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Pause. Not because you hear the call of your child’s voice or the ring of your phone, but because you deserve a moment to breathe. As parents, so much time is spent running from school, to work, to the store, and before we know it, we are exhausted and the day is over. It’s time to start reclaiming your sanity and take care of the one person who is taking care of everyone else—you.
I know what you’re thinking: Who has time? There is so much to do! Finding the justification to focus on you can feel near impossible. But if you can’t be the best for yourself, how can you possibly be the best for your kids?
Kids know the difference between a happy parent and a stressed-out parent. Allow yourself to say not now, maybe later to your child, spouse—even a friend. The first time will be hard, but once you get past the initial feeling of guilt, everyone starts to win. It’s about finding the hidden moments that present themselves every day.
To be successful, start small. Instead of seeing your child’s artwork as another thing you need to put away, take a minute (or two) to treasure what was created by the person you love. Guess what? If it stays on the kitchen counter another day, it won’t change how your tomorrow turns out.
Make a list (yes, another list) of the things you loved to do before becoming a parent. A list that doesn’t let the limitations of time and money get in the way. Pick two or three items and find ways to incorporate them into your daily life. If your goal is to exercise, then find pockets of time—even if it’s just a few minutes. Start with taking a walk while your kids are at school or practice. If you’re at work, use your lunch break to lace up your sneakers and get outside. The errands can wait. Your well-being is important.
Do you love early mornings or late nights? Make that time matter. Before the kids get up or after they go to bed, sit down with a cup of tea, a good book or a crossword puzzle. Take a bath. Disconnect from screens, turn off the outside noise and allow yourself 10 or 15 minutes to breathe, reflect and relax. You deserve it.
While self-care can seem like sipping champagne in a silk robe on social media, it starts with taking back small moments in your day. As you begin to value your time and energy more, you will even find yourself breathing lighter, thinking clearer, and speaking to your loved ones in a more mindful manner. With time, you might even realize that some of those things on your to-do list don’t really need to be there. If you aren’t ready to say yes to you, then say yes for the sake of your kids, family and loved ones. Trust me, everyone wins.