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How much time in your busy life do you focus on your own health and beauty?
I know for many moms it’s a neglected area of their lives. Some feel lucky to have a few minutes of peace to take a shower let alone spend any time for exercise or pampering. But there are simple ways moms can sneak in some self care each day.
When Health and Beauty Takes a Backseat
I was like many moms when I became a stay at home mom. I went full steam into my role as a new mom. Every waking minute was spent on either taking care of my daughter or housework. I didn’t really think about taking care of myself very much.
Weight crept onto me a pound here and there onto my already overweight body. Food became my comforter. Now, it’s something I’m working to overcome.
So, I ate, showered, and occasionally threw on makeup when I did get out of the house. My days of trying to learn makeup techniques were behind me. I had more pressing things to attend to. Though I didn’t live in pj’s, I didn’t really think about what I wore a lot either. Ultimately, t-shirts and yoga pants or leggings became the outfit of choice. After a while the whole situation depressed me. I was out of shape and frumpy. Why couldn’t I be a good mom and look nice; did I not have what it takes to be the perfect mom I had formed in my head?
Maybe your story is similar. You face the same situation. You neglect yourself because somewhere you were led to believe that what good moms do. My husband gave my tendency to sacrifice myself for others a name: being a martyr.
In a Huffington Post article, it’s stated that a survey of 8,500 of mothers found 90.4% of these moms take better care of families than themselves. And 25% of them admitted to doing nothing for themselves for over a year.
Moms don’t need to be martyrs to good mothers!
When my husband began using those words, I denied the truth of it. But, I also felt proud of myself. It was like a badge of honor I clinged to. Like, somehow, it made me a better mother and wife to sacrifice for the sake of my family.
Yet, it truth, neglecting our own well being doesn’t nothing good for anyone. When we neglect ourselves, our health, beauty, and happiness is compromised. Staying healthy and pretty isn’t just for ourselves! We need to be healthy for our families. We need to take care of our appearance because we care how we look to our husbands, and want to set an example for our children.
Being a wife, mother, and homemaker are at risk when we don’t make ourselves a priority. When you neglect your health and put on weight, you can’t do things with your family you want to do. It can affect your love life with your spouse. It’s harder to be that example for your children you want to be. It’s even worse with the risk of diabetes, heart disease, etc… potentially shortens your life. You need to care for yourself so you can be here for your family.
Now, my intention isn’t to bring you down, scold you, or make you feel guilty. This is as much as a wake-up call for myself as it is meant to open your eyes and encourage you to start making small, simple changes that will improve you physically, mentally, and emotionally. These will help you and make you a better mother and wife.
Doing Away with Excuses
Before we get to the tips, let’s talk about the elephant in the room: excuses that keep us from moving forward. We all have them and hang on to them tightly like a child who doesn’t want to put her favorite blanket into the washer. Excuses aren’t backed by reality, but by feelings of fear and doubt. We fear change and doubt we can change so we don’t even try. This is where you can lean on God’s promises. Take small steps and before you know it you will have made positive changes in your life.
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13, NKJV)
What are the common excuses? I feel guilty doing it. There isn’t time to do that. I don’t have money to do that.
God didn’t make us mothers to feel guilty for taking care of ourselves. We are mothers to nurture, love, and show them the joy of being a mother. If everything we do is marred by guilt, our role as mothers comes across as an unhappy burden, not a gift. And, that guilt for taking fifteen extra minutes to fix your hair is false guilt.
You’re not sinning by taking care of yourself. It isn’t vanity to want to look presentable at home or at the grocery store. When you care for yourself you’re honoring God’s creation. He gave you that body. It’s your duty to care for it.
We fill our days with activity until we have no time for basics. Don’t feel as if you must enroll your kids in a multitude of activities. Or fill your own schedule with stuff. Look at your life and consider where you time is spent.
What things are using time up without any benefit? I realized I spend too much time on social media, binge watching tv shows, and playing games on my tablet or computer. It’s not that stuff should completely removed, merely limited.
You children don’t need to be signed up for multiple clubs, sports, and lessons until you spend more time running from place to place than spending quality time together. Get them involved in things at home that can help you be closer and save you time. Teach them to help with daily chores. Bring them in the kitchen to help prepare meals. You’ll get rid of a lot stress and decrease your workload while getting closer with your children. It’s a win win!
Lastly, many of the tips below don’t take any additional time. You replace one thing in your life for another.
From personal experience of being a stay at home living on one income, I understand what it’s like to feel you have no money to change your life. However, there are ways to make your money situation better when you’re trying to make your own wellness a priority.
First of all, some changes you make can save you money. Money that can be freed up for things you might need to take better care of yourself. (Remember, don’t be a martyr here and use the money to buy your child a new toy.)
The same way you look at how you spent your time, look at how you spend your money. If you eat out fast food every week, change it to a fast and easy meal at home. You save money and eat healthier. Downgrade the cable services so you waste less time binging tv.
Create a budget to control your spending. Plan ahead meals and shopping to save money. Give yourself a “just for me” allowance. Use it to pamper yourself. Even a small allowance when money is tight can let you get something to pamper yourself.
Don’t let these excuses get in the way of better health and beauty.
Health and Beauty Tips to Be a Better Mom
Get Enough Rest
Moms are often sleep deprived. Especially with babies, it’s hard to get a good night’s sleep. Making sleep a priority will improve your health, mood, and reduce stress. Can’t sleep enough at night? Take a nap the same time your little ones do or before your children come home from school, depending on their ages. A 15 minute nap can do wonders after a busy morning around the house.
