By Kelsey Fields, fitness enthusiast and boy mom to Max and baby boy on the way
January has come and gone, probably taking with it your motivation to hit the gym. I get it, life gets in the way.
All sorts of activities are starting up for the kids, your workload is heavy from the recent holiday and on top of that, you have to make time with your husband a priority!
Here’s the thing–and I know you’ve heard it a million times before–you have to take care of yourself before you can take care others.
How can you take care of yourself?
- Recognize that putting your mental and physical health first is not selfish: I know that sometimes hitting the gym or getting your hair done seems like the last priority on a long list of to-dos, but if you don’t take care of yourself, who else will? I stay at home with our son Max and am a full time student. When my husband comes home from work most days, the first thing I do is hand over our kid and put on my running shoes. It might seem selfish to take away from our family time to do something for me, but I know that when I come back home in an hour I’ll be more centered, less stressed and better able to relax and enjoy our time together.
- Spend time alone: I am almost never alone. There is a tiny person who follows me around when I’m making lunch. He is always underfoot when I try to finish a load of laundry. Even when I have to use the bathroom, he stands outside the door shouting, “Mommy goes potty?” and sticking his fingers under the door. So when he takes a nap or goes to bed for the night, I cherish that time all alone. I light a candle, put on my favorite Pandora station, draw a hot bath, and pat myself on the back for making it through another day unscathed with my son. Try it, I dare you. Prefer to spend evenings with your husband or others? Consider alternating morning kid duties with your husband so you can buy a little morning me-time–for a workout, for a daily devotional, or simply a cup of coffee in solitude.
- Learn to say no: All together now…NOOOO! Commit your time and energy to the people and things that matter most. The church calls and asks you to teach Sunday School when you are already leading a Bible study and involved in youth ministries? If you don’t have the time or the energy, then don’t do it. It is better to devote yourself fully to one or two things you really care about than to stretch yourself so thin you can’t give anything 100% of your effort.
Rewrite your routine so you can find time for what makes you happy: If you can relate to any of the suggestions above, it’s time to consider rewriting your routine, and I would suggest truly writing it down in a cute weekly planner.
Start by scheduling your priorities. For example, for me it goes like this: church, kids, husband, gym and the weekly Denver Broncos football game.
Make sure that your priorities include the the things that make you truly happy–whether the thing that makes you happy is as trivial as spending an hour watching Friends on netflix while doing crossword puzzles on Thursday nights or as significant as saving puppies at your local pet shelter for three hours on Saturday mornings. Once you have made time for your priorities, allow others’ priorities to find a place in your new schedule.
Kelsey is a stay-at-home mom and full time student pursing a degree in elementary education. She is a Beachbody certified Insanity instructor, avid runner and yoga enthusiast.
When she is not working out, you will find her cheering on the Denver Broncos and spending time with her family. She is wife to Blake and mom to busy 2 year-old son Max and is expecting her second son in April.
SWMO Moms fitness category, which is full of healthy tips for all women, is sponsored by Bass Pro Shops Outdoor Fitness Festival. Their mission is to celebrate health and wellness, outdoor adventures and wildlife conservation in the beauty of the Ozarks. Programs are designed to include activities for people of all ages, backgrounds, fitness levels and areas of interest. CLICK HERE for more information or give them a call at 417.873.5214.