This article first appeared on the Urban Moonshine Blog. Reposted with permission.
Mindful mamas, we see you. You’re protecting and providing for your baby every minute of the day. And constantly researching the best for your family. You’re navigating an unsteady world while providing balance for those you care about most. You are a superwoman.
And if you’re feeling run-down, it’s no wonder! You do a lot.
Resilience is defined as the ability to adapt and cope with stressful situations. You can think of resilience like a big jug of water. We dip into this supply of water when any stressful situation arises. The greater the stress, the more “water” we use. So throughout the day, the level of water goes down. And most of the time that jug gets refilled naturally – when we rest, for example.
However, in times of prolonged stress, our level of resilience gets lower and lower. It becomes more difficult to replenish fully, especially when compounded with sleep deprivation. As a result, we feel run-down in addition to being tired.
This is totally normal and happens to almost everyone at one time or another. Even a superwoman. The good news is that you can support your resilience with self-care.
I think of self-care as a tool to strengthen resilience. Approaching it in this way allows for it to be a priority. For me, the biggest challenge is to shake off the notion that self-care is somehow frivolous; a waste of time that could be better spent knocking things off my to-do list.
But the reality is that you are the only one who can prioritize your self-care. And really, your to-do list will sit there and wait patiently for you.
So here are some basic self-care tips for you mindful mamas. You should strive to do the following sans children so you can concentrate on yourself. This can increase your resilience, uplift your spirits, and help you to enjoy life’s journey even more.
Plan a time every week to spend with a dear friend or small group of friends. Our own resilience is increased by simply remembering that we are loved and supported. And even being a supportive listener is beneficial for us. Laughing, crying, letting our guard down, being silly – these are all constructive stress releases, and serve to fill our tanks right back up!
You might be thinking: “I move all day every day!” However, the type of movement I’m suggesting is more deliberate. Take 10-15 minutes and go for a walk outside alone. Or put on some fun music and have a dance party for one. The point of moving deliberately is to give your brain a break from thinking while releasing some endorphins, which elevates your mood.
And by setting a goal to move for only 10 minutes a day, you have more flexibility to fit it into your ever-changing schedule. The simplicity of this goal sets you up for success!
As you prepare for bed, take some extra time that is just for you. Relax in a bath with a washcloth over your eyes. Anoint your body in precious, relaxing oils. Spend extra time brushing your hair, and admiring yourself. Appreciate your remarkable body in every step of its evolution.
An easy at-home spa treatment is the oil cleansing method for your face. It takes 10 minutes, and feels so good! Simply massage a cleansing oil (this one is my favorite!) onto a dry face in circular motions. Concentrate on releasing tension carried in the jaw. Once you’re finished, use a wet, warm washcloth to steam open pores and gently remove oil and dirt from your face.
(Not familiar with the oil cleansing method? More information here.)
Take care of your gut! Digestion and emotion are closely connected. Yet when we’re feeling run-down we don’t often think of our GI tract.
Lastly, don’t forget to support your nervous system. UM’s Simmer Down Tonic contains adaptogens that help support a mellow mood without slowing you down. In other words, it won’t sedate you – instead it helps your body rise to the challenge, stand tall, and recharge your superpowers!
Do you have advice for mindful mamas? Leave them in the comments below!