As mothers and wives we spend most of our days serving others. I find great joy is cooking a meal, helping my children get dressed, teaching early morning seminary, folding laundry (I LOVE to fold laundry!) but if I’m not careful I can easily do too much. I become depleted and reach a breaking point. I’ve found my own cup to be empty. Recently I came across this quote that teaches a great concept,
We are like a pie: we give a piece to our parents, we give a piece to our loves, we give a piece to our children, and we give a piece to our careers. At the end of life, some people have not saved a piece for themselves- and don’t even know what kind of pie they were. I know what kind of pie I am; this is something we each find for ourselves. I can leave this life knowing who I am. (Life Lessons, pg 38)
Taking time, just a little bit each day, to nurture ourselves goes a long way in enhancing our ability to serve those around us. Not only serve them but with a cheerful attitude because we ourselves are happier! Here are some tips that have worked for me to find time to nurture myself just a bit each day. I don’t do them all every day but I do at least a few scattered throughout the day like little rewards for making it that far. 🙂
1. Commune With God
Even if I don’t do anything else this is one thing I do do every single day. I take my cue from Jesus Christ who went “early in the morning” to the temple. (John 8:2) I teach early morning seminary to the youth. Class begins at 6:30am. This means I get myself up at 5:30am so I have time to study the scriptures, pray, and ponder to start my day off. Communing with God in the morning helps me find balance for the entire day.
When my children were all little I found the best of time was the stillness of early morning before they woke up. Even if I didn’t get a great night’s sleep because of a fussy baby I tried to make it a priority to get up and read and study. Why? Mostly because that’s what I remember my mother doing. It seemed like no matter how early we children got up our mother was already at the table or sitting in the recliner with scriptures out reading. Another reason is I’ve found it just works the best for me. When I tell Him of my concerns and challenges, then turn to His word in the scriptures for even 15 or 20 minutes, He nourishes my soul and helps me make wise choices of how to most effectively use my day. Believe it or not I end up less stressed and less tired. I am rejuvenated.
2. Go Outside
Fresh air and sunshine are great pick me-ups, not only for you but the whole family. Take a short walk, push your child on the swing, kick a soccer ball around, or just lie on the grass and look at the clouds. Five minutes outside can make a world of difference when you go back inside.
3. Have a hobby
Find something you like to do and spend a few minutes doing it. I like to sew and read and play the piano. You might enjoy knitting, woodworking, or doing crossword puzzles. Whatever you choose, take 10 minutes and do it!
I admit I need to work more on this one. Right now I am not consistent in exercising and I can feel the difference, not only physically but mentally, emotionally, and spiritually as well. When we aren’t taking care of our physical bodies it does have an effect other areas of our lives too. My daughter is taking a nutrition class right now and sent us a link to video that shows how walking for 30 minutes a day reduces a whole host of physical issues like high blood pressure, depression, and stress. Exercising just does your body a world of good!
5. Quick Pick-Me-Ups
Make a list of simple, fast things that make you smile. When you have a couple of minutes do one! Ideas can include:
- Paint your nails.
- Listen to your favorite song.
- Do your hair.
- Put on make-up.
- Hug your kids.
- Smooch your husband.
- Call a friend.
- Eat chocolate.
- Write in your journal.
- Put on good smelly lotion.
One final thing to do, if all else fails and you just can’t find the time to do a little something for yourself, smile! If you can’t even smile then try this trick I learned at a Relief Society meeting. Stick a pen or pencil in your mouth and bite down like shown in the picture. It uses the same muscles as a smile, your kids will laugh at you, and then before you know it a real genuine smile will come to your face. Instant pick-me-up!
Hopefully these 5 ideas for a quick mom pick-me-up will help you rejuvenate. What do you do to make time for yourself each day? How do you replenish your “giving” supply? Any extra tips you would add for other moms?
This post is part of the Establish a House series that runs every Wednesday on this blog.