This series of articles will focus on ways to make your life in 2012 fuller, less hectic and overall happier. Not specific New Year’s Resolutions, but rather suggestions to enrich your relationships and general outlook on life. If you missed Part I click here: A healthier, happier New Year: Say goodbye to resolutions!
Moms are busy, busy, busy! Between taking care of the children, cleaning the house, running errands, shuttling children to school and playdates it is easy to forget one important item – yourself! So in 2012, make an effort to put yourself first… at least some of the time. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Pamper yourself. Carve out a standing monthly date and take an afternoon to pamper yourself. Get together with some girlfriends and see that new movie you have been eyeing. Hit up the spa (In Olympia try Antidote Spa) and get a pedicure, manicure or massage. Browse the bookstore with a cup of coffee (without little hands pulling books off shelves and little voices telling you they are bored) and treat yourself to the new bestseller you’ve been wanting to read.
Spend time with your friends. It is easy to lose touch with old friends once you become caught up in the whirlwind of motherhood. However, those old relationships are vital to your well-being, happiness and sanity. Take at least a few minutes a week to catch up on emails, texts and phone calls. Plan an hour or an evening to meet up and chat (In Olympia try the Swing Wine Bar for a fun atmosphere). It might be hard to find the time but it will be well worth it to connect.
Find time to relax. Pick at least one evening a week to devote to relaxing and doing something YOU enjoy. Try to pick the same night each week, so you are more apt to remember and follow through. Dust off that stack of photos that is now so high it is teetering close to the ceiling, and work on your scrapbooks. Take a bubble bath and read your favorite book or magazine. Call an old friend and catch up (yes, an uninterrupted conversation for once!). Lounge around in your pajamas and watch your favorite television show. Whatever it is, just make sure it is relaxing, and you enjoy doing it. Give yourself a chance to recharge.
Find time to exercise. Exercising will not only make you feel happier and healthier, but it is a great example for your children! Find a friend to go walking or jogging with. Instead of watching television at night with your spouse, pop in a Wii or Kinect game and have some fun. Get up a half hour earlier than normal and pop in an exercise dvd. Not a morning person? Spend the first 30 minutes of naptime working out. Join a gym or a local Stroller Strides Group so you can get your workout in with your children. The Olympia Stroller Strides and Body Back programs have many different workout options for mothers.
Say no. As a mom it is easy to find yourself pulled in too many directions. Feel free (as difficult as it might be) to say “no” when you find yourself being asked to add one more thing to your plate. Don’t stress if you can’t help at the school’s next fundraiser or if you just don’t have time to babysit your neighbors child for the afternoon. As long as you are helping others and contributing as much as you can, it is okay to take a break when you just can’t handle anymore!
The happier you are, the happier your spouse is and the happier your children will be. Make it a point to take care of yourself this year!
Keep watching for Part III of this series: A healthier, happier New Year: Focus on your marriage
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