This post is brought to you by monthly contributor, Vina Barham.
As mothers, we look after our husband and children’s well being on a daily basis. And quite often, we’re guilty of forgetting to tend to our own. We’re quite capable of going without for a long period of time and running on reserves until crankiness and all sorts of foul mood start to seep in.
I for one, sometimes forget to eat lunch. Seriously, right? How in the world does one forget to eat lunch? I mean, sometimes I snack all day but there are days when I suddenly notice how light-headed I’m feeling. And that a simple remedy would be to eat something! Or perhaps we go for days without taking a break for ourselves. Or go for an entire day without taking time for ourselves to recharge.
But it is exactly that we are the nurturers and keepers of our family’s well-being that we need to be vigilant about taking care of ourselves. We can’t give what we do not have. We are called to serve out of fullness and wellness, not out of a sense of obligation and martyr-like service.
Here are some ways I’ve found helpful in making sure I am able to take care of myself:
- Schedule a Time Out For Yourself. I am an introvert. And I’ve realized that I need half a day to myself during the week if I am going to thrive as a work-at-home mom. Before, our weekends were mostly family-time and were filled with social events. But we’ve worked it out so my husband takes my daughter out for a chunk of time in the weekend and I get to do whatever fills me up and breathes me Life. And it’s been a guaranteed refreshment for my soul. I’m then ready to start the week with a full cup.
- Write a Mommy Time Out Menu. The very first day that my husband took our daughter out for a daddy date and I had blocks of free time on my hands, I honestly did not know what to do with myself. Although I badly needed recharging, I was not used to spending so much time just for me. Since then, I’ve made a list of Mommy Time Out Menu in which I write a list of things that I know would recharge me back to Life. Make sure that you dig deep in the Word of God as your number one priority on this list. Remember…a true woman is tethered to the Word. (Thanks to Lisa from The Well Grounded Life! for the idea!)
- Incorporate Quick Life-Giving Remedies in Your Schedule. Read the Bible. A daily devotional. Get fresh air everyday. Go out for a walk as often as you can. Bring nature in your house. Talk with your girlfriends. Walk barefoot. Pray. Read. Listen to music. Or an inspiring podcast. Smile. Take a bath. Put on clothes that bring out the best in you. Wear your hair down (or put it up!). Hug your spouse. The list can go on.
- Figure Out How to Do What You Love at Home with Your Family. I love to dance, read, and go out for a walk or a run. I make every effort to do these things with my daughter (and this can apply to our spouses too!), in order that I am able to share my passions with her and she gets to see me do things that I’m really good at, things that make me come alive, things that help me feel the pleasure of God. If what you love seems incompatible with your life at home, think again. You might just find the best absolute bonding moment with your children when you share your passions with them.
- Ask for help. If your day is starting to go really bad and you are in dire need for a break, ask for help. Tell your spouse. Ask your relatives or friends. Tell a trusted friend. Find a way to get the help you need. It’s not a sign of failure. It’s a sign of being human.
- Practice gratitude, regardless of the situation. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of perspective. And giving thanks in all things is a practice in acceptance. Some people call it living in the moment, but on a much deeper level, it’s contentment fleshed out. Sometimes, I really feel the drudgery of the day to day tasks of what I do. And it is in that moment when I most need to practice gratitude. Because it is then that I am able to open up to new possibilities and new way of doing things. In accepting what is, I can then make space for the change that I need to happen.
What about you? Any other ideas to add to this list? I would love to hear how you take care of yourself. You need it, mama!