Before becoming a mother I imagined motherhood to be easy, always fun and childish laughter ringing throughout my house. My dream was crushed by the reality that kids are not always happy. Things don’t always go as planned and the smallest change can trigger a massive meltdown. Don’t get me wrong, I love being a mother, I know it is what I was called to be. It is just not as easy as I thought it would be. There has been ups and downs and trial and error. There are good days where I am overly enthralled with life, where everything is seemingly perfect. And then there are the not so good days where I am exhausted.
The ups and downs of my life only added to the stress and anxiety, to the point it became more than I could handle. And this stress bled into my family life. When something affects my family, I know it is time for a change.
Habits are part of your everyday life whether you notice or not. Because it is something so natural in your day.
Creating new habits can be difficult but also can change your life. Once they take hold healthy habits can lead to greater happiness and calm in your life. If changing the way I carry out my day can affect how I am at home, with my family, I am all for it.
I fully believe creating habits have been the reason for my increased happiness not only at home but also at work. Here are a few habits that have helped me.
5 Habits of a Healthy Mom
Make time for yourself.
A great quote I once read said, “An empty lantern provides no light. Self-care is the fuel that allows your light to shine brightly” – unknown. As a mom, you are busy with maintaining a home, cooking meals, laundry and taking care of the kids. Oh and let’s not add a job to all this. You cannot take care of anyone if you don’t take care of yourself. Self- care can come in many forms and doesn’t have to be something you spend a ton of money on. Something as simple as taking a long uninterrupted shower is how I spend my time to myself.
Stop and smell the roses (get outside).
Get out of the house, breathe in fresh air. Think about a recent time where you stepped outside and took a deep breath. Really breathe in fresh air. How did it make you feel? Good, I bet. Getting outside is good for your body, mind, and soul. It is believed that oxygen affects the levels of serotonin released which contributes to feelings of happiness and relaxation. So get out there and smell those roses.
There are many physical and mental benefits to exercise. It gets your endorphins going and positively increases your mood. There is no doubt that exercise is good for you. But it is hard to get a workout in with kids. Getting to the gym is damn near impossible and who has time for a gym membership anyway! Try at home bodyweight workouts. Just 15-20 minutes a day you can get your heart rate up and feel good you did it. They can be done first thing in the morning or during nap time. I try to make it a point to exercise at least 3 times a week and usually incorporate into my morning routine.
Create a morning routine.
For a long time, I was not convinced about the benefits of a morning routine. I thought, whoever came up with this idea is selling a load of crap. After years of fighting it, I created a plan and decided to wake up a little earlier and follow through with my morning routine. For one week, I followed through, every morning waking up and completing my tasks. I was skeptical at first but, honestly, it was amazing. I had more energy, I was happier and calmer around my family. Trust me, morning routines are worth trying out. Make a point to do your morning routine for one week and see if you find your entire mood and outlook changes.
Ask for help.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. I know that being a mom we often think we can do it all. Or should do it all, which makes asking for help so difficult. If you have family nearby ask them to take the kids for a couple of hours so you can decompress or have a date night.
If you are like me and do not live near family, enlist the help of your husband. We have created a list of chores that need to be completed daily and weekly and have designated what each of us will do. It has helped significantly to take some of the work off my plate and relieving stress.
Ultimately, engaging in these activities on a semi-regular basis has made me a much more pleasant mom. I find it is easier to navigate my day and I am more positive. What do you do to stay happy?
I would love to know in the comments.