It's time to put that self-care regimen into practice.
Ever feel like you are running a hundred miles an hour without any brakes? As a working mom, I often feel that way - and my car is a convertible with the top down on a day when the weather isn’t great. And in case you don’t know, you can’t put a convertible top down at top speed. My hair is going to look amazing.
Let’s make today the day when we slow down and fix the brakes of our out of control car. And by fixing the brakes, I mean to take a break and refocus in a few areas that will benefit our overall well-being as mothers, as women, and as professionals.
Right now is the best time to build wellness habits that will not only benefit our family and career, but our emotional, physical, and mental health.
Step 1: Reflect on what you are most proud of last year.
This can be done in your commute to the office or during your shower. Reflecting doesn’t have to be anything fancy or formal. Simply think through what makes you most proud and what exactly it is that makes you proud of it. What role did you play to make it a success? Once you have the details in your mind about your proudest moment, brainstorm ways that you can incorporate that success into your routine and projects for next year. Pick the moment you felt had the greatest impact on your life and make a plan to do it again.
Step 2: Think of one thing you would like to change.
In addition to your Step 1 discovery, you next should think of one small thing you would like to change that may make the biggest impact on your business, work, or personal life. Then make a plan to incorporate that small change into your daily routine. For me, I am going to spend five to ten minutes of uninterrupted 1:1 time each day with each member of my family. This quality time will make a huge difference in my relationships with each of them while also keeping me grounded so I don’t lose sight of what’s most important.
Step 3: Re-frame your perspective and language.
This LinkedIn article spoke volumes to me about how we can make small adjustments to our conversational language that will make a big impact on how others view us, while also empowering others. Instead of saying, “sorry I’m late,” say, “thank you for waiting on me.” Instead of saying, “I’m sorry I am talking too much,” say, “thank you for listening to me.” This small but powerful re-framing will make a positive impact on your conversations and relationships this year.
Step 4: Experiment with meditation.
It’s not just for the yoga studios! You can do it from wherever you are. Meditation can bring clarity and focus to our minds while drastically reducing stress levels, which in turn helps us sleep better and boosts our immune systems to better fight disease. I encourage you to sign up for Oprah and Deepak’s free 21 day meditation experience. The program runs a few times a year, but their website has tons of tutorials and articles on why and how to meditate.
Step 5: Schedule time once a week to do something you love.
Burnout is real. And losing your identity in the chaos and busy-ness of life is too. Once a week, check in with yourself by doing something you love that brings you joy. This could be going out with friends for drinks, attending a cooking class, or simply curling up on the couch with a good book and your favorite dessert. Allowing our bodies and minds to relax and enjoy ourselves is good for the soul. And when our souls are happy and fulfilled, our minds are sharper and more focused when it’s time to get back to work.
There are more ways to build wellness habits this year, but these five steps are a great start. Today, I encourage you to choose just one step to focus on and do this week. Start small. Once you have that one new practice conquered and implemented into your routine, then move on to the next step. Small, measured baby steps are often the best way to get us to where we want to go. It’s definitely a better way than my too fast convertible with the top down on a rainy day. My hair is proof.
About the Contributor:
Anna McKay has been a career transition and leadership development coach since 2008. She is the proud mama of two kind-hearted and strong willed girls! After years as an expat in China and the Philippines, Anna founded Parents Pivot to help stay-at-home-parents return to paid work and find careers they love. She offers online workshops, in-person training, return to work programs, and 1x1 & group coaching. Anna is also a MentorMama on SocialMama.