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Life-Giving: imparting, or having the ability to impart, life or vitality; invigorating; vitalizing.
Being a stay at home mom and homemaker is a major blessing. There’s nothing in the world that I’d rather be doing, however it’s also an incredibly draining and demanding job. Learning to take care of yourself FIRST, so that you can care for your family SECOND is so important. If you’re constantly feeling drained, irritated and distracted as a homemaker, then think through these life-giving habits and see if you need to prioritize self-care a little bit more.
Get Enough Sleep
Being tired is a huge trigger for anger, short fuses and general grumpiness. No one wants a grumpy mom or wife, so make sure that you’re getting 8-9 hours of sleep when possible. (Obviously, there are seasons as a mom when this simply isn’t possible). Create a simple evening routine that helps you to relax, put the screens down and get to bed at a decent hour.
When you eat junk, you’re bound to feel like junk. Make eating nutritious foods a priority. Fill up on whole foods such as protein (grilled chicken, eggs, cheese, peanut butter, beans, etc.), fruits, vegetables and healthy carbs (brown rice, quinoa, oats, whole grain breads and pastas). Do yourself a favor and skip processed foods as much as you can. Also, skip sugary drinks and make sure you’re getting enough water everyday.
Daily exercise doesn’t have to be something you groan about doing every day. Pick something easy that you can do with your kids or while they are playing and work it into your daily routine. Go on a walk, go to the park, walk on a treadmill, do an exercise DVD at home, dance with your kids, pull weeds, jog, do Pilates, whatever motivates you JUST GET MOVING!
Spend Time Outside
Being cooped up indoors all day is a good recipe for stress, anxiety and going stir crazy. Make it a priority for you and your kids to spend at least an hour a day outside (weather permitting). It’s a great way to get vitamin D, exercise, fresh air and a clear head. Spending time outside is a great way to de-stress and relax, so make it a habit!
Spend Time with God
You can’t pour from an empty cup. This means that you can’t serve your family with patience, goodness and kindness if you’re not first filling yourself up with the Word and time with God on a daily basis. This doesn’t have to be complicated. Just commit to reading one chapter of the bible per day and spending a few additional minutes in prayer. You will feel so much calmer and it will make taking care of your family easier.
Read and Listen to Uplifting Things
It’s easy to let social media suck up all of our downtime, but is that really serving us in the long run? I don’t know about you, but after spending awhile on my phone I normally feel irritable. There’s a better way to spend your time. Make sure that you’re reading or listening to things that encourage, inspire and build you up on a regular basis. These things will leave you feeling refreshed and at peace, instead of drained. Choose reading material that pours into you instead of pouring yourself into your phone or computer.
Build Empty Space Into Your Day
We’ve lost the art of simply being in our culture. It seems we’re always going and doing with little to no downtime. I don’t know about you, but always moving or looking at a screen and never stopping to just be is incredibly draining. Pick a time of day where you have no distractions, put on calming music, turn off the lights and just lay down and rest. Keep your thoughts at bay and just BE. It’s an incredibly refreshing practice. It doesn’t have to be for a long period of time. Start with 10 minutes and see how you feel afterwards. I bet you will feel calmer and more peaceful.
Have a Creative Outlet
You can’t just clean, cook and take care of kids all day, you must have a creative outlet that relaxes, refreshes and is something that you look forward too. This could be anything from blogging, to crocheting, to drawing. Find something you love and do it on a regular basis. Your family will thank you.
Keep a Routine
Having a well planned day with positive routines in place can be the difference between a stressed out mom or a peaceful mom. Take the time to write out what tasks must be completed each day (take care of children, cook meals, clean, etc.) and then make a list of your priorities (spend time with God, spend time with children, spend time outdoors, read daily, drink water, etc.) and create a routine that includes them all. Once you get into the habit of doing something at a certain time each day, it becomes easy and your life will be much less stressful.
I don’t know about you, but the more I’m in front of a screen, the more drained I feel and the more likely I am to snap at my family. Try to set limits on the amount of screen time your family gets, including yourself. Make it a habit to look at what’s going on around you instead of what’s going on online. Put your phone down and live life. This isn’t going to happen naturally. Set limits as a family and stick with them. I guarantee you will feel calmer and happier for it.
What would you add to the list? I’ve love to know!