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.
Connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram or subscribe by email. I can’t wait to connect with you.
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.
photo credit: Pavel P. via photopin cc
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60 thoughts on “Become a Happier Healthier Mom”
I used to work with women with anxiety, depression, and PTSD, and this post sums up exactly what I used to tell my clients. It was step one in the therapeutic process. Such small things can make a HUGE difference in our mental state. Thank you for writing it all down and sharing it so that others can start feeling better.
I have been following the same sort of principals for the last 4 weeks and feel so much better already. The last four weeks have probably been up there with some of the worst in my life but I have found that doing these simple steps has made me more resilient as a whole and have been able to deal with the situations in a much more constructive way. When your 3yr notices the difference you realize how rocky things must have got for a while.
Thank you so much for your honesty and telling your story. It means so much to me and others that will read it. I am so happy that you have found something that is working for you and am happy that you have found a community here!
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This is exactly the advice I share on my blog and in my book, The Rookie Mom’s Handbook. You summed it up perfectly.
The months leading up to the birth of my son and those thereafter, I found the same to be true in order to really feel like I was ‘up and ready’ for the coming days activities. Without having a shower/wash and getting dressed I’d always end up staying in and would slum the entire day away, which fuelled my not so positive mood (not so pleased for my loved ones). I now make every effort to ensure that I am up before my husband and baby; washed, dressed and fed. I’ve also recently joined a local mums group which gets me out and about each week as well as taking early morning walks each day. Simple things really, but by implementing them you really do begin to feel happier and healthier inside and out 🙂
This is why shows like ‘What Not To Wear’ may seem shallow on the surface but really have a meaningful impact on people. Sometimes we just need that first step of ‘fake it till you make it’ and appearance can be a great beginning. We’re much more likely to get out and get social if we’re not mortified by what others might think of our appearance. Thanks for sharing great advice!
Great post- I appreciate your insight. I totally agree with the getting dressed piece. It is amazing how much better I feel when I take the time to wear “nice” clothes (jeans not yoga pants 🙂 and makeup always makes me feel like more than “mommy”.
Great article!! I am a stay at home mom (kids ages 8, 5 and 3). I also notice just opening your blinds up (or spinning them so light shines through) in every room gets me happy and motivated! Thanks!
I do the same thing with the blinds. Lol. Every morning I open all the blinds/curtains. Makes me feel so much better :). I’m glad someone else doze it too.
I have to agree 🙂 opening up my blinds when the sun is bright outside, gets me in a better mood. It helps me get my day going.
This is me at the moment before taking some steps. I needed this! Gonna have to do something before sinking deeper. Thank you!
I’m only 6 weeks pregnant and already feeling depressed. How on earth will I cope with pregnancy, a baby and being a mom? I feel like my life is over 🙁
Finding out ur pregnant is a scary time, but it’s also exciting too!!!! Try to find some good points to focus on, like ur first scan, or the first time baby kicks. And when baby comes along, find some play groups and activities to do. This will give you an incentive to get up in the morning, and keep you social too!! Look online for age relevant activities to do in the house on rainy days too!! Being organised is key- pack ur baby bag at night, it’s one less thing to worry about. Hope this helps. And I hope that you get to enjoy ur pregnancy, because it truly is an amazing thing to experience!! Good luck xx
Your life is not over. You will be just fine. I’ve had some major life-changing experiences in the two years since my child was born. I ended up with no income and my studies to complete and I’ve been depressed and anxious and filled with doubt. I’ve experienced the ‘my life is over’ moment many times. But you have to fight it every time because it is simply not true. Being a mother is still worth it all. Knowing what I know now I still wouldn’t have changed a thing. You’ll be fine and you will love your baby and your baby will love you more than you’ve ever been loved. And before you know it he or she will be 2 years old. Looking at you with pure love in their eyes and your heart will overflow with joy. And your child will sing to you when they should be sleeping but they will be so incredibly cute you won’t even be able to tell them to shut up and go to sleep already. And it is all such a precious gift. It will be hard and you will make mistakes and you will doubt yourself but just keep on going and try to enjoy it all.
I can’t see if somebody replied to you. .. I hope so. Trust me it is all worth it in the end. I had morning sickness throughout my second pregnancy, at random times of the day, but to see our little boys face melted all that annoyance away. Talk to someone. Even just to ask how they felt – if you don’t want to share yet. It’s c amazing how women don’t say what they went through until you ask or mention it. Crazy. . Good luck.
You’re telling about me! but i haven’t hit the rock bottom yet. Thank you so much! After a bad night of going to sleep with my 3yo, it’s nice to read something like this. It’s high time for me to change.
Becoming a mum is so so hard, and such a shock in so many different ways. Some great ideas to help us all cope better. Getting outside was a great way to assist I found…made everything so much better just to get a bit of fresh air in those lungs! Thanks for joining in with the parenting pin it party xx
I have fallen into that funk before. Getting dressed is huge. When I get dressed I want to do things!
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I am going to try this! I’ve been struggling with severe depression since having my son. He’s almost 2 now, and it has been really hard for me and my husband. I hate to think about what it could be doing to my little guy. Thank you for sharing your experience!
