Being a mom is one of the hardest and busiest jobs. Between taking care of your kids, cooking meals, trying to feed everyone, doing laundry, and taking care of all of the little things in between- staying healthy may be a lot harder than it seems. But it’s not! Learn how to stay healthy as a busy mom with these lifestyle habits.
It’s easy to get caught up in the busyness of day-to-day life taking care of your kids, working, and managing a home. But taking care of yourself should not come second to all of that. YOU ARE JUST AS IMPORTANT. You need to prioritize your physical and mental health. And you can do it simultaneously while taking care of your kids and home. You do not have to come second. You can do it all at the same time.
Taking care of ourselves and staying healthy as busy moms should be one of our top priorities. We need to stay healthy so that we can take care of our families. Staying healthy doesn’t just mean staying physically fit by eating right and doing a lot of cardio. It also means taking the time to take mental health breaks. Mental health breaks are important so that we’re relaxed, refreshed, and able to be our best selves.
Below are 7 lifestyle habits for staying healthy as a busy mom. I found that staying healthy as a mom is a lot more doable than it seems. It just requires some mindfulness and the decision to make healthy choices. After a while, you get used to your lifestyle habits, and it becomes ingrained in you and a part of your lifestyle. Before you know it, you don’t even have to think about choosing to stay healthy. It just becomes a part of who you are.
1. Mind Over Matter
The first step to choosing to live a healthy lifestyle is deciding to do so. If you have been putting yourself on the back burner and putting everyone else’s needs before yourself, you need to acknowledge that. And then put yourself back at the top of your priority list.
Or perhaps you feel overwhelmed being a mom because you are being pulled in every direction. You think that you can’t take care of yourself at the same time as you take care of your kids. But let me tell you something- you can take care of yourself too! And you can do it at the same time. It is possible!
However, you need to decide that it is possible to stay healthy as a busy mom and believe that it is possible. It requires mindfulness, decision-making, and careful planning. By deciding to live a healthier life for yourself and your family, your decisions and actions will follow. The body will follow wherever the mind will lead.
The most important step is to identify the areas in your life that need improvement.
- Do you need to drink more water?
- Are you getting enough rest at night?
- Has it been easier to binge-watch Netflix rather than go for a walk outside?
Ask yourself those questions and be honest with yourself in answering them. You need to own up to which areas need improvement and then make a decision to make it better. If there are only a few areas you think you could work on to improve your health, then continue reading below to see what you can do to improve your health.
The most important thing is to make a decision that you want to be healthier and that you want to make these lifestyle changes to stay healthy. If you make a decision that you want to be healthy and stay healthy, it will be easier for you to make decisions to stay on that track.
Once you’ve made the decision, hold yourself accountable. Put it on your to-do list. Print out a habit tracker. Write it down. Be intentional about living a healthier life. After a while, your habits will become so second nature that you won’t even have to think about it.
2. Wash It Down with Water
Our bodies are made up of 70% water and so water is vital to our health. Water helps all the functions in our body function properly. It helps the cells in our nervous system send messages to each other, helps dissolve key nutrients and vitamins for our body, and helps regulate our body temperature. Water removes toxins and waste from our body, and helps our brain focus and think clearly.
Whenever I’m feeling tired, cranky, or a little groggy, a cup of water will usually always refresh me.
The average person needs to drink about six to eight 8 oz of water a day. This amount may vary depending on body weight, muscle mass, physical activity, and other metabolic processes. A good way of determining whether or not you’re drinking enough water is by looking at your urine. If the color of your urine is dark yellow or amber, it may mean that you’re not drinking enough water. If your urine is light yellow, then it means you’re getting enough water.
64oz of water per day may seem like a lot, but it’s very doable especially if you drink one glass of water in the morning as soon as you get up. I recommend drinking 8 to 16 ounces of water first thing in the morning as soon as you get up. Water in the morning can help get your blood flow going and helps hydrate you after sleeping eight hours.
Some tips for helping you increase your water intake can be:
- having a large 2 L water bottle with you, and filling that out completely so that way you know that’s exactly how much water you’ll need to drink for the whole day.
- Another helpful tip may be to have water next to you at all times throughout the day. For example, just have your water bottle or a cup of water next to you at your desk or on the kitchen counter and just take sips of it every time you look at your water bottle.
- To entice you to drink more water you can add some fresh, lemon, mint, strawberry, and orange slices.
Wash things down with water. Refrain from sugary juices, sodas, and high-calorie sweetened drinks. A lot of those drinks don’t offer any nutritional value and are full of empty calories. Nourish your body and hydrate with water.
3. Move It, Baby
Exercise helps keep us physically strong and mentally sharp. It improves our cardiovascular health, keeps our immune system strong, and maintains our bone density. There are so many ways to incorporate exercise into your daily schedule even if you are a busy mom.
If you commute or have to park your car at work, you can always park a little bit further from the entrance so that you’re obligated to walk a little further. Choosing to take the stairs instead of the elevator is also another quick alternative to getting your heart racing.
My kids and I love going for walks. Depending on the day, weather, and our schedules, we may go for walks in the morning or the evening. I’ve found that walks are a great way for us to get outside of the house, away from our screens, and get some fresh air and some sun.
If you’re unable to get outside for some exercise, there are ways to exercise inside the home. You can roll out a yoga mat, do some stretches and yoga on the floor, and have the kids involved too.
