The #1 Way to Improve Your Family Life!
As a wife, mom of two, and full time coach/entrepreneur, I constantly struggle to manage the responsibilities of my home life. Every day, I work hard to fight the frustration of my house being a wreck, getting the kids to school on time, not being there for my husband, falling short with friends, etc! The list goes on and on! Often, I find that in being so pressed for time, I have let myself go in order to make up for my shortcomings. There are days when I'll stress myself out, and forgo a workout, or skip my AM devotional time when I'm running behind. And it never fails that when i make the "sacrifice" to catch up, I end up putting myself farther behind the ball.
I've realized now more recently that the very best way I can take care of, and love on my family is to first care for and love on myself! I think it's so hard for women, to prioritize time for self care. We regularly get caught up in putting the needs of others before our own. I think that's due in large part to society's expectations for women to be caregivers, empathetic, selfless, organized, flawless, and perfect! Pretty much, we're expected to be superwomen! It takes a great deal of effort for me to break that mindset and prioritize regular self-care. But when I do, I've found that my mood improves, I handle stress better, I'm more patient, and I sleep better! These are just a few of the parameters I've tracked that increase with regular self care! These improvements translate to a better home life for me because I'm a better wife and mom!
So how do we go about promoting regular self-care and self love? Here are a three simple steps I took (and honestly am still working on to make regular practice) to promote more consistent self-care/self love in my life:
Physically reserve time in your schedule/calendar in the AM and the PM (at least 20 minutes each) for uninterrupted journaling and/or meditation to start and end your day. This was a game-changer for me because it gave me the chance to dump all of the thoughts (positive and negative) that loaded my brain and caused stress! This practice also helps me to get more organized and intentional with my time because once I can dump thoughts out on paper and meditate with positive affirmations (usually in my case scripture), I have a more peaceful and clearer sense of purpose. And when you have a sense of purpose, you ultimately have more joy, and that makes for a better version of you for your family!
Practice saying a quick "No" and a slow "Yes" to things that take up a large portion of your time. This was really hard for me at first because I'm naturally a people pleaser. But once I started doing more to protect my time (ie making sure I thought beforehand about how certain commitments would impact my life, and whether the time commitment carried benefits that outweighed the costs) I found that I had more time to allocate to the people and things that were most important to me. This step takes a lot of practice, and will definitely be uncomfortable in the beginning. However, once you put it into practice regularly, you'll see the benefits!
Everyday, prioritize 20-30 minutes of some physical activity that you enjoy. When you do, you'll not only feel better, but you'll sleep better. In addition, the endorphins released from physical activity will increase your positive mood. I love to work out, so when I don't, I feel sub-par. Ideally, I'd love to dedicate hours to training daily. But the reality is that sometimes, life only allots 30 minutes. It was hard for me to accept this at first because I thought, either I get my full 2 hour session in or nothing. But I've come to realize that a little goes a long way, and that consistency far outweighs quantity of time for my workouts.
I hope these steps will help you get back on track to prioritizing self-care and self love! Starting them will not only yield direct benefits for you, but it will also translate to significant improvements for your family and those you love the most!