Thank you and I hope you get the help and support you need! Let me know if I can help point you anywhere.
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Thank you!!! I needed that so much.
Your article means a lot to me…ive been struggling a lot of being a mom of a 3 yr old boy whos so active,my husband is far away from us so physically its been two years that i raise him alone..though my husband and i never fail a communication a day i still bear my sons very active ways,and have no time for myself anymore reason why i feel that theres no me at all..i gave up everything even just to be a hands on my to my kid i dont even have friends get together for almost 4 years…i dont want this feeling cause slowly i dont feel the happiness of being a human anymore feels like im locked as being a mom and a long distance wife and nothing more..
Thank you so much for sharing. I am so happy that you found this useful! It brings me joy to know that I could help another mom feeling the same way!
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It is truly amazing how much better I feel after a shower. Great advice 🙂
Thank you! So happy it is helpful! Now if I can just follow this daily!
I used to feel depressed, lonely, neglected and alone. I agree with your tips. it really helps to freshen up, make yourself beautiful, treat yourself (I tried shopping, going to spa, going to the salon, eating out, having “me” time, to name a few), and be connected with friends. However, for some reasons there were still times when I still felt depressed and lonely deep inside. I was starting to feel insecure about everything including how I take care of my kids… I thought I would forever be in that situation until I decided to join a zumba class. Joining a zumba class has helped me tremendously. it is very liberating… I always feel good and energetic after the workout. it also makes me feel sexy. now, I seldom feel stressed and I noticed that I seldom lose my patience with my kids. I now spend quality time with them because I don’t feel tired. I no longer think of my depression and insecurities… I just look forward to dancing, being healthier and sexier. I encourage moms like me to give it a try and you will feel and see the difference.
This is EXACTLY how it is for me! It seems that everyone acts like they have it all so together. Thank you for speaking out to those of us that clearly *don’t* have it together.
I just happened to run across the quote that you posted about how only you (myself) can (and needs) to be a Happier Healthier Mom. . . And it was like a slap in the face (that I needed, apparently, to wake the #!@% up!!!)!!! And then I read your advice. . . And was COMPLETELY SHOCKED!!! It could have been ME writing!!! I did not realize that there was another mother on this planet doing those same things!!! (The one about if you dress yourself, the kids ask where we are going! Mine TOO!!! I had to giggle!!!) So! I am going to TRY to follow your five (not so) simple daily steps! I have been stuck in this rut for years now! (I am currently typing away at 2:00pm in my cutest P.J’s! That I affectionately refer to as my “lounge wear”! Lol!) Thank you for putting it all out there. Thank you for making me realize that I am not the only one! And thank you for the much needed “slap in the face”!!! Lol!!! ;*) “♡”
Love it! Thank you for sharing your story with me and my readers! Together we can be strong and get through this!
Thank you for writing this!! I’m a single mom and I work from home. I have an almost non-existent social life so I read your post. I have been trying to follow the five steps for about a week now and on days when I’ve at least marked 4 out of 5, I am happier and more productive. More power to us happy moms!
That is great to hear! I have to remind myself to go through the steps each day too! I do feel so much better when I do!
In addition to these great suggestions, If I open my scriptures in the morning and read, even for 5 minutes, I feel a huge difference in how I cope with the days challenges. I keep my cool better when the kids act out. I have a more positive outlook. So I humbly suggest, take a moment to read something uplifting and feed your soul:)
What a wonderful suggestion! Thank you for adding this!
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Two things that help me be a better mom are nurturing my relationship with the Lord and getting ample sleep. These are all great tips – thanks for the post! We can only be good to those around us when we take care of ourselves first. It seems selfish, but it is actually the loving thing to do. Thanks for the reminder!
Those are great tips too! Thank you!
Great advice, but I’m curious why getting outside every day is stressed. As someone who isn’t a big fan of the outdoors (esp. in this heat in Fl.) I wonder if this would really benefit me? TIA. 🙂
I stressed the importance of getting outside because the sun is one of the best sources of Vitamin D! It is also been shown to improve mild depression.
Thank you. I need reassurance that i’m not the only one from time to time. I dont have many mommy friends so its harder to know its normal. I will start these today and hang up reminders to jelp make this a daily routine. 🙂
These are such good tips! And I admit I am guilty of doing all these things wrong… wearing yoga pants every day, not showering, never wearing makeup, not going outside and not being social enough. It all leads to being depressed… I know better, but as a busy work-at-home mom it can be tough to break those bad habits.
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The thing that keeps me in a great state of mind is being with my horse and riding. Wether it be riding in the outdoor arena or riding out in the woods or fields, being outside enjoying training with him and taking care of him keeps me happy and after a couple of hours with him i feel i can take on the world. Also teaching my students on their horses does me very good. It helps that working with horses is my job, but i’m at home a lot too to care for our two kids. It is about the little things and also about not forgetting about your own favorite things to do, the things that give you passion, that make you feel you exist!
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Are you like me? I feel very impatient with my two boys. Im always yelling “stop!” “Go sit down!” I hate being this way with my kids. I have the mommy blues. No one understands how cluttered my mind is that i forget to even feed myself
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