Who were we before our kids were born and even before we got married? Are there just millions of mothers who look at their college or pre-marriage picture and say - "I miss being that". We would think, it is natural not feel like dressing up once we are moms and it is ok to not look as good because THERE IS NO TIME!!! But really, is that how our life needs to be? Not get enough time to brush our hair, just squeeze in our meals and eat the left-overs or whatever is cooked for everyone else, miss our friends, not go to the movies we want to and not wear HEELS anymore!
It happens so naturally to so many of us that we don't realize our subconscious thoughts - we are internally telling ourselves that - "Once my kids are grown, I will do everything that I want to do, I will take care of myself. Right now IT IS OKAY".
But tomorrow will never come. Tomorrow your infant will be a toddler and want more attention, your toddler will go to school and you will help with H.W., you may have 2 kids and so another infant in the house. The school-going kid will go to high school and keep you busy with their studies, classes, admissions, then get married, have your grand-children and so on...
Dear Moms, please do not wait for TOMORROW. The time is TODAY, the moment is NOW. Here are some SIMPLE steps or ways you can start showing love to yourself, the love that is not selfish, the love that is GENTLE and ELEGANT. You deserve to FEEL GOOD ABOUT YOURSELF! The no. 1 problem my women clients complain of is LACK OF SELF-WORTH. Really our traditional system is so stringent in giving its women enough worth and care. Let's change that a little bit.
- Start thinking about self-care and self-love: The start to any action is a thought and an intention. Set your good intention - "I deserve to feel GREAT every single day and the day is TODAY." Look at yourself in the mirror, no matter what your weight, height, skin color, face looks like, you are still WORTHY of love because you are a WHOLE made of so many different TALENTS and QUALITIES that go beyond how your body looks. So start with daily AFFIRMATIONS like - "I love myself. I am a wonderful person, etc." You can even write notes to yourself and post them in your bedroom, bath, etc. E.g. - "I LOVE YOU RIMA, I LOVE YOUR SMILE".
- Take time out to dress, exercise and sleep: Remove an extra 15 mins per day for each of these. How would you dress if you were still in college, unmarried? why not now? Wear some jewelry and brush your hair not because others want you to look good but because dressing well gives us GOOD FEELINGS about ourselves. Exercise is even better - it generates happiness hormones and keeps us feeling great. Sleep is of utmost importance, while it is not always possible, an extra 15 mins. is definitely doable! If you can't find extra 45 mins. each day, alternate them.
- Say NO when you have to: Yes, you are a Mom with lots of responsibilities but the world, our kids, in laws, husbands, home, kitchen can all survive a few minutes minus us, daily. If the person on the phone is taking up your time, hang up, tell them frankly although nicely that you have things to take care of. If work is pressing hard on your mind and the event in the evening is not so important, tell your family that you will take a break and not go to the event. They may feel bad once but its ok, you cannot please everyone and definitely not at the cost of your peace of mind and comfort! Everyday take 10 mins. off for your own privacy. Tell your kids and everyone, this is your personal time to spend in your room, outside, wherever and that they can call you only if its an emergency. However you want your special space, announce that, you don't need permission to spend time with yourself.
Asserting ourselves, learning to say NO, is the greatest weakness amongst women especially because in our culture women are strongly taught to PLEASE OTHERS.
- Socialize: Friendships, outings, laughter is so important to happiness and good health. At no cost you want to sacrifice this side of your life. At least twice a month spend time with your favorite people and if you don't have, make friends either at the gym, at a library, sports club, wherever. It is worth missing your daily serial for the healthy laughter in return!
- Cut down on unhealthy energies: Stop talking to and hanging out with gossipers, people who tease you, share negative news and pull your self-confidence down. Neither do you deserve, nor do you need them. Even if it is close family members, if you stop giving them time and attention, they will have no choice but to find other people to gossip with. Sometimes it takes courage to act 'away' from family and friends who don't serve you well but it is worth every second because NEGATIVE people cut down your life hours, your health and happiness.
- Stop living in Bitterness: Forgive yourself for all your past mistakes, forgive others for theirs. It does no help to hold PAIN, GUILT, SHAME, FEAR, ANGER and HURT in our heart. Cry it out, talk it out, write it out but let it out, period! Our minds and hearts cannot hold 2 polars at the same time. You can either feel great about yourself, the world and others or you can feel shitty and bitter, choose your thoughts and emotions wisely. Did you know that the GREATEST cause of CANCER is CHRONIC feelings of hurt, bitterness, shame, regrets and / or guilt? Cancer is not a physical problem, it is an EMOTIONAL PROBLEM! Pay attention to the feelings that you carry with you every second.
- Accept and Change: A lot of self-love is about Acceptance. Accept the parts of your body and life that you do not have control over and focus on what you can change. There is no point holding a grudge towards a bad nose or a bad mother in law, there is point in changing the kind of hair style I can have or learning how to deal with or tackle difficult people. Self-love is all about finding solutions and always reminding yourself that you are STRONGER and MORE POWERFUL THAN THE PROBLEM.
- Hobbies are Hermits: Hobbies are a gateway to emotional liberation. If you have trapped feelings, irritation and not such an exciting life, add a hobby or two. Dance, music, gardening, reading, networking, photography - whatever it is. Take a short class or start experimenting on your own. If you love it, you will learn it quick and it will help distract you from all the nuisances of life. Practice your hobby at least 2ce a month if not more.
- Do what you love Today: Don't procrastinate. If you love yourself, it will show clearly in your actions and when it does, your children will learn to love themselves too. It is no good having a mother who spends a lot of time with her children while in her heart she aches for all the burden she feels. It is better for children to have a mother who spends 15 valuable minutes with them everyday and spends another 15 minutes to read the book she was craving to read or to go the gym to spark her energy. I am not saying you must ignore your kids and their needs but you can surely find a way to balance that out. Don't wait till your kids grow up. They need to see what SELF-CARE is and better done than said!
- Find a Best Friend: A best friend is not necessarily a person. It could be the ocean, a song or a pen and a paper - anyone or anything that will be the open space where you can VOMIT out all the stresses, worries and fears that hold you back. Make it a weekly practice to VOMIT out the NEGATIVE built up. Discover what or who is your best friend. It could even be God. It is amazing how great it feels to sit at a temple and say all that we could not tell anyone else in the world, notice the shift in your energy then. Maybe your best friend could be SOCIAL WORK, donating something, teaching children, whatever it is, find something that will blow your mind with happiness and bliss!
- Shut down that phone, serial and Facebook: How many hours in a day do you spend in each of these put together? Time yourself for the next 7 days and notice the amount of minutes spent in UNNECESSARY phone talk - after which you do not even feel on top of the world! What about the serial full of unhealthy drama? Did you not feel drained after that serial? And Facebook - the no. 1 culprit that makes us feel horrible. O, you liked your friend's lovely picture but internally you were so jealous of the happiness in her life. STOP checking out the newsfeed on Facebook and start doing something valuable in your life. Use that time to COOK for yourself, SING or DANCE or DOODLE a funny picture. Loving yourself means doing more of what makes you feel ALIVE, ENTHUSIASTIC and less of what takes that away.
- Become a Nature Lover: Nothing beats nature in its healing qualities. It feels so good to shut out our mobiles, stop checking emails and messages and just be ourselves in silence with nature. Meditate or just sit in silence, play with your kids on the green grass or swim in the water, this is the best health pill of all times!
I hope I have inspired your Moms to start a new day, a new life with a new mind. Life is now, Live it to your best!
This article is a contest entry article for #EverydayisMothersDay Contest
Image Credits: Google Images and Flickr.