Mother's Day is a wonderful time when we moms get to feel appreciated by our loved ones. Yet this Mother's Day, consider giving yourself a gift: the gift of time, or what I like to call a Mom's Time Out.
Moms need time outs not just on Mother's Day, but on a regular basis. A recent study shows that modern moms rate their stress levels at 8.5 on a scale of 10. That's not a healthy number, moms! Do you know what happens when you are stressed out? You are less able to focus, you are more prone to insomnia, depression, low energy and frustration, not to mention a wide array of common colds and serious health risks -- all of which make it more difficult to do your most important job: Being a mom and caring for your family.
One simple solution: give yourself a time out. Carve some time out each day while your children are in school or taking naps to do something just for you. This simple, daily practice will help you de-stress, replenish your brain, restore your energy and center your thoughts. Then, when your children do come home from school, you will find that you have so much more patience, empathy and love to give because you're not running on empty.
Replenish the Honey Pot
I like to talk think about it like a honey pot: if you keep draining the pot, giving honey to this person and that person, and you don't replenish that honey pot, then at the end of the day, there will be no more honey left to give. There is only ONE person who can replenish the honey, and that's you.
Some argue that it's selfish for moms to take time for themselves. Actually, it is selfless, because you are recharging what you need in order to be there for your family.
Ideas for Mom's Time Out
Here are some of my favorite ideas for moms to do during a Mom's Time Out:
• Sit down, make yourself a hot cup of tea and read a book.
• Talk a long walk around the neighborhood.
• Play tennis with a friend or ride bikes.
• Take a bubble bath.
• Meet up with a friend for lunch.
• Take a nap.
You can even start by treating yourself with Mom's Time Out once a week. When my children were younger, I used to treat myself by going to the movies, either on my own or with a friend. I'd order popcorn, sit back, relax and allow myself to mentally escape and replenish my energy. Then, when my kids came home from school, I was so happy! I had filled up that honey pot again and was ready to give them my all.
This Mother's Day, be good to yourselves, moms. Make a list of things that make you happy, and carve out time to do these things once a day, or at least once a week. Find positive ways to fill up your honey pot, your energy tank. The more we do this, the happier we are; and the happier we are, the happier other people are around us. Honor yourself, value yourself and in turn, your children will learn to honor and value themselves as well. And isn't that what we all want: happy children?
Happy kids start with happy moms. Happy Mother's Day to all of the wonderful moms out there!
Follow Dr. Gail Gross on Twitter: www.twitter.com/DrGailGross