It’s Sunday morning and you need to decompress.
You know you should relax. In fact, all these experts and psychologists tell you that you SHOULD carve out time to take care of yourself.
But what in the world do you do?
Because as soon as you sit down on the couch, you realize you could be using this time to do the dishes…
…or scoop the cat litter.
… or practice dog training.
…possibly, even pick up the guitar.
I get this. My brain won’t turn itself off it either. Everytime I have a free moment, I feel like I need to fill it by doing something productive.
It’s as if I need to be achieving to feel like I am worthy as a person.
Unfortunately, this attitude stresses me out. I’m tired and worn. At times, I’m not sure how to be a happy mom.
And I’m so used to making sure everyone else is happy that I’ve forgotten what I find fun.
Ask me what I do for fun.
I’ll tell you, “Hmmmm… mmm, let me see. I read. I watch TV.”
Cop out answers.
Because during those two activities, I’m constantly thinking what I should be doing instead.
Building better relationships with my kids by doing an activity with them? Am I missing out on their childhood by just lying here?
If you’re feeling the same way, know that I am right there with you.
Here’s what we’re going to do.
What strikes your curiosity?
Part of the reason we don’t know what’s fun is that we haven’t given ourselves the opportunity to explore.
When my son or daughter shows the tiniest interest in an activity like swim or dance, I immediately find someplace that offers a class. I know with my kids that the more they explore and try, the more likely they will find their jam.
Same goes for us.
Ignore the voice in your head that asks you if an activity would be worth your time or if you’ll have fun doing it.
Those voices are big fat liars.
Just ask yourself if you’re curious about it.
Groupon is an excellent place to start if you need a few options. Start by looking through deals in your area and see if any spark your interest.
- Maybe a cooking class?
- Pole dancing class? – Oh yes, I totally want to try it!
Purchase a Groupon, grab a friend and go try it out.
I struggle with depression. I’ve been on and off meds and now I’m currently in therapy so that I can learn to deal without medication.
According to my counselor, it’s as if my brain as been attached to jumper cables made of Prozac and now it has to learn how to supply it’s own juice.
An essential chemical for a happy brain is serotonin.
According to a post on Psychology Today, serotonin is the molecule of will power. It’s what creates the energy that motivates you to finish large tasks or act on well-formed plans.
If you don’t want to get off the couch to play with your kids or are unable to stop going to the kitchen pantry for another handful of Raisin Bran (oh yes, that’s a problem for me), you may be low on serotonin.
A great way to amp up your serotonin? Get active. Go for a bike ride or a morning run.
If running sounds like cruel medieval torture, pick any activity you like that makes you breathe hard and break a sweat.
Your brain will start pumping out that serotonin making you a much happier mom.
I notice, that days I skip exercise, I find that my moods are impossible to control. Yesterday, I didn’t want to talk to anybody. Instead, my only goal was to make it through season 2 in Younger.
Nothing wrong with that! But for me, it felt more like a compulsion than an activity I actually enjoyed.
Do something intentionally for yourself EVERY DAY
I love making my family happy.
If something I does has a direct result of a smile on my kids or husbands faces, oh my goodness, it fills me with glee.
But sometimes, I’ll go through the day purposefully trying to make everyone else happy and forget about my own needs.
Then, I turn into a grumpy monster who snaps at everyone and wonder why no one ever does anything for me.
Hard to admit, but it’s the truth.
Self care is not selfish. Its like securing your own oxygen mask before you ensure your family has theirs.
No one is responsible for taking care of you. YOU are responsible for taking care of you.
We forget this.
So, to remedy it, do one thing for yourself everyday.
Best way to figure out what that is? Ask yourself, “What would be totally selfish to do right now?”
I’ve learned from experience that I am not the best judge of “selfish.” What seems completely selfish to me is simply healthy self care.
- Go get a manicure
- Read those issues of US and People
- Go get that frozen yogurt after your kids are in bed and don’t tell them about it.
- Watch the Real Housewives
- Treat yourself to a massage
- Watch endless cat videos on YouTube.
Whatever brings a smile to your face and relaxation to your brain, run to at full speed.
Being a Happy Mom
Happiness comes from doing what you love. As moms, we work tirelessly for others and neglect our own mental state as a result.
By gravitating to what you feel curious about, getting active and making sure to do one selfish thing a day, we can revive ourselves so that we can better take care of our families.
Parenting is not meant to feel like an endless chore. But when we lose ourselves, we may become resentful and lose the joy in our lives.
Get back that joy.