Busy Mom? 3 Easy Ways to Practice Self-Care

Busy Mom? 3 Easy Ways to Practice Self-Care

Being a mother is one of the greatest gifts in life. It is filled with joy and immeasurable love. However, let’s be honest here: it’s also exhausting, overwhelming and sometimes more frustrating and difficult than we imagined it would be. The kids are fighting, dinner needs to be made, the laundry hasn’t been folded in days, the baby needs a diaper change, the bills need to be paid, the dog needs to go out, you have a toddler pulling at your leg, and the list of things to do just keeps on getting bigger. Oh yeah, and then there’s you. Who, you might ask? You, the mom. You, the professional. You the entrepreneur. You, the wife. You, the friend. You. The one who regularly gets left off the to-do list.

Being a good mother requires us to be loving, nurturing, giving, kind and patient. These are traits, that despite the frenzy of daily life, we somehow manage to pull from our depths to offer our children. The question is, can we as moms offer those same traits to ourselves? As a mother and solo-preneur, I’ve learned the importance of self-care. And I also know how difficult it is to make it happen given the reality of life.

Why is it so difficult to make time for ourselves when we somehow manage to make time for everyone and everything else?

Probably because there are only 24 hours in the day and many of life’s other demands tend to scream much louder for your attention. “The squeaky wheel gets the oil.” If we stop and listen, we might notice that there’s another squeaky wheel that’s been begging for our attention: our own.

When we begin to talk about self-care for moms, the issue of guilt often arises. So let’s call it out, like the big elephant in the room: as women, we tend to have an easier time sacrificing ourselves than taking care of ourselves. Most of us would rather drop from exhaustion than face the guilt of caring for our own needs. However, when Mom is depleted, the whole household suffers. And when you take care of yourself, you can better take care of others.

For many women, we hear and understand the importance of self-care. The issue isn’t knowing what we should do; the issue is the logistics of it all. How do you fit self-care into an already overflowing schedule? Who has the time, energy or money for spa days, date nights, yoga classes, gym memberships, meditation or new hobbies?

So what’s a busy mom to do? How do we make time for ourselves while caring for our families, careers and communities?

Here are some practical solutions for putting your self-care back on your to-do list without having to drastically alter your life. These wellness practices have had an amazing impact on my own health and well-being, as well as that of my family. They’re simple, practical and easy to implement into any busy mom’s lifestyle.

Morning Affirmations

Begin your day when the world around you begins to awaken. Early morning is a special time of day, when you can best tune in to subtle energies. How we begin our day sets the tone for the rest of it. Waking up early allows for more time, more productivity and more leisure, making our days less stressful. Add a little TLC to your morning as you awaken and before you rise by practicing the following routine:

Lie on your back and place one hand on your heart and one hand on your low belly. Exhale deeply and sink into your body. Inhale the light of the day and imagine that light of love shining within you. Breathe in the words I am loved, supported and cared for and breathe out the words I love. Think of your spouse, partner, children and loved ones, and let that light of love expand within you and fill you.

Before you get out of bed, say to yourself, It’s going to be a good day! Starting your day like this will add intention and a sense direction to your day. We all struggle with the simple idea of loving ourselves as much as we love our children. When you take a moment to fill yourself with love and support first thing in the morning, you lower your stress levels and begin to tap into your own self-compassion.

Just Breathe

“Smile, breathe and go slowly.” ~Thích Nhất Hạnh

This quote from Thích Nhất Hạnh reminds me to move through my days with more ease and more joy. As you move through your days, notice when you are feeling tense, tired, stressed, tight or contracted. At that moment, exhale deeply and soften into the moment. Allow your body and your mind to soften and release their grip. Smile gently at yourself, at the moment, at the word. Take a deep inhale through the nose to the count of five, and exhale deeply for a count of five, allowing your shoulders to drop, your jaw to loosen in a soft smile, and your body and mind to relax.

Regular breathing practices help to calm the body and still the mind. This simple breathing technique will center and ground you, helping you feel less stressed and more energized. Cultivate the habit of breathing intentionally and notice a sense of calm and ease begin to weave itself into the fabric of your days.

Secure Your Oxygen Mask First

In Ayurveda, oxygen in your blood is called “Jivana,” meaning life-giving. Oxygen in your cells is literally the fuel behind your goals and intentions. Securing your oxygen mask first means we make time for ourselves first thing in the morning. Depending on your current routine, this might mean taking a few conscious deep breaths in the morning. Or it might be a brisk walk around the block. For some, it might be stepping onto your yoga mat as a cue to start moving and breathing with intention. The important thing is to build a sense of wholeness and a lightness in your body as a practice into your daily routine.

So take your oxygen mask first thing in the morning. Commit to moving your breath intentionally and clearing your channels before breakfast, before the day can get away from you. Practicing in the morning will affect your entire day, allowing you to make better, more conscious choices.



