You may have noticed, these lives we’ve chosen are many wonderful things, but easy isn’t one of them.
If we wait to take care of ourselves until it’s easy, it will never happen, and it is so crucial that we fit this in. CRUCIAL that we make time to take care of Mamma.
Eating right — affects your energy, your mood, your vulnerability to diseases from cancer to diabetes. If you are having trouble staying disciplined, get a text buddy who will join you in ‘fessing up every single thing she is eating, and text each other every bite. Accountability. It works.
Exercise — affects your bone mass, your energy, your mood, and your vulnerability to diseases (cancer and heart disease especially). Join a gym, find a class, get a workout partner — exercise, like so much else, is easier when you are not trying to go it alone. Strength training is especially important for women. Younger Next Year for Women is a hugely funny and brilliantly educational book that details why exercise is so critical. Delightful read. Great information.
Sleep — I know this one is tough because it is, in part, dependent on what the kids did last night. (I’m going on about two hours right now myself; should be an interesting day.) You can catch up on sleep to a certain extent on weekends. Naps are wonderful. Over the course of many sleep deprived years, I have napped on planes, in the chapel at the hospital where I worked, on the floor of my office, and in the back seat of my car in a parking garage. (Isn’t that why cell phones come with those little count-down timers? 20 – 30 minutes, bliss.) I know from past experience, two hours of sleep in one night is not enough for me: there is a nap in my very near future.
Laughter — connecting with great girlfriends, moms, sisters, the great fabric of woman love. Letting go of the stressors long enough to truly enjoy the charming antics of your toddler. Putting down the newspaper or turning off the TV to read a book by Paul Reiser or Bill Bryson. Laughter is good for the body and soul. Seek it out.
Take the time, Mamma. You are the engine that powers your family. Taking care of yourself is taking care of them.
And the irony is that if you take the time to take care of yourself, so much in life gets easier.