If you are a mom and struggling to make time to take care of you, let this article be an inspiration to you. Finding time to take care of yourself in the form of exercise can be placed on the furthest back burner in place of your husband, kids, house responsibilities, and perhaps paid work. If this is sounds like you, ask yourself these questions for some internal reflection:
1. Are you struggling to make it through the day feeling energized?
2. Are you short tempered?
3. Do you feel stretched and pulled in all areas of life without feeling like you cannot get ahead?
4. Do you wish you had more time to take for yourself?
5. Do you want to be an energetic, fun, and healthy mom?
6. Do you look into the future and see yourself running around with grandchildren?
7. Do you sleep well when you get to sleep?
How did you respond to these questions? Did you find red flags in your lifestyle that would prevent you from having the full life you wish for yourself? Taking time to exercise whether by yourself or with some girlfriends can make a huge difference in your life. If you don’t believe me, keep reading and make take on the challenge I will provide at the end of this article. Let’s tackle each of the questions above.
1 . Struggling to make it through to the end of the day without feeling totally depleted can seem like a mountain of an obstacle. Even with my six day a week workouts of various types, there are still days where bed is calling long before the children lay their sweet heads down on their pillows at night. However, I can assure you the days where I take a recovery day from working out, bed calls far earlier. How can this be? Well, endorphins and the “high” you get from exercise exists. It carries you through your day, it makes you feel energized. Look at it this way: you get up before the children, get a great sweat in (or at least a walk around the block), and when the children get up you have already checked something off on your to-do list. You’ve already won 2 battles in the day-1) to get up early 2) to workout. Guess what, sometimes you can make it through the day just knowing those two things.
2. Short tempers come more quickly when we don’t take time for ourselves. The rejuvenation that comes with a workout either on your own or with girlfriends is time well spent. It is not selfish or vain. We become better ourselves when we take time to take care of ourselves. At least in my family, my children know that a worked out mom is a nice mom. It is sanity hour and it should be scheduled hard and fast into your calendar. Your whole family will notice the difference a workout can make.
3. Feeling like we are falling behind is almost inescapable. Time runs out before everything gets done. That’s the nature of life. I will refer you to question #1 about checking things off your list. As well as the added benefit of the energy that working out gives you to accomplish so much more and with question #2, a happier disposition. It comes full circle. Will everything get done everyday because you workout? No, of course not. But you will have energy to accomplish more and a demeanor that will be a light in your home for good. You will feel better about yourself.
4. When we go to bed a bit earlier and rise before children, we will accomplish so much more. This is a truth and a power that I wish all would embrace. There is something about quiet mornings and a run through town or a bike ride. Even a swim. Perhaps being alone in the car as you drive to the gym is a gift. Having time for yourself is important. It helps fills our buckets so that we have more to give out. Calendar this time for yourself or with girlfriends to get the endorphins flowing for the benefit of not only yourself, but your family as well.
5. It is no secret that physical activity is an important habit to create. You will be able to take your children on fun adventures, keep up with them at the park or amusement park, hike, travel, and bike ride with them. Staying active for your kids will provide a good example for them as well. They will see that it is important to take time for physical activity and that sitting all day will come at a cost to health, if not now, in the future.
6. What do you see in your future. It is a goal of mine to be active all the days of my life. This will only happen for you as well if you begin the habit now.
7. Exercise will help you sleep better. No question. Sure, there are times when my plate is full and my mind is racing and a good nights rest is out of reach, but exercise will help you rest better at night. A good quality of sleep will help you rise more refreshed early in the morning. Can you see the cycle forming? Rise early, exercise, rest well at night, repeat.
You cannot argue with these benefits. Where we argue and make excuses is the time factor, the kids factor, the spouse factor, the sleep factor…on and on. I want you to commit to no more excuses or justifications. Exercise and taking time for yourself is good for physical and mental health.
Here is my challenge to you: This week you are to calendar in SEVEN sessions of workouts. If those occur in one week or over two or three weeks, that is fine. I want SEVEN sessions scheduled in PEN. You actually have to do workouts. Use the gym membership you haven’t used in a while or use the gym membership more consistently. Find a time for those SEVEN sessions that are yours and ONLY yours. Nothing will trump those workouts. Track changes you feel after those workouts. Do your days run smoother? Are you slower to anger? Do you feel better about yourself? Do you have more of yourself to give?
Please come back and start this conversation here. Let’s start a community of mom’s who workout. It would be a great place to meet and share ideas of how we can make this a solid habit in our lives.