10 Great Habits Of Healthy & Happy Mothers
Written by James Kicinski-McCoy
Photography by Photographed by Kisha Bari
As moms, it seems we never stop moving. It’s this go-go-go lifestyle that ends up running us down and putting our once healthy lifestyles on the back-burner. The truth is, you can’t properly take care of anyone else if you’re not taking care of yourself. As this rings true for us, we wanted to list some of the best habits to help keep you mamas healthy and happy. Many of these are common-sense, no-brainers, but if you’re not able to check them off your list, here’s a reminder, so you can add them back into your daily routine.
Stay Active. There’s a reason why doctors recommend regular exercise—it’s not only important to keep your heart, body, and mind strong, but according to the American Psychological Association it also dramatically helps to keep stress levels down. Make no excuses when it comes to getting active—a simple walk around the neighborhood after dinner, a light, fun routine with the teens, or even hitting up a park with the kids to play tag or hide-and-go-seek are all great ways to sneak in some much-needed movement.
Eat Breakfast. It’s true—breakfast is the most important meal of the day. We all know how difficult it can be to squeeze it in, but the first meal is essential for moms—especially those who are breastfeeding. Eating within the first half hour of being awake revs up your metabolism and keeps you going strong throughout the day. Try quick, filling breakfasts like boiled eggs, overnight oats, chia pudding, all-natural granola and yogurt, or protein-packed smoothies.
Take Your Vitamins. It can be next-to-impossible to eat perfectly balanced meals when you have a million places to be and things to do (unless you’re supermom, and in that case, tell us your secrets)! That’s why it’s important to supplement with vitamins and minerals you might miss throughout the day. Find a good multi-vitamin or drink your essentials with cold-pressed green juices.
Routine, Routine, Routine. Your kids aren’t the only ones who need to be on a set schedule every day. Routines ensure that priorities are set and accomplished at the end of the day—and on time (and we all know how great that feels)! Create a weekly schedule that works for you and your family and try to really stick to it. This will not only help keep you organized, but will also promote a sense of calmness and control, something we all could use more of.
Sleep Well. This is a no-brainer, but if you’re not sleeping, there’s a good chance your moods, stress levels, appetite, and life in general are feeling a little off. No one functions well as a zombie—not even you, mama. Like above, make and stick to a schedule that includes your bedtime. Getting in the habit of turning in for the night at the same time helps to set your body’s clock and you’ll soon power down and power up simultaneously everyday. For those who need a little extra help, try turning off brain-stimulants like TV, computers, and smart phones, reading a book, and dimming lights low an hour before bed. You can also try an all-natural sleep aid like Melatonin to help wind-down.
Get Your “Me Time”. Whether it’s reading a chapter (or two, if you’re lucky!) during your morning coffee or soaking up a much-needed quiet bath after the kids are in bed, make sure you’re getting a dose of quiet-time each day. Even if you’ve only find 5-minutes in your day, take that time to close your eyes, meditate, and tune everything out for a few minutes and allow your mind to reset—it helps!
Meal Prep. Don’t let the idea intimidate you—meal prepping can be fairly easy and you will thank yourself in the days to come. Not only does it help families stay on budget while shopping, but also ensures your kids are consuming vitamin-rich, whole foods throughout the week. Plan and prep everything from breakfasts, lunches, and dinners over the weekend and you’ll find yourself with quite a bit of extra time during the week and more time to relax.
Promote Good Behavior. We know your little one’s health is most important in your mind, but ultimately, if you don’t feel good, you can’t take care of your #1(s). Don’t put things off just because you “don’t have time” or “it’ll be fine”. What you do mirrors on to your kids, so go see the doctor for sicknesses and check-ups, get your yearly dental cleanings, wear sunscreen, wear your seatbelt, eat well, and so on.
Family Time. With careers, school, activities, errands, and more, it’s important to carve out time each day to check-in with the family and just be together. Plan a family game night, movie night, go for a walk, talk, and find one meal a day where everyone sits around the table together for a family meal. Most families try to have regular family dinners, while some make family breakfast their mainstay, due to sporadic schedules. However you find time, make sure you do, because time flies and those precious family moments are precious.
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