Mother’s Day is just around the corner, & it's a perfect time to look at ways we can decrease stress and find opportunities to pamper ourselves.
As moms, we're taught to juggle:
It's like the more we “do,” the better moms we are....🤔
Step 1. Identify your stress
Social media is flooded with moms volunteering at their kid’s school, starting up home-based businesses, making creative snacks for their kids' lunches and taking care of elderly parents... Oh, and behind the scenes, they're the primary health care decision makers for the family.
It’s no wonder that women are more likely to experience emotional and physical stress than men!
And, one of the ways that we manage stress is through eating.
In my new book, Love Yourself Healthy, I talk about how eating healthy food and getting active are only half of the equation. Most mainstream health and diet books say the only thing you have to do is change your food and exercise–– which is simply not true!
You can eat the healthiest food on the planet, have the perfect exercise routine and the best self- care, but if you’re constantly in a stress response mode it’s not going to work. It is scientifically impossible for the body to heal or to lose weight when it is under stress.
“The self-actualized person is independent of the opinion of other people.”
-Abraham Maslow, the father of humanistic psychology
What's this thing called "self-actualization"? Well, it's "the desire for self-fulfillment, namely the tendency for the individual to become actualized in what she is potentially.”
To me, this is the first step towards loving yourself: becoming self-actualized.
Not looking outward or living by others standards, not letting social media or anyone else decide who and what you will do. When you know yourself and you give yourself permission to express your needs you are giving yourself the gift of truly loving yourself. Then you can understand and recognize how YOU experience stress; because everyone experiences stress differently. You can look within and find out what your triggers are. Approach this with a loving curious mindset, and not one of judgment.
Step 2. Look at how you deal with stress
What are the methods that you are currently using? Are they working? Are there perhaps methods that are outdated and could use updating? Are you practicing saying "yes" to situations that are fulfilling, and saying "no," to those that are depleting? And while I recognize that there are times when we don’t have a choice of whether it is self-fulfilling or self-depleting. I do believe that we can get stuck into believing that we don’t have a choice and it can become a habit.
What I’m suggesting is that you hit the pause button before saying yes to “doing” more.
Perhaps by saying no you are opening up space for you to “be” more.
Remember by making self-nourishment your priority you will have more to give.
Step 3. Create a "Nourishment Menu"
By creating a menu of healthy, stress-reducing activities you won’t have to think about what to do when you are experiencing heightened stress. You will be able to simply select one off the menu. I have mine on a whiteboard so that I can add and change as needed. And, as an added bonus, by creating this Nourishment Menu, you can have lots of gift ideas that you can give yourself or even engage your loved ones in giving you on Mother’s Day.
Mother's Day Nourishment Menu:
We are constantly surrounded by noise and distractions but remember it is in the quiet moments where we can rediscover our calm, focus, and even creativity.
Give yourself permission to have that moment so you can be your more self-actualized self!
To all the amazing women who have ever cared for a child or family, to all the angel moms and the women who didn’t let biology dictate her love for a child: Happy Mother’s Day!