Motherhood is by far the most beautiful and rewarding journey of my life. It changed me in ways that I never would’ve imagined and this blog is dedicated to the many ebbs and flows of motherhood. Motherhood fills me with so much love and joy and I’m grateful for it everyday.
Let’s be real though- motherhood can also be draining, overwhelming, and hard on your physical and mental health. As moms, we are often running the show and we all know that you can’t do much when your gas tank is on empty.
Many years ago I let my gas tank go empty and ended up with postpartum depression. You can read through my postpartum depression stories here.
This is why today, I’m a huge advocate of making yourself a priority, even when it’s hard.
Make Yourself a Priority
Why You Should Make Yourself a Priority
Your mental health
If you do not make yourself a priority in your everyday life, you can quickly compromise your mental health. It’s extremely common for mothers to experience anxiety, depression, fatigue, and general overwhelm. Allowing time for yourself will greatly strengthen your mental health and give your mind the peace it needs.
Trust me, I know this from firsthand experience.
Your physical health (doctor appointments, routine well-being check up etc.)
It seems that the number one thing that women comment on not having enough time for is physical health. Now we would never say I don’t have time to go to the doctor if our children were sick or even for their routine check ups. So why do we often not make the time to take ourselves to the doctor, OB-GYN, dentist, etc. ?
If we aren’t healthy, we will not be able to fully show up for the people in our life. It’s just as important for us to feel good physically as it is to feel good mentally. Doing a 20-30 minutes workout, going to the doctor, and eating healthy foods that serve our bodies well, are all part of making yourself a priority.
You will be more present for your family
Making yourself a priority by allowing time for self-care will have a ripple effect on all aspects of your day. It’s amazing what a huge impact even small life changes can make. Devote even a little more time for yourself, and you will begin feeling more present in your body and in your family life. It’s a win-win for all involved.
How to Make Yourself a Priority
I know how limited you are on time most days. Here are several realistic ways that you can make yourself a priority on a regular basis.
Carve out the time
First and foremost, to make yourself a priority you need to intentionally set aside time to do so. If you have young children, there are probably only so many opportunities during the day, but those opportunities are there! Some time slots that I block off for myself are early in the morning, during nap time, and in the evening. Having a conversation with your partner about this will really help ensure that your time is sacred. Own this time ladies, this time is YOURS!
Many people, including me, get lost in motherhood at one point or another. Although you may not always feel up to it, get out there for a coffee date or happy hour with a friend. Even if it’s only for an hour or two, it will do such great things for your soul. This is something I remind myself everyday because as an introvert, I can stay home for weeks or even months seeing a friend.
Exercise releases endorphins, which in turn will literally improve your mood. You may not have time for, or feel up to, an hour long spin class every day. That’s ok! Go on a 20-30 minute walk around your neighborhood or stream a yoga class from your TV. Any kind of movement will do your mind and body wonders.
I personally like using Mirror workout from home. You can use code “ANGELA” for $350 off.
Meditation is a relaxing way to make yourself a priority at the beginning of your day. You could do this before even getting out of bed. Podcasts, headspace, and other apps are great places to find quick guided meditations that will have a big impact on your health. Meditation is key to maintaining my sanity with 4 kids!
Take a bath
There are few things more relaxing than taking a warm bath with the lights low and calming music playing. My favorite addition to a bath is essential oils. You can read about my favorite in this post. Choose one night a week to have this much needed alone time.
Mama, you deserve some pampering. Even if it’s only every once in awhile, getting a mani/pedi, a fresh haircut, or an one hour massage will instantly relax you.
Go see a therapist
Ever since my experience with postpartum depression, I see a therapist whenever I feel the need to do so. This can be due to certain triggers, stressors and just overall feeling overwhelmed, at least for me. We all need someone to talk to. Even if you have no idea what you would say, you would be surprised at all the things that come out during a session. For me, it’s like taking a nice bath for the mind and soul.
Therapy is a healthy way of releasing feelings that you may be harboring. It can sometimes be easier to talk to a stranger than the people in our inner circle.
Ask for help
Everyone’s circumstances are different. Maybe you are a single parent, maybe your partner works 24/7, or maybe you take care of your children during the day and work at night. Whatever your situation is, if you need help, PLEASE ASK FOR IT.
Take turns with another mom to watch each other’s children or ask a relative to come over every now and then. Typically, people in your life want to be there to support you if you just let them know you are in need.
Hire a part time baby-sitter, bi-weekly cleaners or use a meal delivery service. Don’t feel guilty for using resources to give yourself a break!
Above all else, please remember that being a mom doesn’t mean that your needs are any less important than your children’s or anyone else’s. Your family needs you to make yourself a priority so that you can be healthy for them and for yourself. You deserve to spend time doing things that make you feel good. Be kind to yourself.
You can read my previous post about How I cherished my postpartum body here.
As always, thank you for reading! Let me know in the comments what you do to make yourself a priority.