I recently experienced a period of time in which my independence was limited. An eye injury with a long-term recovery prognosis impacted my ability to live normal life – including engaging in my preferred methods for staying fit and healthy.
When Self Care is Challenging
My specific problem may have been unique, but the consequences of the injury were not. Regardless of the specifics of our situations, we as moms frequently encounter stretches of time ranging from a few weeks to months or even years when it is difficult to find ways to take care of ourselves. Some days a shower is so far out of reach that a trip to the gym or a morning run is a foreign concept!
But I have good news. It really doesn’t take much time to take care of ourselves and provide the energy boost we need to truly feel great, even in those stretches of life when our choices are severely limited.
No Equipment Necessary
Do you have canned goods in your pantry? Grab a couple and use them as weights. No, they might not be as heavy as what you would find in the gym, but any resistance is helpful. Use them to work through a few arm exercises.
Meanwhile, your dining room chair can make a great bar or support for stretches and toning exercises.
If you’re a mom of littles, lie on your back, have your little one sit on your feet while you hold her hands and lift her. She has a lot of fun, and you get a great workout!
It can be often hard to find a solid block of time during the day to exercise or focus on yourself in any way. But, even if you can set aside 20 minutes, you will be amazed by how much better you feel!
While spending twenty minutes in one block does allow you to process through a workout cycle well, even that is not entirely necessary. You can break it up throughout the day and still receive the benefits of investing in the care of yourself.
Did you know that you are actually more efficient if you work in time blocks? Whatever you are doing – whether it is teaching school, plowing through a to-do list, or trying to squeeze in a little work – try setting a 25-minute timer. Work steadily until the timer goes off (even if you accomplish a variety of tasks in that time period), then take a five minute break. Use your break time to do some lunges, walk up and down the stairs a few times, or chase your toddler through the house for a tickle fest.
Conquering the Mental Battle
For many of us, the greatest hindrance to taking a few minutes to re-energize ourselves each day lies within our own minds. We convince ourselves we are too tired, and a nap seems to be a much better idea. And sometimes, it is! But, most of the time, exercise is the choice that will improve our health and our spirits most effectively.
If the mental battle is getting you down, enlist help! Ask a friend or your spouse to hold you accountable. Turn playtime with your kids into workout time such that they ask for it. Find something quick and active that you enjoy so you don’t dread it. Determine what keeps you from taking the time to care for your own physical needs, and then actively seek ways to win that mental battle.
I can’t tell you how much better I felt when I intentionally found ways to keep myself active, even during recovery from my injury. It helped me physically, mentally, and emotionally handle the many challenges that came my way during those months. No matter what life looks like right now for you, finding ways to keep yourself active will make a difference in your ability to take it on and feel good in the process!