Drink More Water
Dehydration causes headache and fatigue. Replacing soda or diet drinks for water can help you lose weight and decrease toxins in your body. Adding lemon to water has been found to help boost metabolism, too. Also, water can improve your complexion and mood. It aids in brain function and memory. Remember 8×8 – eight 8oz. glasses a day.
Don’t Skip Breakfast
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It sets your body up for the duties ahead. Make healthy food choices that are high protein and nutrients to give your body the energy you need to get through the day. The better you eat, the better you’ll feel and look. Bad nutrition affects your skin, hair, nails, and every other part of you.
As with breakfast, make some changes in your food choices. Opt away from processed foods. Planning ahead you can prepare meals that are healthy and save your family money. You can decide rather to make a big shift in your diet or take little steps. Either way, any changes will benefit you.
Keep Healthy Snacks Around
And keep the unhealthy stuff out of the house. If all you have is chips, candy, and snack cakes to munch on, that’s what you’ll grab. Instead, prepare some healthier choice ahead of time in the fridge and snack bowl that you can eat anytime without feeling guilty. Nutrient rich snacks like fruit, nuts, whole grains, and veggies help you have the energy needed to get through your day.
Get Some Exercise & Fresh Air
Spend some time outside each day. Being in fresh air and sunlight is relaxing and provides you with needed vitamin D that aids in preventing depression. Walking is one of the most simple and lost cost ways to get exercise. It helps you lose and control weight, keep muscle tone, and help joints stay flexible. Or spend time playing with the kids outdoors, you not only get some air and exercise, you get some quality fun time with your kids, too.
Have a Quiet Time
You may not consider keeping a quiet time for prayer and Bible reading a health benefit. But, having a quiet time allows you time to relax, refocus, and regroup. This aid in your health. Plus, the peace and joy you feel shows in your mood which can be seen in your expression. Your whole body reacts differently to the challenges of the day. Less stress also means fewer worry lines!
Just a few minutes quiet with God each day, praying and reading the Bible is of great benefit both spiritually and all other areas of your life.
Take a Soak In the Tub
Taking a warm bath before bed has several benefits in addition to calming and relaxing you to aid in sleep. A bath with Epsom salts improves heart and circulatory health, improves the body’s use of insulin, removes toxins, improve oxygen and nutrient absorption, aids formation in joints and brain tissues, and supplements the body with magnesium which has many benefits for the body. It’s also been found to aid in weightloss.
Add lavender essential oil to help you relax and fall asleep easier. Just 12 minutes in the tub with 2 cups of Epson salts and you’ll be healthier and more rested.
Remove Chemicals From Your Home
Chemicals from cleaners, detergents, plastics, etc. are potential hazards to our health. They are absorbed by our bodies and can cause health problems. For example, many plastics used are called “obesogens” causing obesity and other side effects. Children and pregnant women as most at risk.
Studies are questioning if BPA-free products release chemicals with more estrogenic activity than BPA-containing products, also known to produce estrogenic activity. The more natural you go with your cleaners, soaps, bath and body care products, and foods, the more you can decrease the risks to your health.
Have a simple beauty regime
It can be the simplest of things you do to take care of yourself. A daily shower followed with body lotion for your skin. A gentle cleanser and moisturizer for your face. And a quick and easy hairstyle. This isn’t about quantity with a counter filled with products. It’s quality time spent on the most important of health and beauty steps.
What are your biggest beauty challenges? Find a simple way you can help that in a few minutes a day. Think less is more: basic care for skin, hair, and nails. Just having these will have a great impact on your appearance and self-image. And when it comes to makeup, it’s the same: a simple but effective way to do your makeup in a few minutes. Smooth out your skin tone. Add a little color to your cheeks, lids, and lips.And then, finish off with mascara and finishing powder.
Build a Wardrobe
Just because you’re a mom doesn’t mean you can’t look and feel pretty. Goes through your closet and weed out stuff that doesn’t fit, you never wear, or is worn out. Yea, I mean those yoga pants with the holes around the waist band. (I still miss those, but I’m glad I tossed them, really.) Take a look at what’s left. You need some comfortable at-home clothes that are presentable enough to open the door when needed. And, some clothes for when you go out, too.
Comfy jeans can fit in both. A cute sweater can go over a top. Don’t be afraid to branch out in styles you’ve been wishing you could wear. The same way you like to dress your kiddos up cute, you can dress up pretty, too, even at home. Fun tops, a maxi dress in bright prints, a pair of embroidered jeans with a favorite sweater. Just because you’re a stay at home mom doesn’t mean you can’t look great doing it. Love leggings? Then wear a pretty top with them. You can be comfortable without feeling like a hot mess.
Save money when looking for new clothes by selling your unwanted clothes on ThredUp. You can shop for some great deals there, too. Check local consignment or charity shops. Sometimes they have brand new with tag clothes for a steal! Look for quality pieces you can mix and match to stretch your wardrobe further.
We were meant to take of ourselves in order to better care for our families. It’s a foundation on which all we do is built upon: how we raise our children, how we love our husband, and all we do in life. When we’re neglect ourselves, everything else starts to fall apart. Every excuse is just an excuse, not the truth. And, the simplest changes creates big improvements to ourselves and those around us.
I pray this has been a blessing to you.
Check out this great video by Becky of A Place to Nest! Fits perfectly with ideas I’ve shared today.