4 Things I am doing for myself this year
As a mom, it’s so easy to put everyone else’s needs before mine. When I let my kids or spouse down, it means a lot to me. They are my whole world, and it’s essential that they know I am there for them. But, I also can’t be the best mom and wife when I am not taking care of myself. The whole airplane line of “put your mask on yourself before helping others” is so true. I really am the best mom when I make sure that my basic needs are adequately met. And when I say needs, I don’t mean that I need spa days or new clothes each month. That may work for some, but my self-care comes from feeling good in my daily habits and feeding a positive mental attitude.
Keep reading to find out what I am focusing on this year to ensure that I work at my best.
Making my own health a priority
In the almost five years I have been a mom, I have really put my own health needs on the back burner. And it’s starting to show. I feel like I look older, I move like I am older…overall, I just don’t feel like I am at my best. After dealing with a few months of severe parenting burnout, I realized I needed to put my own health first.
For example, within 9 months of having my second c-section, I had my gallbladder removed. Since then, my core strength has been terrible, and I can feel it starting to affect other parts of my body.
I saw a new primary care doctor a few weeks ago, and it was life-changing. I spent an hour and a half with her talking about my health. It was humbling, to be honest about my habits and e, but it was the “come to Jesus” moment I needed. I am so thankful to have found a practitioner who wants to know my health history and validate my feelings and processes for my life and body. Instead of just saying, well, that’s normal with two small kids at home. I’ve finally been able to get to the root of some health setbacks I’ve experienced over the past few years. And it feels so freakin’ good!
I’ve also started making a veggie tray each Sunday night. I’ve realized with food, I need convenient options. Since having a veggie tray in the fridge, veggies are more accessible, quick, and easy to grab for lunch and snacks.
And finally, I have decided to start training for a 5K while running with the double stroller. In the past, I have run half marathons solo. But, I don’t get much time to train for solo runs anymore. So, I will start training for a 5k with the double stroller. This way, I can run with the kids for a manageable distance.
Letting Go of My Postpartum Insecurities
Since having kiddos, so much of me has changed physically and mentally. I have given birth to two kiddos and raised them through two+ years of a pandemic, so it only makes sense that I am not who I used to be, physically or mentally. I have a hard time embracing the change.
But this year, I will wear my new bathing suit from Target at the beach while playing in the sand without worrying about how my body looks. I will throw on the dress that shows my arms that I often try to hide. I will embrace this funky postpartum hair that is so different from before having kids. There are so many options now to help with postpartum hair loss, like getting the right cut, to minimize the thins spots. I recently came across the idea of scalp micropigmentation in Los Angeles. A local small business called, Picasso Scalp Micropigmentation has helped many women with how their hair now looks after having children. I will head to Nordstrom and buy some new bras. I haven’t bought any new bras since just after Chulengo was born. After 5 years of being pregnant or breastfeeding, it’s time for me to find a bra that helps me feel good.
Minimizing my daily to-do list
I have always kept a running to-do list on my phone. I never checked everything off of it, and it has always felt like it was never-ending. This has hindered my view of what “success” looks like in a day. I could check 5 things off the list, but there were still 20 tasks waiting to be done. So, I would feel like such a failure at the end of each day. The night before each day, I write down three things I want to get done the next day. If I get those three things done, boom, I feel good. If I don’t, I just move the unaccomplished items to the next day. This has been so liberating.
There is a blank page in my planner at the beginning of each month. This is where I put my monthly brain dump. I put anything that comes to mind as a “to-do” on this list. When I feel overwhelmed with tasks, I sit down and dump everything down into this list. I reference my brain dump list if I need help knowing what needs to get done the next day. This has been a GAME changer for me.
Shopping Local More Often
I am guilty of finding quick and easy ways to get the things we need for our home. Online shopping has become my go-to because it is easy for me to browse during little breaks throughout the day, quick to order, and often cheaper. But, these past few years have really opened my eyes to how important it is to shop local. I have picked out a local farmers market to visit each week to pick up more produce. My girlfriends gave me a couple of clothing shops to check out for the kids and me. I have an appointment with a local hairstylist who owns her own salon. We will continue to visit locally-owned restaurants when we go out to eat. If you have other ways that you like to support small businesses, let me know in the comments.
Like I said earlier in this post, my self-care habits will look different from every other mom and wife I know. I’ve realized these are four things I need to keep in check to be a happy, active mom. What type of things do you do for your self-care?