What’s one simple step moms can take to look at their wellness? Stop and ask yourself: What do you like to do?
And no, I didn’t ask, what do your kids like to do or what does your husband like to do. I also didn’t ask what do you think you should like to do. What do YOU like to do?
As moms, this can be really hard to answer. When our kids are born, we are forced to put our needs on the back burner in order to keep our child alive. And yes, keeping another human alive that you brought into this world is a good reason to put your needs on the back burner for a bit. But for how long is that “bit”?
Unfortunately, that “bit” can turn into a long period of time. If you’re familiar with my work, I define wellness as having five components. Three of those are strained when we are new moms: sleep, eating, and exercise. Depending on your baby, you might get back to a regular sleeping schedule within six months. However, if you’re nursing, your eating and intensity of exercise continue to be influenced by someone else. Maybe you like broccoli and intense spinning but when you do those things, you don’t make enough milk and the milk you make has that broccoli juice in it that upsets your babe’s tummy. So that “bit” can extend into a year or more. What happens if you have another child? I’ll tell you what happens.
Our brains do what they’re supposed to do: form neural pathways that support us powering through the tough times. Problem is, the longer our “bit” lasts, the stronger these neural pathways are and the brain offers no escape route for us to slow down and check in with ourselves. If your baby is over age one, we no longer need to ignore our needs to keep another human alive. We don’t.
If you’re not a client, coach yourself by asking: “What do I like to do?” Wait for the answer. Don’t allow yourself to say: “I don’t know”. That shuts the brain down and is the easy way out. Of course you don’t know. You’ve probably not paused to check in on a long time. Sit there. Ask. What do I like to do?
Why is it important to find out your answer? When just one of the wellness components is strained, we raise the stress hormone in our body which creates internal inflammation. This causes autoimmune disorders and cancer. Truth. You are not superwoman. If you continue to ignore your needs, your body will send you a scary medical message. This is not good for anyone. Not you. Not the people you’re ignoring your needs to take care of.
We tell ourselves that we don’t have time for us. We have to take care of someone else. We have to go do this or that. But really, we don’t have time not to take care of us. One tiny step this week? Think of something you like to do and do it. If you feel uncomfortable, that’s your inner warrior telling you you’re on the right track. Disrupt your brain’s programming and go do it.
It really can be this simple.
And hey – Please let me know how what you like to do. Use the comments below, PM me, email me, comment on my FB page. Be brave, speak up to help other moms figure out what they like to do. #wehaveneeds