5 Ways the Working Mom Can Also Take Care of Herself
A stressed mind isn’t receptive to the flow of creative thoughts– thoughts which may stem into new business ideas or solutions for your current company. Even if you feel that you work best under pressure, that’s a talent that has its limits as well. Constant pressure without release is the makings of a burn out or blow out, and a boss lady CEO has time for neither.
Entrepreneurs have a special drive and motivation. It’s the reason you couldn’t settle for an uninspiring career path, and why you’re working toward those big ideas that keep you up at night. It’s a blessing, but it can also eat up your free time– if you even have any of that left.
Most entrepreneurs put in much more than the 40 hours of a standard work week, so we know you don’t have a problem committing to the grunt work, but how often do you make time to simply do nothing?
Seem counterintuitive to growing a business? Think again.
Instead of waiting for that one straw to break your back and delay your progress, build some “me time” into your week to offset the stress of mompreneur life and take care of yourself. In this industry, an investment in yourself is an investment in your business. I know you’re busy, but here are 5 easy ways to take care of yourself that every mompreneur can make time for.
Not all of us are the type to set a 5am alarm to head over to the gym for a few hours, and we don’t have to be. To reap the benefits of exercise, the Anxiety and Depression Association of America says a little goes a long way. According to their research, “even five minutes of aerobic exercise can stimulate anti-anxiety effects.” That means even a quick game of backyard tag with your kids could bring on the calm you need to breeze through your 9am conference call with investors.
What’s more? Do this regularly and the benefits extend even further, from reduced tension levels to better sleep, self esteem, and overall mood. In other words, you should probably be able to add a gym membership or a new pair of Nike’s to your expense write-off’s, considering how powerfully beneficial exercise is to your business.
If heading to the gym isn’t your style, consider taking your dog or kids for a brisk walk each night after dinner, swimming laps in your pool (if you have one), or following a 30-minute Youtube workout tutorial in the comfort of your living room.
2. Establish your own #TreatYourselfTuesday
Okay so maybe you need to bump it back to Wednesday– you’re a busy gal, after all. Whichever day of the week works best for you, decide to treat yourself to that one item, service, or guilty pleasure that would really brighten your week. You don’t have to wait until your empire is built to celebrate all of your accomplishments thus far.
For me, it’s the 45 minutes I set aside for the blow dry bar on Sunday mornings. Before the chaos of Monday morning sets in, I indulge in a complimentary mimosa and set myself up with good hair for the rest of the week (thank you dry shampoo). Sometimes I flip through magazines, sometimes I watch whichever rom-com is being screened in the salon that day, and on busier weeks I will answer emails or jot down notes and ideas in my planner.
For you, treating yourself might mean splurging on steak instead of chicken, getting the gel manicure instead of a regular one, or finally giving in to that super-soft leather purse you always walk by that never goes on sale. Whatever it is, let this be something for you and you alone. Running a business and a household is a lot of doing for others. It’s not selfish to set aside some time for personal enjoyment on a consistent basis. You need to feel confident in all aspects of life.
Being exhausted is a special kind of torture. One of the most important ways to take care of yourself is avoiding that sluggish feeling altogether and getting better sleep more often. For many of us, sleeping in late is just not in the cards, so I approach it from the other side: by going to sleep earlier when possible. To snatch up some extra snooze time, try to go to sleep an hour earlier than usual or more if you can manage it.
Even if a full 8 hours isn’t possible, you can still improve the quality of the sleep that you do get. Sleep with your phone on silent mode, or remove it from your bedroom completely and let it charge in a separate room. You might be waking up more often throughout the night knowing that your phone is right there beside you, just waiting for you to check what texts and emails have come through.
If you really want to pamper yourself, try these quick fixes for your sleep space:
• Take a shower or bath right before bed. Use lavender or chamomile scented shower gels or moisturizer post-shower to help bring you into a restful state.
• Put fresh sheets and pillow cases on your bed.
• Shut your shades and block out all sources of light, which inhibit the body from entering into those coveted deep sleep cycles.
• Turn on your air conditioning or fan to ensure your room stays cool all night long.
• Try an essential oil diffuser to keep you calm and relaxed. They run about $30 online and in home goods stores.
4. Girls’ Night Out
Because sometimes you need to step away from your role as commander in chief and just be one of the girls.
It will do you wonders to change out of your work mode/mommy attire and put on those heels you worked so hard to afford. You love your family dearly, but we all know there are some topics that you can’t talk to your partner or children about. Vent to your friends like the unpaid therapists they are, and get out of your own bubble by hearing about their own dilemmas and triumphs. The best part is you don’t even have to go anywhere if getting all dolled up doesn’t appeal to you this week. If one of you has a quiet house for the night, sit around in cozy clothes, sip wine, and reconnect over adult coloring books. Now wait. Before you become skeptical, know that this is a real thing. Adult coloring books have become a major hit in the world of trendy relaxation. They’re inexpensive, you can borrow your kids’ crayons, and you’ll be amazed at how quickly you mellow out. I’m starting to think that those kindergarten teachers know more than they let on…
5. Kids’ Night In
Kids can sometimes get a bad reputation for causing chaos, but I find that when my world is off-kilter and too hectic, spending time with my kids can really center me. You’ll feel better by giving back to them and alleviating some of that working mommy guilt that can invade your subconscious. Kids really do say the darndest things– things that make you genuinely laugh and forget about your stress. Let your hair down and bounce on the trampoline with them, or get competitive in that new Wii game your son insisted upon at Target. Let me tell you, those little guys really know how to have a good time and they’ll be thrilled to have you join in.