Give yourself permission to self care

Give yourself permission to self care

One of the biggest hurdles that mom’s have to get over before we can truly create self care in our lives is giving yourselves permission, to say yes to your needs! We feel guilty if we are not doing something, being with or caring for a need for our family. Where did this belief system come from? What is this guilt rooted in? Logically we all know that if we are not caring for ourselves then we have nothing to give to other’s. You have heard advice about putting the oxygen mask on yourself before you put it on your child, but what stops us from doing this in our day to day lives? This is something that I have been exploring as part of my own personal recovery from mom burn out.
When I became a mom I set out on the impossible task of doing it all. As a self employed Naturopathic doctor I started back at work when my daughter was 4 months old, part time but working none the less. Still 100% committed to nursing my daughter my life became about nursing, pumping, working, running, commuting, disrupted sleeping, eating whatever was quick and easy and drinking lots of coffee to keep this cycle going. Whenever I was working I felt awful for not being with my daughter, whenever I was with my daughter I felt torn from being away from work that I loved. My remedy to this was a futile attempt to be 100% to both and 0% to me. The math did not add up. The result was burn out! I was so incredibly hard on myself and nothing about this process was loving. I also realize that during this time I was not an awesome Naturopathic doctor nor was I a present and centered mom for my daughter. This still brings me to tears.

Looking back, I truly believe there was room for family and career but I was missing a key component of self care and a gentle heart. It took an emotional as well as physical crash but when I knew better, I did better not only for me as well as my family, my work, my friends, my community.

It is something that I still have to check in with myself every single day: I ask myself is this choice loving and am I caring for myself? If the answer is a no, then I give myself permission to make a different choice that reflects my needs knowing it will ultimately have the positive domino effect on the people that I touch each day. I now say Yes to me!

Go deeper by accessing the accompanying Journal now!

Letting go

Letting go

One thing that I hear a lot in my practice that Mom’s have less time. Bingo! This is a true fact. As a mom, much of your time is no longer your own. I spent the first 3 years of my daughter’s life waiting for this to shift so that I could return to the “way things used to be” only to realize after a lot of frustration, personal shame and resentment that this was actually never going to happen. I would not return to that life of 2 hour yoga classes followed by brunching with friends…not that that was what I even wanted…but still if one of the biggest components of self love is self care and we as moms don’t have time -what is the solution?

Well Moms, it is to create a new norm of self care within the time that is available to you. Once you let go of how things used to be you can recognize the gem in even a little self love like squeezing in a few sun salutations or a 15 minute epsom salt bath. You will see that this is not only possible but a necessity. Once I made peace with the time I had lost, I was able to reframe my expectations and see what truly was available to me.

Part of recognizing that your time is no longer the same is the understanding that these moments of self care are typically no longer planned events. You may have a 5, 10 or even 20 minute window of unexpected space pop up and having a game plan about what things will bring you joy and a sense of well being is crucial to your success in taking care of you!

Access your free journal pages for this blog and add some of your own. Post this on your fridge to remind yourself to “let go”

Protecting time boundaries

Protecting time boundaries

So given the reality that mom’s have less time, a non negotiable skill that we need to develop is the ability to fiercely protect what time we do have by setting clear boundaries within our families, friends, work, community etc… So much of our time is already accounted for and when you find yourself with precious space understanding what brings you joy and fills you up is valuable information.

The art of saying no, backing out of a commitment that is no longer working for you and disappointing others is a huge requirement of this process and a true act of self love. After a few times of putting your values first you will see the amazing benefits – more time, more energy, less stress and with experience taking care of your needs will become easier.

Before we can set boundaries we need to understand a) where are we spending our time b) is this activity bringing us joy c) is this something that we need to let go off.

Access your free journal pages to help you see where you may be giving away time to activities that are no longer serving you. The intent of this experience is to create clarity about the things in your life that are time takers so that you can create space for time givers!
Hugs from one mom to another!

