October is emotional wellness month, which prompted us to think, have we checked in on our own lately?
Ever growing to-do lists, the appointments, the schedules, the household, the work duties, the always multi-tasking momma, phew we get tired just thinking about it all! How about you? Are you a “list checker-offer” like we are?
In evaluating our emotional wellbeing, it also forced us to take a long hard look at how we define productivity. The realization that emotional wellbeing was tightly knitted to our stress load, which go figure, is directly linked to our “to-do” list.
If we’re being super honest, we love “to-do” lists! And while we are not at all throwing those out the window, we are fine tuning what they look like and ensuring our own mental wellbeing is prioritized and our stress level is turned waaaaay down.
How often do you go to play with your kids and then realize that the toy cabinet is a disaster? So, in an effort to be efficient you start organizing it right then and there. Then someone is hungry, someone wakes early from nap, a neighbor stops by, you get a work call and just like that your semi messy toy cubby is now a disaster all over the room. Now it’s off to the races with dinner, bath & bedtime and when you wrap that up you’re simply just too “done” to care about the toy mess.
Add it to the list! Add it to the morning stress bucket! Add it to the #realmomlife hashtag! WHAT ARE WE DOING MOMMAS???
So many of us are constantly chasing the “to-do’s” with no end in sight and feeling fried.
The truth is that ibeing a mom makes it even more important to reassess what it means to be a productive person vs. a busy one. We know there are the basics; that laundry ain’t gonna wash itself, grocery shopping has to get done, these people all have to eat!
We get it, momma, and that’s why we’re sharing what we’ve found that has been a game changer for us. At the end of the day, the needs on us seem to grow just as quickly as these sweet babes do and we are the only ones who can prioritize, reassess and take charge of how that looks and feels for our emotional wellbeing.
We don’t have to come last while everything else comes first, but actually applying that concept takes some getting used to.
Letting go of the stress to keep up with it all, putting an end to multitasking, and creating a solutions list for our household are a few things that have helped us prioritize our own emotional wellbeing. As much as we want to cling to a daily completed to-do list as tangible evidence of being a productive person, it’s time to remind ourselves of what’s really important, our mental health!
So tucked right in there with schedule dentist appointment for the kids and take the dog to the vet, we’re starting to include things like:
- Make sure to laugh today
- Smile just because
- Know that the “things” will get done or can wait and no harm will come in waiting
- Allow time to embrace the sense of wonder and excitement about the world
- Show my family how to love and set boundaries through how I honor myself
- Lay back and look at the clouds, the trees, stargaze, feel grounded
Having these in plain sight might just be the daily nudge we all need to keep the bigger picture in mind and hold perspective. Positive affirmations and reminders certainly aren't the end all answer but they sure do help us refocus and prioritize.
Our families don’t need a full milk container in the fridge or perfectly folded towels and empty sink, what they need and desire most is our presence. Not 24/7, not always engaged in child play, not someone who ignores the necessary, but someone who is connected to their own truth, needs, and allows space for the season they are in. If we want to raise happy and emotionally healthy children who will grow up to be productive contributors to society, it starts with us acknowledging our own needs and inner happiness.
Here are a few things we’ve tried with great benefit:
SOLUTION BASED EVALUATION
Take good ol fashioned pen to paper, draw a line down the middle and on one side write down all the current pain points, on the other you're going to write down solutions. So for example, mornings might be a pain point in your home. That rush to get out the door or maybe you’re home but mornings just feel chaotic. There is breakfast to be made, dogs to be walked, you’d love to prioritize your own exercise routine, lunches to be packed and a hot shower would be an added bonus.....
So maybe your solution is to make easy grab breakfast options (muffins, eggs bakes, bars, overnight oats, smoothy, etc.), get your shoes, socks, water bottle, leashes & stroller out the night before. Put the kiddos in the stroller, grab the leash and hit the road.
Kids fed ✔️ Dogs walked ✔️ moved your body ✔️ now when you get home maybe baby will nap or kiddos will play peacefully for a few mins while momma grabs a hot shower and throws some lunches together. (We’re also not above 20 min of morning cartoons if it means saving our sanity with that hot shower!)
It won’t always work out, it won’t always be easy, it will be messy at first but starting to make changes that feel solution based will set in motion less stress, more intention and overall ease on your own wellbeing. As much as a scheduled out plan sounds so boring to us, it is 100% the game changer for our own mental health.
WHAT WE FILL OUR DOWNTIME WITH
Sure, we all love a good social media binge or trash TV marathon but the reality is, what we’re filling our mind with matters. So keep the thing you love but maybe add in a book, podcasts, uplifting show, date with a friend that fill your cup, follow some accounts that make you laugh and feel happy.
Momma side note, we just read the book “Hunt, Gather, Parent” by Michaeleen Doucleff and while there may be parts of the book that didn’t fully resonate, it was eye opening in so many ways. It has changed the way we share household / family tasks and our kids jumped right on board once we started implementing. This has ultimately given us more space for getting over our “do it all” mentality and has improved our emotional wellbeing.
So there you have it mommas, a few tips that have worked for us. They aren't fancy, they aren't flawless but they have made a huge difference in our emotional wellbeing.
Do you have ideas that you think would serve other mommas? Want to share? We LOVE hearing from you, so please always feel free to shoot us a message via email or DM. We personally read and reply to every single one and gather such great insight to share from you, the momma who’s in it, living it and talking about it.