your mental health is just as important as your physical health. Taking out 10 or 20 minutes a day to spend for yourself can make a world of difference in a stressful day, as this study on regular, brief mindfulness meditation practice showed. This time might look different for everyone, but doing something you enjoy, that gets you back in touch with yourself and makes you feel calmer is the key to staying sane in the day.
Some ideas to relax could include a meditation app to get back in touch with yourself and alleviate some stress. It could be a cup of tea and a few pages of your favorite book; it could be a short walk through your neighborhood with your favorite music playing on your headphones. Anything that helps to slow your mind will do.
- Set yourself a bedtime.
Sleep is something that is easily pushed to the wayside, but it is SO important for your health and well-being. Getting even 6-8 hours of sleep a night can make a big difference in what you’re able to accomplish in your day.
One way of achieving this is by setting yourself a bedtime. Just like your kids may get to bed at 8:00 pm every night, set a time when you need to get to bed every night. Enforce this rule with yourself just as strictly as you enforce it with your children. Keeping a similar sleeping pattern through the week and the weekends can actually help your productivity and energy levels keeping you ready for whatever the week may throw at you.
Taking some “me time” can sometimes feel selfish, but in reality, taking some time for yourself can actually allow you to give your family (and your work) more. It makes you a more attentive, less stressed, and more efficient.
In a way, taking time for yourself is really just something else mom’s do for their families. May your hustle be hard and your sleep easy.