Fall is a time when it’s all about making adjustments. The summer is over, kids are back to school, and new routines begin. There are new teachers, new challenges, and new meltdowns.
Fall means we are short on time. We are back to running on the morning treadmill of…
- Making breakfast…Mom, I didn’t want toast!
- Packing lunches and snacks…Mom, don’t give me that again!
- Getting out the door…Honey, can you please get ready?
- And off to the bus stop on time…Mom, I don’t want to go to school today!
Then we’re off to work, and as the day goes on, we juggle the many responsibilities of being a modern mom. We have to manage our homes, complete homework, and set up play dates and sports activities–which keeps our kids grounded.
With so many demands, it’s hard to “Keep Calm And Carry On.” How do we do that when we are already short on time?
Here are four simple habits you can begin today to keep yourself in control and happy all day long.
1. Start the day out with your own routine. Let me repeat that: YOUR OWN routine. Let’s put aside those early morning feedings, diaper changes, and breakfast duties for a second, and think about something small you can do to start the day. Alone. Get up just a few minutes before everyone else and just BE with yourself in a way that makes you feel happy. And don’t worry–it’s not antisocial or selfish to do this. It’s a form of personal care that you deserve and that can work wonders for your sanity first thing in the morning.
2. Make lunch time your own personal check-in time. Instead of rushing through lunch–either at home with little ones or at your workplace–use your lunch time to check-in with yourself. Ask the question we so often ask others: How are you? And then, as you eat, think about one thing that you are proud of today. Notice how truly lovely you feel after that. Use your lunch time to nourish you completely in body and in mind. (And if you’re a lunch skipper, like so many of us are, make it a habit to stop whatever you’re doing at 12 p.m., close your eyes, and reflect upon your proud moment of the day.)
3. Carve out some late-day connection. Afternoons and early evenings can feel overwhelming. It’s pick-up time at daycare or the bus stop, and you have a whole afternoon of activities to begin. Whatever your situation, find one person–even your child–to seek out during those tiring late-day hours, and tell him/her that you’re grateful for them. Something as simple as, “I’m so grateful that we talked at soccer practice today. It really lightened my mood,” is enough. Social connection is key to uplifting your soul.
4. Go to bed with your hands over your heart. When you reach the end of the day, and you’re in bed waiting to fall asleep, do this: “Butterfly” your hands over your heart, and think of one thing you’re thankful for today. Then close your eyes, and let all other thoughts go as you drift off to a peaceful sleep.