Whether you are a working mom or an at-home mommy, it is important to remember to take time for yourself. I know, because I am in this situation.
My typical schedule includes going to work, coming home, watching my two boys, doing chores, preparing meals, sleeping, and repeating it all the next day. It gets exhausting once in a while (okay, most of the time), but that’s life, right?
I often find myself thinking about how I can cut down on the time it takes to perform tasks and how I can juggle everything while still prioritizing my boys.
For many busy mommies, finding time to de-stress or just finding personal time can be tough. Even if time is found, it is difficult not to feel guilty for taking it for personal reasons when it can go to so much else.
Listed below are a few reasons why you should be taking time just for yourself and how you can do it without feeling guilty.
There are tons of positive outcomes that come from taking time for yourself.
Taking time for yourself can lighten your mood and have a positive impact on your family and those around you. When you take time for yourself, and do something you actually like, you cause endorphins, or “happy chemicals” to enter your brain that impact the way you perceive things. When you are able to perceive things more positively, it is easy for other people to see.
Happiness and smiles are contagious (how did you feel when you saw the picture above, or when someone you care about is happy?). When you feel good, it affects your family and everyone around you, whether intended or not. You can experiment with this by taking a day when you feel good to smile at someone. Bet you a bunch that they will smile back.
Not only will you feel better mentally, but taking time for yourself can also help you stay physically healthy. Women with lower stress levels find it easier to stay fit because they have reduced amounts of a chemical in the body called cortisol. Cortisol is caused by stress, so reducing stress, in turn, makes it easier to lost weight.
Failing to take time for yourself can be more damaging than you think.
Opting to have all work and no play can literally drive you crazy. Studies by the National Institute of Health show that prolonged exposure to high stress environments relate to disorders like post-traumatic stress, obsessive-compulsiveness, acute anxiety, depression, and many other chronic illnesses.
If you are not careful, taking on too many stresses can also take its toll physically. As mentioned earlier, too much stress can cause more cortisol, which relates to belly-fat increase. It can also aggravate thyroid issues, make your skin blotchy, and make it more difficult to perform any exercises.
Stress is both unhealthy for you and your family. Your health and the way you live, affects not only you, but you kids too. Your kids learn from you and need someone who is going to help them learn to cope with stress and make healthy life decisions. Your goal should be to keep yourself healthy so you can keep your family healthy as well.
Contrary to what you may think, or others may try to tell you, taking personal time does not mean taking time away from your family or other important things.
No one ever said time management meant you couldn’t combine daily tasks with other things. Although it sounds like an oxymoron, there are ways you can find time for yourself while still spending time with your family.
You may find you prefer doing what you like with your family. Take for instance, going out on a girls shopping days, camping, going to a park, or horseback-riding. Almost anything you can think of doing yourself can be done with other people – or transformed into something similar that can.
Joining a mommy and me class is a great example of this. When you are in a mommy and me group, you can have “me time” with other ladies, while at the same time still ensuring the kids have fun.
Continuing Education and Workforce Training (CEWT) hosts a few courses like this that you can bring your children to that include activities like exercising, yoga, and crafts for mom, and dancing, finger painting, sing-alongs, and face painting for kids.
Take some time for yourself and teach your children by example to reduce stress and encourage a fun time. Call (208) 282-3372 or visit cetrain.isu.edu for more information!