February can be a tough time of year. For many, we are dealing with sick kids, lots of extra curricular activities and cold weather. The never ending to do list grows longer and longer and after making a New Years resolution to make time to better ourselves, we often slip back into our old ways and put our own health and activities on the back burner.
While we try and do what’s best for our children, putting yourself last is not it. Mothers are pulled in so many directions and it’s important to remember self care is imperative for a happy and healthy home. Our children should be our reason, not our excuse for eating right and working out. We need to lead by example and while work and school schedules can have us running around, we all need to step back and remember that small changes throughout the day can add up to big results.
In order to make time for yourself, you must prioritize things. What is most important to you and your family? My husband and I have made getting to the gym a priority. We try and get to the gym together a few times a week and hold each other accountable for going the other days. In order to stick to your workout routines, you must schedule it in and it’s always a good idea to have a buddy to go with you or check in on you. In order to make my workouts, I’ve changed other routines at home. For instance, I do my grocery shopping online and actually end up saving money through all of the promotions and coupon codes. Instead of a two hour shopping trip, my groceries are delivered to my house and I am able to get in a workout.
If getting to the gym isn’t an option, don’t forget about the thousands of free workout videos online. I’m a huge fan of fitnessblender.com and you don’t need to leave your home or a lot of time to get an amazing workout. HIIT workouts and Tabata do the trick in a little amount of time. The key to these workouts is working at your maximum effort for the working time with little rest between exercises. It’s fast, it’s sweaty and can be done anywhere!
You may also find a friend to set up a “kid swap” where each mother gets alone time. Each of you takes turns hanging with all of the children while the other gets time to get a workout in. I’ve even FaceTimed friends for workouts during snowstorms when I need another adults motivation! Mothers helpers are also a great option. Having an extra pair of hands around even once a week can help you get your workout or housework done while the kids are entertained. Get creative with getting your time, but just make sure you get it!
Diet is huge in not only how we look but how we feel. Some small adjustments in your day can keep you energized and lead you to the results you are after. A huge addition to your daily routine needs to be water. So many people do not drink enough and by adding water to your day you will notice a huge difference in your energy level. The only downside is you may need to use the bathroom a little more!
Speaking of food, there are so many simple swaps you can do with food you eat often. These swaps remove food that has no nutritional value and replaces them with those that do. For instance, swap your traditional pasta for a bean based one such as Banza. You add a ridiculous amount of protein to your meal as well as fiber and protein. I am always looking for ways to add nutrition to meals. I feel like if you are going to eat something, you should eat the best version of it.
Another way to keep on track in the kitchen is to meal prep. Meal prepping doesn’t need to be exhausting. It can be as simple as making a big pot of quinoa or any grain you choose for the week, chopping up fruits and veggies to make meals and snacks easier and even just baking a tray of chicken to have your meat ready as well. If its all cooked, chopped and ready to go, it makes throwing together meals on weeknights easy!
Its important to remember change takes time and in order to see results, you must stick with it. Simple changes like starting your day with a lemon water chug can set you up for a great day! Try cutting sweeteners from your coffee and teas and when you’re tempted to grab food and aren’t really hungry, grab a glass of water or go for a walk with the kids. Adding more movement to your day will result in more energy! If nighttime eating is the problem, swap out foods like ice cream for homemade banana ice cream. And don’t underestimate the importance of sleep. There’s no shame in going to bed when the kids do some nights!
Remember, these years may seem long but they aren’t. Soon, we will have all the time in the world and miss the craziness of the kids. But that doesn’t mean to ignore your needs now. Show your children the importance of self care and take time for you each and every day. You deserve and need it!
What are you doing for you today!?!