We all know how it is. You’re juggling kids, organizing the home, as well as maybe full or part-time work and it can feel like it all fits together the same way a day job fits in with a night job – that is, leaving you no time at all for yourself. Especially with winter on the way, it’s so important to try and carve out a little time for yourself, to avoid getting run down, stressed and not being able to enjoy any of the fabulous holidays the season has to offer – Halloween (always fun with the little ones), Thanksgiving, and, of course, Christmas!
It’s far from selfish to take some time for you – remember, a relaxed mom is the best mom, and your stress or nerves can make your kids fractious. Here you can read some ways to squeeze in a little mindfulness, and a few easy and cost-effective ways to live your best life this fall.
Let the Outside In
It goes without saying that when it starts getting darker earlier and the sun takes its time to get up in the morning (not unlike a reluctant teenager!) you can feel very demotivated. Now might be a good time to think about letting as much light as possible into your living spaces. With an Olympia Window, you can choose from a huge range of options, to brighten up rooms that are feeling a little gloomy and maximise your time with the daylight.
Vitamin D is one of the most crucial ones for your body – it helps regulate your calcium and phosphate to keep muscles, teeth and bones healthy. The best way of getting vitamin D is through direct sunlight but sometimes the cold can stop you spending as much time outside as you might want to during the winter months. Letting light into your home and upsizing your windows could be the answer.
And while you’re thinking about light, there are also a huge range of sun lamps available, which can provide you with some much-needed rays during the darkest of months. A sun lamp will mimic natural light on days where the sun just won’t break through, and so you can get some of the positive effects of the daylight even when the weather outside is miserable. Sun lamps have also been said to help with sleep – we all know screens before sleep have been linked to difficulty both getting and staying asleep. At this time of year in particular, it may be worth considering an alarm clock which gradually brightens your room, slowly bringing you out of REM sleep and waking you at a more natural point in your sleep cycle.
If the idea of going to bed without your phone fills you with dread, try turning off or logging out of social media apps, like Facebook and Instagram, which are designed to stimulate you and keep you scrolling. Instead, take a mindfulness or meditation app to bed, like Calm, which can help soothe you before you drift off to sleep.
Health and Wellbeing
Get drinking! And that means water, not wine, tempting though it might be! You can put a mark on your water bottle showing how much you want to have drunk at each point in the day. That way you won’t find yourself feeling daunted and looking at a whole liter of water – instead you can break it up into more manageable sips throughout the day. Hydrating will keep your skin and hair nourished, especially as it gets colder and these can dry out more easily.
Take a moment to breathe. Not only will this calm you down and regulate your heartbeat but can activate neurons in your brain telling your body it is time to calm down. The Calm app, mentioned before, can remind you when it is time to do something for yourself and give yourself some time. There are other resources online – Yoga with Adriene is a great example – which provide short videos which are accessible and encourage people of all abilities to try some breathing techniques through yoga and mindfulness. The videos are for all skill levels, from complete beginners to those who are more advanced, and Adrienne is a calm and patient teacher. Check out meditation videos if yoga itself isn’t really your bag!
It’s so easy to keep telling yourself that you don’t have time for you, and busy moms are likely to put other people’s needs above and beyond their own. But just remember that you can’t look after anyone else if you can’t look after yourself.