5 Instant Self-Care Ideas for Busy Moms

5 Instant Self-Care Ideas for Busy Moms

Most of the moms I know who are stressed out and in desperate need of self-care are the same moms who insist that they simply don’t have time


Between full-time work; distance learning with multiple children; running a household; building a business; supporting a husband; and being a friend, there just seems to be no time left at the end of the day.


I think a lot of the time, we equate self-care with taking a long bubble bath, or spending an hour at the gym.


What if I told you that some self-care activities could be done in just minutes, or even seconds? 

If you find yourself too busy to commit to regular self-care, check out a few of these instant (or almost-instant!) self-care ideas.


1. Stretch


Stand up, put your hands on your back like they’re in your back pockets, and do a back extension. We spend so much time hunched over our computers, leaning forward over the stove, putting laundry away. This simple stretch is SO good for our backs! Then just raise your hands overhead and stretch upwards. 


2. Drink water


The time it takes to get up and fill a glass of water, then drink it, can be used as just a minute to breathe. This also helps you to get a little more hydrated, which can do wonders for your mindset and health. 


3. Check out the daily story on the Bible app


This is a new feature that has only just recently rolled out. It’s the verse of the day, a 1-3 minute video thought from a pastor or Bible teacher, a quick devotional to read, and then a 1-2 sentence prayer. It’s new every day, it’s not a plan that requires you to stay caught up, it takes only minutes, and it’s always refreshing. If you miss a day, it’s no big deal. You’re not behind, you just check out the story the next day.


4. Use a Stress Away roller


Stress Away is one of my favorite Young Living essential oil blends. I keep a roller in my purse to use any time I need it, and I diffuse it a LOT now being home all the time. If you’ve never used it before, I would be more than happy to send you a sample! Just one quick inhale of this blend and you feel like you’re transported to a tropical island. 


5. Pet your dog or cat


Did you know studies show people with pets live longer? Why is that? Because spending a minute petting our furry family can slow our heart rate and release dopamine and seratonin, which regulates your mood and reduces stress. Just make someone else clean up the poop. 


Here are a few other bonus ideas for you:
  • Send a short Facebook message or text to check in on a friend
  • Mail a hand-written letter or quick postcard
  • Go for a quick, 5-10 minute walk

I also know that the idea of making sure you complete some kind of self-care can feel daunting and stressful in itself, because it’s just one more thing you “should” be doing. If none of these activities resonates with you, find something that DOES.


True self-care is taking care of yourSELF, not anyone else, so you need to find things that make you feel good. If you miss a day, don’t stress. 


Just know that YOU are important. You can’t serve anyone if you’re stressed to the point of sickness. It’s imperative that you stay healthy, and one major component to this is finding whatever self-care works for you.


So tell me, if you had all the time and money in the world, what act of self-care would you choose?


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4 Areas of Self Care to Energize Your Life! A Guest Post

4 Areas of Self Care to Energize Your Life! A Guest Post

I have been wracking my brain to think of how I can best serve and help you during this time when we're out of our normal routine and thrown into unusual circumstances. I met Deborah and loved how she infused self-care with energy, and I gratefully accepted her offer to guest post on the blog this week. 


I hope that you find as much value in these tips as I did! As always, please let me know what you think and if I can help you in any way. 

We all have demands on us that drain our energy. In fact, that is how humans are designed right? We put forth all day and then sleep hard at night! 


But sometimes we struggle to really RESTORE ourselves and our energy. 


The truth about Self Care that gets lost in pop culture is that it is more than getting massages, or treating yourself to a girls day, or taking the most amazing vacation ever. 


Self Care is any intentional action we take that cares for our mind, body, spirit, or emotions.  Using that as an outline, let's talk self care!


1. Care for Your Body.

It’s so easy to let caring for your body slide, especially if you don’t like what you see in the mirror. Out of sight, out of mind, you’ve got more important things to do right!??! Wrong! 


Taking care of your physical needs is most important, because if you don’t, then you have nothing to give. 


It’s so easy to recommend sleep to reenergize, but if you are a mama, sleep doesn’t just come! 


So what are other, practical ways, to recharge you throughout the day?


  • Schedule yourself 10-20min to exercise: yoga, walking, bench pressing babies... 😊

  • Pause to rest your mind and body for 10 minutes. 