Even if you love watching Netflix, Nike has just released a series of quick workout videos titled Nike Training Club that you can do. It includes yoga, high-intensity interval training and bodyweight training. The workout videos range from 10- 30 minutes in length.
It’s important to show your kids that exercise is an important part of your daily life and that even if you are busy, you find ways to incorporate it into your day. It models good lifestyle practices and teaches our kids that self-care and physical activity is important.
4. Snack Smart
Having snacks around the house is a lifesaver for any parent. Whenever my kids are getting a little cranky or agitated, offering them a snack will almost always calm them down. However, it’s important to have healthy snacks available at home.
It’s easy to get caught up in all of the sugary, high-fat snacks that are sold in stores but choosing not to buy them and have them around the house will prevent you from easily grabbing them. Instead of putting yourself in a bad position and having muffins, chips, or cookies staring at you and tempting you in the pantry- just don’t buy them and have them at home.
Instead, buy healthy snacks such as fruit, granola, nuts, and seeds to have on hand. I know that it can be busy staying at home with kids and when you’re running on coffee and little sleep, it’s easy to just grab anything to eat to give you a quick boost of energy. However, choosing healthy snacks such as fruits and almonds will nourish your body and mind and will also make you feel better after. You won’t have the guilt of “oh no, I shouldn’t have eaten that.”
I recommend buying fruit in bulk, washing the fruit, letting them dry completely, and then storing them in an air-tight sealed container with a paper towel at the bottom of the container. The paper towel will help to absorb any excess moisture and will help to preserve the fruit better. You can also wash, cut and store sliced cucumbers, celery, and baby carrots the same way. Having only fresh fruit and vegetables will prevent you from mindlessly snacking on highly processed snacks such as muffins or cookies.
5. Don’t Skimp on Sleep
Sleep is important for maintaining good health because that’s the time when your body gets to rest and recover. Your body is constantly going through a lot of stress during the day whether you realize it or not. Being on your feet, carrying your kids around, and the stresses of work and home can put a toll on your mind and body.
Having a good night’s sleep is important for your health because it helps your body recover, keeps your immune system strong, and allows your mind to stay sharp and think clearly during the day. Sleeping is the time when you can rest your mind and body.
Experts recommend getting 7-8 hours of quality sleep every night but this number may vary depending on the individual. Some people may function perfectly fine off of six hours of sleep and others need a minimum of eight to be at their best. Only you know the minimum amount of sleep that you need to function at your best. If you know how many hours of sleep you need, make it a point to get that amount.
It may seem impossible to get enough sleep when there are so many things to do like washing the dishes, cleaning the house, folding the laundry, packing lunch for the school hall, etc., etc., etc. the list goes on. But you know what? The work never ends. Sorry to break it to ya. Even if you do have three piles of laundry that are waiting to be folded and a bathroom that needs to be cleaned, if it’s not urgent, then it can wait. Your sleep and your health are a priority.
To get yourself ready for bed and ready to doze off when the time comes, create a bedtime routine that works for you. A bedtime routine without electronics, devices and screen time can help you relax and drift off to a sweet slumber. Some ideas for a bedtime routine to help you relax can be:
- Take a warm bath, unwind, and listen to some calming music
- Turn off devices 20-30 minutes before bedtime
- Meditate for 10-15 minutes
- Write in a journal and reflect on 3 things that you’re thankful for that day
- Read a book
6. Practice Gratitude
Being a mom can be very stressful at times. The kids depend on you at all times and there’s always something to do like clean the house, cook dinner, fold the laundry, and the list goes on. It can be overwhelming and you get caught up in all the busyness of the mundane routine and day-to-day life. However, it’s important to remember to take a moment to slow down and laugh.
Stop for a moment, smile to yourself, and remind yourself just how lucky you are to have a home to clean, food to cook, and clothes to wear. If we shift our mindset from “Oh my gosh, I have so much to do” to “Wow, I am lucky to have a safe home to live in and my kids are being fed healthy nutritious meals,” it changes our perspective from a negative viewpoint to a more positive viewpoint.
7. Time Out time
Carve out some time out of your day to do something you love. It doesn’t need to be a significant amount of time. If 15-20 minutes is all that you’ve got, that’s fine. But carve out 15-20 minutes out of your day where you can do something just for you- a complex skincare routine, read a book and sip some tea, put your feet up and listen to relaxing music, talk on the phone with a friend, color a page in an adult coloring book- anything to unwind for a little bit.
As a busy mom, I know that you’re getting pulled in every direction and it’s hard to get a moment to yourself. That’s why it’s necessary to schedule your own “me time.” It’s necessary for your mental and physical health to just clock out of all of the demands of life and nourish yourself.
As a mom, you’re always giving, giving and constantly giving. You need to carve out some time for me time and do it for you. If it’s at the end of the night or even in the middle of your day- do something that you enjoy and that nourishes you.
Remember that taking care of yourself should also be a priority. By taking care of yourself, you inherently are also taking care of your family. You can’t pour from an empty cup. If you’re constantly giving and giving and giving to your family, you also need to refill your cup and take care of yourself too.
I hope these 7 tips are helpful and that you will be able to implement these lifestyle habits into your daily life and use them to stay healthy. Which of the 7 tips will you start with? Comment below and let me know!