Raise your hand if you have found yourself living off caffeine, surviving off 2-3 hours of sleep, and snacking of your kid's plate for your latest meal? Parenthood has its fantastic and glorious moments. However, sometimes we don't realize that it can come at a cost if we aren't careful.
When we become parents, our lives instantly change. We go from being focused on our own health needs, meals, bedtimes to a whole new world of looking after someone else. Don't get me wrong; it is the greatest gift ever, however recently, more and more women are noticing higher levels of anxiety, depression, weight gain, and much more due to the stress of parenthood.
A few common symptoms we feel as parents (not just moms) are:
- lack of sleep
- nutritional deficiencies
- loss of self
- feeling that we aren't doing enough
- lack of motivation
Some of our daily anxieties can also be around if we are doing enough for our kids, are we being the best parent we can be, comparing ourselves to others and feeling like we aren't doing a good job.
These realms of emotions and feelings can leave us in a whirlwind, and often what happens is we become stuck in a constant state of stress, which we call "Moms' Syndrome."
So what do we do to support our mental, emotional, and physical health needs when we are a parent? Here are a few of my favorite tips that allow me to take care of myself to be the best version I can be:
- Take some much needed "me time". Set aside 30-60 minutes a day to spend some quiet time doing something you like. Read a book, have a bath, go for a walk, or join a yoga class.
- Make sleep a priority. Aim to get 7-8 hours a sleep a night. Create your sleeping routine.
- Move your body every day! Whether it is in the gym, dancing in the shower, or going for a walk. Get up and get moving.
- Make nutrition a priority. Eating good food makes you feel good inside and out.
- Take a Multivitamin. Get in all your essential nutrients and minerals to keep you feeling healthy and energized.
- Learn to take a breather and ask for help.
In the end, I have found that taking care of myself; even if it is just 15-20 minutes a day, helps keep me from getting overwhelmed and anxious. When I started to look after my health, I became less stressed and had more energy, which in turn enabled me to be a better parent. Small changes to your routine, your health, and even your diet can lead to positive changes.
Chelan Wilkins, RHN