I'ts really hard for some of us to make it through the day without collapsing let alone find time to actually do something for ourselves but when self-care results in extra energy we benefit and our families benefit, too.
1. Take the time first thing in the morning to squeeze in some rejuvenating exercise even if you have to beat your family up to do it. What I mean is set your alarm for 25 minutes before anyone wakes and give that time to yourself as a gift.
Alternate between vigorous movement and stretching for about 5 minutes each for those 25 minutes. You'll not only have more energy for the entire day, but your mood will improve.
2. Replace unhealthy carbs and sugars with healthy fats and non-starchy veggies as often as you can. This is what your body needs for sustained energy as opposed to a quick burst followed by a letdown that most often leads to cravings and hunger between meals.
Protein is also important but we don't need too much so add moderate amounts with every meal and snack for balance. Our parents and grandparents were right when they encouraged us to eat balanced meals for energy and health!
3. You may not have time to get away to a weekly yoga class but you can always grab just a couple of minutes for this super-energizing ritual. Close your eyes and press your index finger to your thumb and breathe in, let go and breathe out, repeat for 1 minute or until you feel the wave of calm energy come over you.
4. A bad day with family communication is definately a huge energy drain. You can fix that by showing your family members exactly how you want them to treat you. Here's how....
Start using the phrase, "That was helpful", many times throughout the day. Look for any behavior you like to see and describe it, followed by the words, "That was helpful."
For instance, you could say, "I noticed that you cleared your place at the table, Monica. That was helpful."
With those words you're telling them exactly what you want to see more of and encouraging them to actually do it by noticing and calling them out for their respectful behavior. This kind of positive emotional energy is priceless.
Nanci J. Bradley is a child and family educator, author, SELF discovery facilitator and all-around fun loving person. She believes in the power of sleep, communication, boundary setting, healthy weight and more than anything else, PLAY! She studied early childhood education at Triton College in 1978, got her BA in education from Northern Illinois University in 1986 and her MA in human development from Pacific Oaks College in 2011. She lives and teaches in Madison, WI.