All the bills are due, your paycheck was short since little Johnny picked up the flu (and we all know it came from the daycare, right?), the jeans that fit great last month are the same ones you struggled to pull across your hips this week, and the guy you were interested in changed his Facebook status to “In a relationship” (insert heavy eye roll)! To say you’re stressed would be an understatement, and yet you’re still expected to show up as a PTA President with a great big smile. Ha!
Listen, I get it sis! As women, we often like to think of ourselves as invincible, especially single women with children. The harsh reality is, in the chaos of juggling life as a single mother, we somehow forget we need quality time with ourselves. Yep, that’s right! We get overwhelmed, overbooked, and mistakenly end up under-serving the queen herself. Even as a somewhat established ” almost 30-year-old,” I struggle with not taking on too much. Its so tempting to say yes to the kid’s birthday party and hosting your best friend’s baby shower in the same day ( I really tried this…I failed).
Our bodies tell us when we are doing THE MOST ladies! Mine certainly told me over the summer when I was stressed with working full-time job, getting a business off the ground, finishing coursework, attending summer camp meetings, chauffeuring my daughter around the great metropolis of Houston, and trying to arrange lunch with the few friends I have left! I literally passed out from overexertion. So I need you all to really learn from me and take care of YOU!
Here are some creative ways to incorporate self-care into your busy schedule that have helped me tremendously:
- Begin your day with meditation. The quiet time and relaxing breathing patterns will set the tone for your entire day. If you’re not familiar with meditation, it may be difficult at first to sit still and clear your mind of all thoughts, so start small. I attended a local wellness center meditation class to introduce myself to the practice. The instructor suggested I begin with 10 minutes and increase from there. I committed to Mon-Fri and by hump day, I was up to 45 minutes. Turn on your Spotify and follow the meditation playlist. Pinterest is a great place to get a quick guide as well as apps like Calm and Headspace. I wake up a bit earlier now, however I am supercharged for what the day may bring.
- Verbally Affirm Yourself. Write or print words and phrases that describe the woman you aspire to become. Read them aloud daily and BELIEVE the words you say! Post them all around your house, office, car…everywhere this way you will unconsciously reinforce those declarations. Try sneaking affirmations in the last few minutes of meditation.
- Exercise. Look, I know it’s not usually fun however, oddly enough getting your heart pumping is a great mood booster due to the increase in serotonin released. A quick 10 minutes or less routine, which may again be found on Pinterest, is sure to give you an extra hop in your step.
- Take a Real Lunch Break. Release the mouse and back away from your cubicle. Go have a real lunch with a colleague friend, or YOURSELF! Disconnect your mind from the reports due and the team project that you seem to be completing all the research on. Do not work through lunch. Do not have lunch at your desk. Take a walk, read a few chapters in a book you want to finish, so long as you enjoy your mini getaway.
These are just a few of my favorites. Comment and let me know how you feel after you devote some self-care to your daily routine. Your sanity depends on it.
Everyone will always expect you to show up for some event, make sure you are presenting YOUR BEST YOU! – Briana R.