  • Make your favorite smoothie.

  • Honor your physical space; cleaning can be a gift to yourself.

  • Celebrate one aspect of your body; this will lift your mood and improve your ability to care for it well.  


2. Care for Your Mind.


Mental health is no joke and we see the effects of neglected mental health everywhere. 


The truth is, our minds aren’t safe. At some point we can get so wrapped up in our own thoughts and beliefs it can be difficult to untangle them all without professional help. 


The first step of good mental health is acknowledging where you are. Is postpartum still kicking your head? Are long, lonely days at home leaving you confused as to the day? Are you struggling with being a working mom, the battle between heart and need? You aren’t alone! So why stay alone? 


  • Acknowledge out loud where you are mentally, telling your partner or a friend. 

  • Remember to take time throughout your day to talk to other adults.

  • Make a list of topics or tasks that excite your brain, and make time to enjoy them. 

  • Read books and write in a journal.

  • Remember to dream a little, set your inner creative free, down a happy path, and enjoy the ride!


3. Care for Your Spirit. 


We don’t always like to think about our spiritual selves; religion might not be your thing, but you still have a soul. 


In ancient Greek the word used is “Psuche” which means breath. The idea is that your spirit is your very breath, it is the core of who you are, and the ultimate purpose in your life. The Greeks also didn’t break humans down into these four parts, instead recognized that they are all one, all interconnected, and all valuable. 


In neglecting your spirit, free, religious, or otherwise, you neglect a very important part of who you are and all you can be. 


  • Make time for your daily religious practice.

  • Identify passions that you can live out every day within mom-life!

  • Identify your personal values; if you aren’t living in line with these values, you will have inner battles that are very draining. Living aligned with them, you will free up energy. 

  • Take time to identify who you are now, and who you want to be growing forward, and embrace your true spirit!


4. Care for Your Emotions.


Emotions, feelings, are just information telling us about what is happening around and in us. 


Because so much can change moment to moment, our feelings can often feel like a roller coaster. 


Scientists have now begun to see how these feelings are stored in the cells of our bodies, trauma, anxiety, and such. 


Remember that when you feel like you cannot care for your emotional world, that it's too overwhelming, psychotherapy can really help.


  • Crying is healthy. There is no shame in it. So have that good, cathartic cry.

  • When juggling multiple emotional worlds, remember your kids' emotions are theirs, they need to learn to process them. While it is your job to teach this, it's not your job to process it for them.

  • Make a habit to enjoy self-soothing practices, anything that calms and re-centers your emotional world.

  • Name your emotional need, and learn to identify what meets it, so that you can learn to ask for what you need. 

  • Giggle, flirt, and celebrate life with your partner; it's easy to get bogged down in the emotional depths of life - pause to enjoy the fun parts, too.


Today’s guest blogger is Deborah Sprague, a Certified Professional Coach who delights in helping clients break through barriers and reach personal goals! Teaching others how to Self Care has long been a passion of hers, and her favorite ways of caring for herself are hiking; listening to music; viewing art; and enjoying healthy, delicious, food! She can be found encouraging you to self care on Instagram and Facebook @PsucheLife

Eat More for Energy? Sign Me Up!

Eat More for Energy? Sign Me Up!
If you're anything like me, you've probably been on a million and one diets throughout your life. Maybe you hit your goal weight, maybe you didn't - maybe you gained the weight back, or maybe you're trying now to maintain all of your hard work.
 
Cutting calories (safely) is a great way to lose weight.
 
But - the calories we DO consume can make or break our weight loss efforts AND our energy levels.
 
Eating a 150 calorie chocolate bar might not throw off your tracker for the day, but replacing it with some Greek yogurt and a banana can not only keep your tracker happy as well, but can also help you to feel great all day long and still keep your tracker happy.
 
There are SO many healthy foods that we already know we should be eating (and which ones we shouldn't!). 

How in the world are we supposed to know exactly which foods can give us the energy we need?
 
To take some of the guesswork out for you, I've compiled a list of the best foods to keep you energized throughout the day. As busy moms, we need to keep our energy on high so we can get #allthethings done, so here are some foods that you can incorporate into every meal.
 

