Being a mom is hard. It can be such a busy lifestyle full of wiping noses, making lunches, and guiding children that we lose ourselves. In fact, for some, days begin to pass by before you might even realize that you are not your happiest, healthiest self anymore. We may slip into a mom funk, begin yelling at our kids, or even worse become depressed. For me, it was a mix of all of the above, and that is they I knew I needed to find a way to be a happier mom.
After realizing that I was not in a good place, I decided something needed to change. Something had to be different.
For my children, I needed to be a happier me.
For my husband, I needed to be a healthier me.
Most of all, for myself, I needed to be a happier, healthier me!
After hitting rock bottom, I decided one thing I could change immediately was my daily routine. Along with making an appointment to see a doctor, talking to others about my depression, and finding support, I came up with 5 steps I would follow every day to try to become a better me.
I know, I know this sounds so basic. We all get dressed, right? Wrong.
I had fallen into the habit of wearing my pajamas all day, every day or my comfy clothes (yoga pants, tank tops, etc). Can you picture it? Yeah, it had gotten to the point that my children would ask if I was going somewhere if I had actual clothes on.
So step one: Get Dressed. Put on real clothes. At least one real piece of clothing a day. Maybe a nice shirt, maybe some jeans that make you feel good, maybe even a skirt.
Again, basic right?
Maybe you are not like me. But I struggle to get up before the children and take care of me. I have a short amount of time to get everything done before three little people need my attention for the rest of the day.
So, for me, this step includes feeling fresh. Even if that just means splashing my face with water and cleaning my face before I start the day.
Update: Since starting with essential oils, I also start my day with a quick pick me up of citrus fresh or lemon essential oil. It brightens my mood and gets me ready to face the day.
I am not talking about getting ready to go out for that girls night or date night with the hubs. No.
I am talking about making yourself feel good. Do one thing that is not in your normal routine. For me, that means putting on contacts, using lip gloss, actually fixing my hair instead of putting it in a bun, or putting on a favorite piece of jewelry.
My goal is to do just one of these things each day, and maybe over time, who knows… I might actually add in some more.
Yep. That simple.
Step outside. Take a deep breath. Feel the air on your face. Listen to the sounds around you and take a minute to just relax.
As a bonus, take a walk. Go around the block, take the kids to the park, go to an outdoor cafe. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that you get outside. EVERY DAY!
Call someone. I know, as busy moms we get caught up in the hustle and bustle. We have this appointment and that to go to. We keep ourselves full of things to do.
Take a minute. Call a friend. You don’t have to talk long. I have a new phrase “I just wanted you to know I was thinking about you.” That’s all. You would be amazed at how good it feels to just have a 2-5 minute call with someone about nothing. You feel connected. You feel happy.
For the last two weeks, I have been trying to follow this routine. You know something? It works. These simple steps actually do make me feel better. They are a step in the right direction. I feel like a happier mom. There have been days where I have allowed myself to get too busy to take care of these 5 basic steps and I feel it. I notice my mood slipping, I notice my inability to remain calm.
Do you have a routine that keeps you happier? Do you have simple daily activities that you need to keep you grounded? I would love to hear more about them.
Please note: I wrote that there is a difference between depression and the mommy blues. It is serious and something that we should not take lightly. If you feel like your funk or slump is more than just the blues, I strongly urge you to take it seriously and find the support you need. Feel free to write to me, leave a comment, or message me on Facebook. If you feel your need is immediate, I urge you to call the Crisis Help Line 800-233-4357. No problem is too small.