Now that you've got your kids settled back into the routine of the new school year (or at least are starting to get there-hopefully!), it's time to think about taking care of YOU! So, how do you do that? Well, have no fear-here are my top 3 tips of maintaining a low-stress (because is there really such a thing as "stress-free"?) routine for taking care of yourself and feeling more competent and confident in your role as mom (and wife, and employee, and friend, and manager of all things home, etc. etc.).
1. Learn to say NO. I've said it before and I will say it again. It is okay to say no to things, whether that be one of the many birthday parties your kids get invited to, a committee or board at your child's school, a social engagement for yourself, or a request at work. Obviously there are some things that lend themselves less to wiggle room in this arena. But I bet if you really thought about it and gave yourself permission, it's likely a lot of those things you say YES to are out of obligation or because you don't have a concrete reason to say no. Sometimes, we need to allow space in our life to just be and if our schedules are so tight, I can guarantee, you will begin to feel run-down and overwhelmed by the commitments. Just say no.
2. Simplify. No reason to make things more complicated than they need to be. Except for some reason, we so often feel like there is a reason to make simple things complicated. If your family loves tacos, make tacos every Monday. If you can order something you need online, don't bother making the trip to Target. If you can buy pre-made cupcakes to send to school on your kids' birthday, don't worry about baking. There is no sense in putting pressure on yourself to be more creative or involved about it than necessary. Unless, meal planning, shopping, baking, etc. is your go-to stress relievers of course, in which case I say-go for it. But again, if you are doing something because you feel like you "should" and there is a simpler way, take advantage. There will be other phases of life when you can make these home management tasks more complicated if you really want to.
3. Fit in time for you. And set the expectation for this realistically. I highly recommend trying to turn time you are already using into self-care time. For example, I give every new client a nice bar of soap and tell them to shift their mindset about taking a shower so that they can actually take 10 (or 5 or 3) minutes to be kind and pamper themselves a little bit. Another great way to do this is by turning your commute into self-care time. When you are alone in the car, try listening to a favorite podcast or book on tape. Again, set up your mindset going into it by telling yourself that is time for you. Carving out little pockets of time like this, can really do wonders for your mental health. Because don't forget-taking care of yourself is one of the best things you can do to take care of your family.
Here's to a fantastic YOU this school year.