Breakfast:

  • Bananas
  • Oranges
  • Apples
  • Blueberries
  • Watermelon
  • Eggs
  • Coffee and Green Tea
  • Whole Grain Cereal
  • Greek Yogurt
  • Chia Seeds
 

Lunch and Dinner:

  • Avocados
  • Dark, leafy greens (Spinach, Kale, etc.)
  • Quinoa
  • Lentil
  • Tuna Fish
  • Beans
  • Wild Salmon
  • Lean Beef
 

Snacks:

  • Dates
  • Raw Almonds (no added oils or salt)
  • Edamame
  • Trail Mix
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Dark chocolate (70% cacao or more)
These are easy foods to spread throughout our day so that we can keep our energy on high.
 
Which of these are your favorites?

Is caffeine really giving you energy? (Would it surprise you if I said yes?!)

Is caffeine really giving you energy? (Would it surprise you if I said yes?!)
As a busy mom, waking up at 4 o'dark in the morning, sometimes it can be difficult to get up and moving.

Even if you wake up later around 7 or 8 a.m., just getting started is so challenging.

So what's easy and comforting? That beautiful, glorious, rich-smelling, warm, comforting first cup of coffee. It's kind of like magic, right? The best part of waking up may not necessarily be Folgers, but it's definitely coffee.

OR - maybe you don't drink coffee. Maybe you prefer a crisp soda first thing in the morning. To each her own.

As we look for ways to feel more energized throughout the day, one obvious question we have to ask is, "Does caffeine really help my energy levels?"

The quick and easy answer is YES. Caffeine can help you feel not only more energetic, but also more focused.

For the more than 85% of adults regularly consume the amount of caffeine equal to about 2 cups of coffee per day, this is great news, right?! Caffeine is the most widely consumed psychoactive drug in the world.

The problem with caffeine is that its affects can only be felt for approximately 4-6 hours. If you wake up at 6 a.m. and have your first cup when you get to work at 8 a.m., that's worn off by 2 p.m. and you're crashing again.

Don't you want to feel great ALL day and not just for a few hours?

Caffeine can also cause a rapid heartbeat and increase blood pressure, which on the one hand could be helpful for some people - but for others, that's a huge health hazard. It can also cause heartburn, nausea, and vomiting when taken in large quantities (ever have more than 4 cups of coffee in a day? I sure have!).

Another downfall that may surprise you - caffeine prevents calcium absorption, which is especially important information for women as we *ahem* get older.

Here's the bottom line:

  • Caffeine can help you feel more alert
  • Caffeine can help you be more focused
  • Caffeine's effects are short-lived
  • Caffeine is a drug, so it can create dependency, induce withdrawal symptoms, and cause negative side effects
It's not bad to drink a cup or two of coffee every day.

The problem is when caffeine is your main source of energy. There are so many other sources of nutrition that can help us to feel more energized throughout the entire day, without the side effects of "too much caffeine" or withdrawal symptoms. We're going to explore some of that this month!

Your turn: how much caffeine do you consume each day? Do you get it from coffee, soda, food, energy drinks?

Tip: If you need more energy NOW, check out my guide on 5 Easy Ways to Boost Your Energy!

Because #momlife is exhausting...

Because #momlife is exhausting...
You know that feeling when you're so exhausted, it physically hurts to be awake?

Your eyes hurt and it takes everything you have in you just to keep them open.

Trying to drive is terrifying in these moments.

You try to follow all the advice (drink more water! get more sleep! exercise regularly!), yet for some inexplicable reason, you're just worn out, run down, and over it.

That's where I was a few years ago.

I did ALL the things:
  • Exercised daily
  • Tried to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night
  • Drank water all day
  • Ate a fairly healthy diet (I'm not gonna lie, I was not and definitely am not perfect at this!)
But I just couldn't shake the exhaustion. Yes, I went to see the doctor, had my thyroid checked, hormones, vitamin levels, everything was NORMAL. Whatever that means.

Over the past several years, I've discovered a few things that have helped me to finally feel normal again. And actually, a lot of the time, I feel better than normal; I feel GREAT!

This blog is going to be used to share some of the things I've learned, in hopes that I can help other moms like me learn how to feel amazing.

If you want to take this journey with me and learn how you can get your energy back, make sure you follow along!

For a jumpstart, I've created a guide to 5 Easy Ways to Boost Your Energy. Click here to grab your copy

Tell me, when do feel the most exhausted?