Recently, a meme has been circulating on social media that basically states there are two kinds of people in this world: those who always keep their gas tanks full or the ones who run on fumes. At first, it was a good laugh, because we all know those people who have had to walk on occasion to get a can of gas. Unfortunately, this same principle can be applied to parents, more specifically mothers.
It’s common knowledge that life gets busy, often pulling us in different directions at any given moment. Everyday, we juggle the demands of children, family, careers, home, and volunteer activities leaving little time to spare or focus on ourselves. Unfortunately, we often run ourselves empty, barely sputtering from obligation to obligation.
After all, shouldn’t our kids and spouses come first?
Overcoming the guilt factor
Similar to our vehicles, we often hold off replenishing our own tanks, because we feel guilty for taking time for ourselves or spending precious moments meeting our needs by nurturing our minds and bodies. However, if we procrastinate and fail to address our needs, over time we actually harm our families, because we will inevitably run ourselves into the ground and find that we are completely drained. This is why pampering ourselves is healthy, no frivolous.
For us to overhaul our guilt, we need to pinpoint ways that can help us meet our personal and family expectations while still scheduling a time for maintenance to pamper ourselves. Study after study has repeatedly found that when we take care of ourselves, we actually improve our productivity and performance at work, home, and within the family.
So heed the expert’s advice and give yourself permission to nurture yourself, because it benefits everyone and our health. Find something that you can enjoy without feeling guilty. Take a mental health day, walk the mall, doodle in your adult colouring book, take a nature walk or spring for a massage. Just remind yourself that this is an important task, like filling up your gas tank or scheduling that oil change.
Healthy and guilt-free ways to pamper yourself
Light a fire!
It’s no secret that cosying up to a fire is calming, but science has found the mere sound of a crackling fire can actually reduce our blood pressure! Spend a night around the fire pit or spark up the fireplace to relax.
Finding the good in our lives can help improve our outlook, relationships, and experiences. Journal or make mental notes of at least one item every day that was positive to develop our appreciation of the things in our lives. Even if it is small, this act will help us be aware of our blessings and give us an overall feeling of well-being. Remember the popular saying, “not every day will be good, but there will be some good in everyday”.
Catch some Z’s
Far too often we are tempted to stay up late to finish chores or meet that work deadline, but most adults require seven to nine hours of shut eye every night to function at their best. According to data from the CDC, one out of every three adults doesn’t get enough sleep. Strive to get enough rest, even if you need to sneak in a power nap.
Exercise creates hormones which relieve stress, improves health, and reduces anxiety. Thankfully, we can adapt almost all forms of physical activity to fit our fitness level. Sign up for a yoga class, walk over your lunch break, or take the stairs more often to care for yourself.
Finding solitude has some promising side effects that include boosting creativity, increasing self-awareness, feeling calm, solving problems, developing empathy, and so much more. Run yourself that bubble bath filled with soothing essential oils or just relax in the backyard shade to seek some time alone to recharge.
Cuddle up to a pet
Studies have found that people with pets exhibit lower blood pressure, healthier heart rates, and improved mental health. Seek a four legged pal to walk, play fetch, or cuddle.
Cook up some fun
Fast food has a time and place, but taking time to treat ourselves to a healthy meal is not frivolous. Eating a diet that is rich in vegetables, fruits, protein, and unprocessed foods lower our risk for a variety of chronic diseases, regulates our energy stores, and can boost our moods.
Buy a bouquet
Surround yourself with an arrangement of your favourite flowers to help promote feelings of calm and relaxation. Research has found that simply viewing plants, like roses, can instantly reduce stress and lower blood pressure.
What tips do you have for pampering yourself?
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