Life is busy for most of us. Balancing work, family, and home is hard. Too many times we women in particular tend to take care of everyone else in our lives before caring for ourselves and the results can be disastrous.
I was thinking about this recently when my husband and I were on a plane about to go on a vacation to celebrate our ten year anniversary. I had felt such guilt leaving my children with their grandparents to go relax and reconnect with my husband but as I listened to the flight attendant’s safety spiel I realized that life is a lot like their advice to put on your own oxygen mask before helping others…if we don’t take care of ourselves first, eventually we won’t be able to care for those we love.
Despite feeling guilt for leaving my children behind I returned from vacation refreshed and a better, more patient mother as well as feeling closer with my husband and refreshed when it came to tackling my work here on the blog. BUT since going on a Mexican vacation isn’t exactly a weekly occurrence I wanted to share 3 EASY ways you can improve your mood each and every day!
Have a Healthy Indulgence
I have a crazy sweet tooth and am always looking for sweets I can treat myself to that won’t ruin my diet and fitness goals (I’m training for the Army Ten Miler right now!) I recently tried ZonePerfect bars flavor and oh-my-goodness it was so delicious. So good that my husband was laughing at me as I ate it because I couldn’t stop telling him how amazing it was between bites! Whether you have a sweet tooth like me or like salty snacks-look around and find an alternative that still feels like an indulgence so you can lift your mood without guilt!
Here are a few healthy versions of some of my favorite treats that I’ve shared in the past: skinny chocolate peanut butter ice cream, skinny pumpkin spice latte, banana oatmeal cookies, or check out all of my healthy recipes here.
You don’t have to be training for a big event like I am right now to benefit from getting your body moving. Any amount of activity will be beneficial to your mood! A long walk or even fifteen minutes walking around your workplace at lunch is enough to refresh your mood.
Recently I had to do a six mile run for my training plan and I was dreading it beforehand. My husband was trying to get me excited and he told me to look at it from the perspective that I get to go for a run, rather than I have to go run. Those simple words really changed how I felt during my run-rather than wanting it to be over and trying to push through it, I actually enjoyed it and was thankful that I was blessed enough to be healthy so that I could go out and run!
No matter your fitness level-try to get outside and walk or run or whatever your favorite activity is at least 15 minutes a day. If it’s raining or the weather doesn’t allow you to actually get outside turn on your favorite song and dance! My kids especially love when I do this-it’s an instant “reset” button for everyone’s mood! Anyone can fit in 15 minutes-try it!
Create “You” Time
This is one of my biggest hurdles since becoming a mother-my husband is in the military and works a lot of hours and I have three young sons whom I homeschool so breaks for “me” time are almost nonexistent. I have come to realize that I need that quiet time (I’m an introvert in a house full of noisy rambunctious boys!) and that my mood and my mothering benefit from it.
It can be as simple as enjoying a bath after my boys go to bed, or waking up early to read in the morning before they are up, or simply leaving them with my husband to go for a run or solo shopping trip. Whatever relaxes you-it doesn’t have to be huge, just make time for the little things that you enjoy and over time you’ll notice the difference!
These three simple ways to take care of yourself each day can go a long way towards improving your overall well-being in the long run. Remember it doesn’t have to be a huge event-you don’t have to have a ten course meal or run a marathon or go on an island vacation to improve your well-being (although I’d gladly take that island getaway anytime!)
What are your favorite ways to take care of yourself? I’d love to hear in the comments!