Being a mom, I constantly battle to find and keep balance in my life. I’m pulled in a thousand different directions, trying to focus on being a mother, a wife, a sister, a friend, a leader, a colleague, a creative, and a do-gooder. Add the seven thousand other job requirements of a mother (doctor, counselor, chef, driver, negotiator, dog walker, housekeeper, the list goes on and on) and it can be pretty exhausting.
Here’s a reality that I thankfully learned very early on; I have to take care of myself or I won’t be any good for anyone else. It’s important for me to find ways to stay connected to the things I love, including myself.
Everyone’s life looks different, and I’m certainly not suggesting you add things to your plate that will stress you out. I just want to share with you three tiny and SIMPLE things I’ve started doing that have radically changed my day because they keep me grounded, grateful, and happy.
- Wake up and write down three things you are grateful for. I know this sounds a little hokey, but starting your day being gracious in your life instead of worried about it truly sets the tone for your entire day. Keep a notebook by your bed. This task takes under a minute and will give you a moment to reflect on WHY you are doing all the things you do. Our WHY is what keeps us going when we are exhausted, burnt out, and undone. Beginning your day with these things at the front of your mind is a game changer and allows you to handle the day’s “lows” with more patience and ease.
- Give a genuine compliment to someone every day. Not “oh you look great.” That’s too generic. Something like, “hey I wanted to tell you that I really think the way you handled situation XYZ was awesome. Just wanted you to know I noticed.” Being given a specific compliment can be life-changing for a person. Most of us go through our days having no idea how we influence and impact people. If someone did something that impacted you, tell them. It can change their whole day and inspire them many years after the compliment was given. Jim Carrey once said, “the effect you have on others is the most valuable currency there is.” What an incredibly true statement. You’ll quickly find that the better you make someone else’s day, the better your day becomes.
- Sign up for an audiobook service. I find that the more and more I add to my plate, the harder it is to read for pleasure. The book app AUDIBLE completely changed that for me and has given me the freedom to catch up on books when I’m running to pick up my child, to meetings, on road trips, on a walk, whenever. It’s allowed me to maintain the amount of reading I would like to do, while also taking away the stress of carving out time for “one more thing.” This advice may sound silly, but it’s critical that you stay connected to the things you love. Reading is a love of mine, and technology has given me back some time to read that responsibility has taken away.
We as mothers need to stop apologizing for taking care of ourselves. I encourage you all to find one small thing this week that will help improve your day and add it to your daily life. We need to take care of ourselves and each other. Our children are watching us, and we need them to know that self-care, gratitude, and kindness are priorities in our lives so they will make it a priority in theirs. Keep up the good work ladies, you’re awesome.