I am a #NOWWellness Influencer and have been given products to sample, however, I was not paid to write this post. The FTC requires that I disclose this but I was using and loving many of them before working with this company. All opinions are my own.
I remember being a small girl and my Mom kind of losing her cool in the grocery store. In fact, I recall multiple times like this. At the time, my sisters and I just kind of looked up at her with raised eyebrows and sidestepped a few yards away, but now that I’m a Mother myself, I totally get it.
Last week was one of the most stressful times in my life as the Mom of three kids in the history of me being the Mom of three kids.
You see, I have twins and their older brother is only 2 years their senior and, like most modern families, we have busy school and sports schedules. This coupled with the fact that we always feel stressed about money and if we are doing enough to raise our kids to be able to fend for themselves into adulthood. Honestly, the ridiculous things that stream through my mind all day are enough to drive a person to the insane asylum.
When I allow myself the space and time to relax and acquiesce to the thousands of thoughts that pop into my mind to bounce off of me, I can usually come to my senses and all is well again in the world, but that takes some practice to be able to do.
Here’s the other thing, I must be disciplined enough to practice self-care.
I need to meditate, run, or give myself some breathing time to be able to organize my thoughts. If I don’t, then the anxiety comes crashing down on me and my depression sneaks up like a stranger hiding behind a bush.
Depression. Yes, I said that out loud. I suffer and have had some serious bouts recently. I will discuss that in another post, clinical depression is much more serious than what I’m talking about today.
What I’m talking about here is an overly “cluttered” life that many parents live today. Some people choose to live very busy lives and can handle many tasks at once, but for me personally, just being a Mom, in general, can be overwhelming at times.
I have three little people whom I love with all of my heart, asking, wanting, expecting, and counting on me to be there for them. I am driving to multiple schools, activities, and friends houses. I’m shocked that I’ve never forgotten to pick someone up, or left a child behind– that’s how frazzled I can feel at times.
I know I’m not alone and that everyone handles stress differently, but if you are a parent, you know what I’m talking about. Practicing self-care can be difficult for us and I’m not sure why. I guess by the end of the day it feels like there is nothing left to give to ourselves and we slump into bed and crash before we can find time.
Sometimes you have to make time and be self-disciplined, though.
I do believe that there are certain actions and products that support my ability to practice self-care and with Mother’s Day just around the corner I thought I’d give my personal favorites. These items are staples in my house and have really helped me stay centered during some difficult times.
MEDITATION: There was a time not so long ago that if you asked me to sit and do a meditation I would have bounced out of my chair and screamed, “NO!” Running used to be my outlet– but that changed. After I was involved in the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombing, running, slowly, over the course of a few years has become more of a stressor (although I’m slowing coming back to it). With no outlet, I have turned to meditation but I couldn’t do it alone. I needed a guided one and after reviewing many I found that the APP “The Guided Mind” works best for me.
They have a variety of practitioners, some I don’t care for and others I love, but that’s why I like the app, you choose which one resonates with you. I only do about 10-15 minutes a day and that seems to do the trick. I’d like to build up to more in the future but my goal, for now, is to be consistent.
REMINDERS: I have chronic migraines and one of the things that drive me insane is when people suggest that I use Essential Oils to cure them. For goodness sake, the fact that so many people have suggested it, tells me how misunderstood my condition really is, but I digress. What I want to say is that I LOVE and use essential oils every day but not to cure my migraines!
What they DO is remind me to relax and bring my mind to a place and time when I might have been calmer and I LOVE them for that. The smell is my cue to take a deep breath and center myself. My children associate the smell with wonderful feelings too. I sense how they relax when I diffuse lavender and many times they comment on how it reminds them of when they were a baby. They are “essential” to us for this and many other reasons.
NOW Foods just came out with this Mini USB Car Diffusor and I LOVE it. My car smells amazing and it reminds all of us to chill when we are rushing around from place to place. I might not be able to control how busy my life is, but I CAN choose to stay calmer and use tools like this one to help me out.
SUPPLEMENTS: There are few supplements that I take to help promote a more relaxed state of mind. The two that seem to work best for me are L-Theanine and Holy Basil.
L-Theanine is the same ingredient that is found in tea. There’s a reason that the British use tea as the answer to most issues. “Keep Calm and Carry On.” It promotes relaxation and healthy vascular function.
Holy Basil Extract is an Adaptogenic Herb that aids in the body’s ability to adapt to life stress. * I take mine at night before I go to bed.
TIME: This one is really tough– I know! We are all pressed for time and never feel like we have enough. Giving yourself 10-20 minutes of alone time without technology can help reduce some of those overwhelming feelings and allow you time to organize your thoughts. What I mean by that is let go of thoughts that don’t serve you and grab hold of the ones that do.
There are many things you can do whether it’s taking a bath, going for a run, sipping a cup of tea, or just stepping outside for a moment. Sometimes you have to make yourself do something for yourself. Instead of watching more TV, go upstairs 20 minutes early and take a bath or meditate.
Make this EASY homemade DIY Lavender Bath Soak:
How to Make It
In a large bowl mix all the ingredients well and you’re done. Store in a closed Mason jar or glass container. Add about 1/4 cup to warm bath water.
*Caution: NOW® Essential Oils are highly concentrated and can be irritating to the skin. Avoid direct contact with skin and always dilute essential oils before topical use. Discontinue if a rash appears after skin contact. Not for internal use. Avoid contact with eyes. Consult a healthcare practitioner before using if pregnant/nursing.
MASSAGE: I find it slightly frustrating that many people view massage as a luxury or a treat. There are some studies that indicate that it may benefit those with specific conditions. It can also help produce feelings of caring, comfort, and connection. Despite its benefits, massage isn’t meant as a replacement for regular medical care. Let your doctor know you’re trying massage and be sure to follow any standard treatment plans you have. (Source)
I know it has really helped me, but there a few things I might add. Sometimes finding the right practitioner takes time. Much like a hairdresser, not all therapist will work for everyone. Before you throw in the towel, try a few different therapist out–ask for referrals from friends and read Yelp reviews. It’s expensive. I know, because we can’t always afford for me to go, but there are places to go to learn how to do it yourself.
I LOVE this SITE and find Heather’s tutorials very useful.
We may not be able to control all aspects of our life, but organizing and identifying all of the things in our life that we need to let go of whether it is mental or physical, along with taking time for ourselves, might just help reduce some stress.
I can’t say that I am always successful at managing my anxiety, but I can say that I always try to pick myself up and find the answers needed for me to live a healthy, happy life–I wish the same for you. I hope these tips have helped in some small way.
Oftentimes the first step is the hardest and sometimes we really just have to make ourselves practice self-care. I challenge you to do just that!
Hope you all have a great week!5 Small but Very Useful Gifts for Busy Moms Who are About to Lose Their Minds Click To Tweet
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.