Being a mom can sometimes feel lonely. How can that be when surrounded by hustle, bustle, kids, and activity.
I venture to guess that in the absence of other mental illnesses, what we are lonely for is a connection with ourselves. When we’re raising children, we often lose touch with the best version of who we really are.
I’m here to say it’s not selfish to connect with you. Here’s my recipe for well-being that I try my best to practice.
1. Rest and sleep. There’s no heroism in sleep-deprivation. I literally used to love nap time when my kids were really little because I could take a power nap too. That’s not as necessary now, because my nighttime sleep isn’t interrupted, but I can’t overestimate the power of rest and sleep for your self-care.
2. Eat well. Choose foods that fuel your mom-self and give you energy. For me this means I limit sugar, alcohol, and simple carbohydrates from chips, crackers, cakes, cookies, and ice cream. I drink a lot of fresh water, eat a lot of colorful vegetables, lean protein, and healthy fats. My energy levels are great and I feel good most of the time. I attribute that physical feeling of well-being to what I eat and to my sleep.
3. Choose thoughts that serve you. Your environment will prove true whatever you think, so deliberately focus on what you want to show up in your life. If you think you’re kids are cranky, or that you’re crazy busy guess what? Your kids act cranky and you feel crazy busy. (Below is my favorite YouTube video on this brainpower center called the Reticular Activating System.)
4. In quiet sit, every morning, for at least 10 to 15 minutes. No phone. No TV. Just you and quiet. Try to avoid the mental to-do list. Just sit and listen and be.
5. Play with people who are fun and have fun with your kids. They aren’t always going to want you around, so if you have a craving to play, now’s the time. Picnics, nature walks, banging on pots and pans. Embrace this chance to do what other adults don’t always take the time to do – play and have fun. I used to tell myself having kids felt was like I was on vacation. And we had a lot of fun for sure.
6. Enjoy inputs that uplift – music, books, TV, movies. Uplifting generates good thoughts which drive positive emotions and actions. This is why the Hallmark Channel is so popular.
When we show up for ourselves and be the best we can be, we’re easier to be around. We don’t mind solitude, and we don’t look for people and activities outside of us to make us feel better. And, if you do feel lonely, and if you feel darkness overcomes you more often than not, please reach out to someone. You’re not alone.
Cookbook author, editor, and Culinary Dietitian Maggie Green, RDN, LD coaches first-time cookbook …