Living With an Open Heart

Living With an Open Heart

There is something so undeniably beautiful when I look into the darkness and deep hours of the night, when the world around me is completely silent. Tonight, as I stare into our backyard through our moon room, I see a reflection that represents my heart. It is the light that shines from the moon, illustrating that even when there is darkness there is eternal light.

As I continue to lose myself in the glow of the moon, I feel a peace that is simple and all-knowing; all the answers are right in front of me. This reflection of silence in the night offers up my most raw truth, one that even my ego cannot deny. When I feel this truth so deeply, I want to press pause; I know that as the night blends to greet the morning sun it may, once again, be disguised by many layers. This is when I love to sit at my desk and release every ember of a thought that wants to meet paper. Sometimes it turns into a story, sometimes I feel like it may be a “Jerry McGuire moment” in the making, but right now it feels healing.

Find Your Light of Love

Deep inside all of us is a brilliant light of love. This gift of love never has to be figured out, fixed, or solved – it just is. It is when I relinquish control and completely surrender that I know I am in my truth because I am not in charge. In this moment I trust that everything is as it divinely should be. It is a true invitation to follow suit, to look at a new path regardless of any boundary I may have created for myself.

When I think back to the moments in my life when I have been entirely present, they have been when I surrendered fully, was extremely vulnerable, and didn’t worry how that vulnerability would be received. I wish every day could be this spiritually in shape, but it is because of these moments that I know there are endless possibilities. I know that I am the only person in my way, and that is extremely humbling and inspiring all at once.

A Guide for Opening & Connecting

Learn the art of mindfulness and loving kindness — the foundations for living with an open heart — in The Yogi’s Heart, a guide for opening and connecting. For it is only when you approach life from a place of openness can you embody connectedness with all things.

Embrace Vulnerability

It is not easy to be raw in our everyday lives. We don’t like to see ourselves vulnerable, even when the world around us whispers that we are safe. We have been taught to always have it together, have it all figured out, separate ourselves from the pack, and, most importantly, be successful by a societal standard. We actually get angry when we believe others are not living life the “right way.” However, after we strip away all the insecurities and boundaries, it is easy to realize we are all craving the same thing – unconditional love, understanding, and compassion. We are begging for someone to throw us a rope when the rope is already present.

This space of love exceeds all limiting beliefs of religion, race, and class. It is a platform that seats our soul as we share the message. We all want to be loved and accepted for who we really are in our soul. We want those around us to understand that we are doing our best even if it goes unnoticed in the eyes of another. We want the world to understand our experiences have shaped who we are. We secretly beg for others to meet us where we stand with compassion and kindness, but unfortunately, this gets misunderstood in our fanfare of costumes and roles.

Release Judgments

I don’t believe anyone would consciously admit he or she judges another to make his or her experiences more justified, or that we choose to make decisions based on what others think is the right way. But sometimes, we get caught in the crossfire. We judge others because we are trying to build our own story. We try to identify how we are different to still the voice that has been trained to see this as an opportunity to be better. We use all kinds of boundaries to shape how we have it right and others have it wrong. Here’s the simple answer: we ALL have the gift of light inside of us. No one is EVER more ahead than another; it is not a line we travel but a cycle that has no beginning or end. When we release and surrender, the boundaries wash away. What is left is a light of raw, unconditional love that was always present.

Embrace What Is

The biggest question becomes how do we live in this light? How do we let go of the boundaries the ego has created? In this moment of living truth it goes beyond an answer. It just is.

God, a higher power, the Universe – whatever you have named your light is pure love. It is a space that has no conditions or power. It is a space that doesn’t care if you are a lawyer or doctor, rich or poor, mean or kind, or if you think you have it all figured out. This space doesn’t care if you think you are a better parent than another, have it more together, or if you’ve had it harder and no one understands. Most importantly, this space doesn’t care if you think love is a word hippies use to justify their disconnection from the world or if this word is so powerful you can’t say it at all. The best part is that this space is always here for you, just as the sun is always burning brightly no matter what the day may suggest. This space is limitless without boundaries or conditions; it is the most powerful space.

What I know is that in the moments of my imperfect thoughts, I feel this space and I know that every breath presents an opportunity to leave the old behind and build from this source of love. We can choose to go there in moments while we chip away at the boundaries, or we can jump in with both feet. No matter which way you choose to shift, this space will always be waiting for you. I use this thought every day to elicit compassion for myself. I use the mantra I lean on love. I use every opportunity to peel back more layers of myself. As I do, I begin to see the levels of attachment I and others have in the roles I play. I have to completely let go and know that my heart is full of love. This means no longer trying to justify where I am coming from, no longer being afraid of how others will receive me, and no longer trying to define my life. It means living in the present moment. I can’t give myself a better gift.

Take pause, close your eyes, and listen to your heart. This space of love is always present. It doesn’t take prayer or asking for guidance to get there. It is just a matter of listening.

Peace to you in your journey!

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