I talk a lot about finding your "happy". And what do I mean? Basically, it's self-care. I am talking about that thing you love to do. That thing that lifts your mood, makes you feel happy and gets those endorphins going. For some it's yoga, others it's running, some of you are rock climbing enthusiast, maybe it's martial arts or power walking. Whatever it is, you are passionate about it. You might not have as much time for it these days, but it's your happy nonetheless.
Well, for me..it's powerlifting. That picture above is me about to deadlift 330 pounds.
I got into lifting heavy a few years ago, when another strong mom said to me, "just go heavier". That's the only guideline she gave me, so I began to increase the amounts of weight I lifted. Later, when I realized that to lift heavy, I better know what I'm doing, I consulted with a powerlifting coach and read some books on correct form and programming for lifting heavy. A year or so later, someone heard me saying I was a "powerlifter" and he said, "You can't call yourself a powerlifter unless you've done a meet." Well, that was challenge enough for me to attend a meet and eventually to register to compete. I've been competing now for the last three years and have held state records for my lifts.
As a mother of four and a busy birth and parenting educator, this is what helps me stay focused, balanced and fills my happy vessel.
Finding your happy is the most self-less thing you can do.
As mothers, you're filling a bunch of roles. Lots! You are daughter, may be a sibling as well, you're a worker, a mother, may be a partner to someone, you're a nurturer, a doctor to your little one, a listening ear to a friend, a house keeper (how many times a day are we picking up toys?? a million?), you carry your child, entertain, feed your family, caregiver...and so on. You get the picture. You're doing a lot.
And in the many things that you do for others -- how much are you doing for yourself? Are you spending any time being all about you? Because if not, I highly encourage you to!
Studies after studies have shown that self-care reduces stress and promotes well-being. While some may think of self-care as being "selfish", it's anything but that. In fact self-care is probably one of the most self-less things you'll do. Because while making time for yourself, you're balancing your emotions and well being to the point of being able to care better for others.
But, how do you make the time for it??
Quite simply...you prioritize it. You've found time for everyone else in your life. Now, you find time for you. I know, I know sounds so easy right? And in reality, you're probably thinking "yeah right!". Well, ok, let's figure this out.
Ideally, you need to do these things on your own. Not having to take your child(ren) with you, so that your main focus is YOU and you alone. But, if that's not possible, there are many ways to include the kiddos into what you do. There are groups like Stroller Strides, yoga studios with childcare, gyms also with childcare and/or you can go on a hike/walk and bring your kiddo.
Other ways to make sure you are able to get self-care through an activity you love, is by having an open and honest discussion with your partner. Your partner can stay with the children some evenings or weekend hours so that you are able to fill your vessel doing something you love. Again, keep in mind that by doing so, you're going to be able to care for them better than if you never make time for yourself.
But, basically...you make it happen. You make you just as important as everyone else you care for and you make the time. If you need more tips on how to do that, just email me and I'll help you figure it out. I've said it over and over again, by mothers caring for themselves, by everyone around mothers caring for her, we care for the entire community. Find your happy.
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