Time gifts

Time gifts

One thing is for certain and that is we all have a 24 hour day cycle, time is the one thing that we hold as an equal resource but how we perceive and use this time can be a differentiating factor in how much joy we experience in our day.

There are so many areas of our life that we go through without being present, we are unaware and on automatic. As mom’s much of our time involves the necessary functions like our commute to work or our child’s soccer practice but we can become present and find time for self care within these fixed parts of our days.

There may be some things in your life that you are rushing through and you actually don’t need to. Recently, my husband and I recognized that we were devouring our meals like “starving dogs” even though there was absolutely no reason to do so. Our daughter who is still very chatting and active at mealtime is able to sit and eat on her own leaving my husband and I free to focus on our own experience. Since realizing this behavior we have been able to slow things down and enjoy the food as well as our time together. I started to look at other areas of my life where this may be happening and started to re-frame how I was thinking and the choices I was making. Here are a few other areas where when I shifted my thoughts, I was able to find self care where I never knew it existed.

Commute: before leaving each day I fill my travel mug with a green tea matcha or almond milk, maple syrup chai tea to enjoy on my ride in. I also started to take out audiobooks from the library or listen to podcast on my drive to and from work. Now when I hit traffic I am happy for the extra few minutes to myself…amazing!

Lunch hour: I extended my lunch hour by 15 minutes so that I could use this additional time to meet a friend or go for a walk or yoga class. If someone offered me a 60 minute break in the middle of a busy Saturday with my family, I would be thrilled, yet here it was for me 5 days a week and I was not using it. Take your lunch breaks Moms!

Children’s activities: I started to get active during my daughters lessons. I pick swimming lessons during a time that also offers lane swims. I run a few laps around the soccer field while she is at practice. Our family found a small local gym where my husband and I can work out while my daughter does gymnastics. Jack pot – we are all happier and healthier with this solution.

Access your free journal to reflect on what time gifts you may not be opening!

Save time on lunch!

Save time on lunch!

I can’t tell you the number of mom’s, myself included, that put a lot of time and effort to ensure their kids head off to school with the proper nourishment for the day yet neglect to take any care with their own lunches.

Having a few things prepared a head of time can be a huge time saver as well as motivator in keeping your lunches healthy, balanced and still yummy.

Here are my top 5 choices:
Boiled eggs: great source of protein and fat to be added with lunch or as a mid afternoon snack

Favorite combo: 1 boiled egg and 1/2 avocado mashed together with 1 tbsp greek yogurt, squeeze of lemon and pinch of sea salt – serve with rice crackers

Tuna or salmon salad: Great source of protein to add to your lunch. Mix 1 can of tuna or salmon, 1/2 cup of mayo (yep mayo), 1/2 cup of diced veggies -whatever you have in the fridge and salt and pepper. For something a little differed add 1/2 tsp of curry powder.

Favorite combo: Spread on rice crackers

Cooked brown rice: it takes about 45 minutes to make so having it prepared ahead of time is necessary for a fantastic bowl.

Favorite combo: 1/2 cup brown rice, spinach, cucumber, carrots, pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries, feta and a few hard boiled eggs or tuna salad

Trail mix: super easy and so much healthier than most store bought products that are filled with awful oils and unnecessary sugar and salts. Combine 1/2 cup each of almonds and cashews, 1/2 cup of walnuts, 1/8 cup of dried fruit, 1/8 cup of chocolate chips and mix well

Favorite combo: green tea and 1/4 cup of this delicious mix

Muffin makeover: Who loves muffins? me, me! Who has time to make muffins? Not me, not me! Solution: Purchase Quaker instant oatmeal muffin mix and follow the directions -in addition include 1/4 cup of oatmeal, 1 tbsp of ground flax seed, 1/2 cup grated carrots and 1/4 cup raisins or 1/2 cup zucchini and 1/2 chocolate chips -really the combos are endless.

Yes I realize these are full of refined sugar, gluten and a whole lot of other stuff that I can’t even pronounce and I am really okay with that.

Favorite combo: 1 tbsp of almond butter spread on an oatmeal carrot muffin