The week that I’m recording this podcast, I am wrapping up my Spring Break. It was a great week, but it was busy and I had been intending on using that time to re-start some of my self-care habits that have been on shaky ground the last month as Micaela went through some medical issues and things at school got a little wacky.
This is so humbling to admit to you, my audience who I show up for to help you implement habits that support your health, but it is a perfect opportunity to really let you in and help you see what being a busy mom and health habits are like, especially for me.
Okay, so before we get started, I want you to know that while things have been a little wacky around my house, I haven’t gained weight or started to see myself doing some things I tend to do when I’m overly stressed--like emotional eating. However, I can feel myself on a precipice. Pretty much, if I don’t turn it around soon I might really engaging in some emotional eating or drinking.
To help you understand where I’m at right now in my own health journey (Emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual) I want to share with you my own habits and routines. Then I’m going to give you 3 important tips for staying healthy with your habits when you are a busy mom like me. This might be a little longer episode but I know you’re going to get a lot out of it.
So, I begin my day by coffee, getting dressed, then going over to my couch and curling up with my Bible. I read the chapters in my Bible study plan. Then I work on verse memorization for five minutes and pray. I end my morning routine by reviewing my planner and deciding what I’m going to eat that day. I’m pretty good at sticking to this and prioritize getting up at least 30 minutes before my family to make sure it happens.
Staying hydrated is a cornerstone habit for me. I refill my 64 oz water bottle each day as I get the family breakfast and I make sure I drink that before I go to bed. It goes to work with me and returns home with me.
My next self-care habit is my 20 minute reset at 4:30pm. This is the one that has gotten really shaky. Through trial and error I’ve pinned down this crucial time that if I stop and refresh with time alone then I end the day with strength and patience instead of a whiny, angry, exhausted mess. I like to do a 15 minute workout and five minutes of journaling. Okay, but this hasn’t been happening regularly. I feel it too.
My last habit is ending my day with my planner. I look at the next day and set my top three goals. I also review my 24-hour meal plan and record any foods I ate outside my plan. I’m in bed early enough that I can wake in plenty of time to complete my routine in the morning.
Honestly, that isn’t much. I’m talking about a half-hour of self-care in the morning, another 20 minutes in the afternoon, and about five minutes before I go to bed. Less than an hour a day. That might seem like a lot but I guarantee you are already using a few hours a day to do things you find enjoyable, like chatting with a friend, scrolling social media, or watching TV. So, let's look at 3 ways you can successfully implement healthy habits even if you are a very busy mamma.
1. Cornerstone Habits
As I work with women, I see that those that are successful long-term develop cornerstone habits. These cornerstone habits are things they can do, come rain or shine. They are also habits from which their health sits on. Mine are drinking water, making a 24-hour food plan, Bible study, and using my planner. I have four cornerstone habits. If you notice, that reset time isn’t a cornerstone habit because I can skip it for a week or two without falling apart. However, who knows, somewhere in my future I might level-up and it might become a cornerstone habit for even better health, emotionally and physically than I experience now.
You might not have any cornerstone habits right now, and that is okay. My advice is to start with one. JUST ONE and implement it until it is something you do without a lot of thought. In my course, I teach women many tools for weight loss and emotional health. What ends up being a cornerstone habit for each woman is so different, but it is so fun to see the huge difference just a couple consistent habits can make in someone’s life.
So, if this is something you would like to start, pick one easy habit that peaks your interest like weighing yourself daily or doing some stretching before you get dressed.
When others in your home know that you do a certain thing at a certain time, fighting for space becomes easier. For example, exercise sometimes feels like having to get a dozen monkeys in a row. I have to make sure the girls are okay, I have to make sure I have the space, time, and equipment. I have to change my clothes. I also need to make sure my daughter with special needs is supervised, especially since the recent change in her epilepsy.
With all that, I have totally been ducking out. But, I also know that if it was routine, then the people in my home would be ready. Adela would know she needs to stay inside a few extra minutes to keep an eye on her sister or my husband would know I would be heading out to our bunkhouse around 4:30pm most afternoons to go for a jog on the treadmill.
Routines help you not to give into arguments in your head and also help others know how to support you. Don’t underestimate the power in that. I’ve decided that I need to be a lot less compromising and simply draw a line that when we get home from school or 4:30pm rolls around here at home that snack time happens for the girls so that they are seated and together while I get a quick workout and journaling session in.
3. Understanding your weaknesses
This one is SO SO important. I know that my weaknesses are not wanting to mess things up or not show up for my family. So, I’ll just keep going. However, my house is still not perfect and I’m not perfect no matter if my floor is swept or if I’ve made that phone call. But, the way I experience that day and the overall health of my body and soul is strengthened by investing a few minutes into my care. Question yourself. What is a fear or belief you have about doing self-care? What does that say about you?
I can’t remember where I heard this study. I want to say it was in a book by Michael Hyatt called Free to Focus, but people who did less hours of work and invested time into self-care, were overall more productive when compared to their over-working peers. I SEE this and FEEL this as a mom. When I’m worn out, I’m dragging and irritable. I get things done slowly and with loads of resentment. However, when I take a moment to refresh, I have spring in my step and a smile on my face. It is worth it.
Okay, my dear, you can do this. I know you’re busy. You’re serving others and trying to get so much done. Remember, just start with one habit and find something that supports your health and you can do without thinking. Next, invest some time and thought into routines, helping yourself follow through and others know how to support you. Lastly, pay attention to your weaknesses and become willing to target those areas so you can show up the way you need to.
You are amazing. Before we sign off, I just want you to know that enrollment for my 12 Week Course, Weight Loss from the Soul, opened up today! That’s right, it is open. If you have been waiting to work with me, this is your chance. I won’t open up the course again until the fall so if this is something you’ve been thinking about, go ahead and head over to the course page at loraarmendariz.com/weightloss to see pricing and details.
Next week I’m going to talk to you about how to keep your diet from sabotaging your weight loss efforts. I’m telling you, I have some information that is going to blow your mind so don’t miss it. Bye for now!
by Lora Armendariz
You Can Do It!
Do you want to fall out of love with a destructive habit? The first 42 episodes of this podcast are a resource for anyone who wants encouragement and information as they take a six week break from a habit in order to fall out of love with it.