#MomsSelfCare #MomsUnwind #MomsHealth
I am flexible (as a person) but my schedule is not and anytime something goes awry, I’m frustrated at best, defeated at worst.
I like having big goals, I want to accomplish a lot in my life and career. I enjoy staying deeply involved with my children while still pursuing personal growth: wisdom, creativity, becoming more present and deepening my professional expertise.
In the past two weeks, my (too tight) schedule has taken a hit from children’s illnesses and doctors appointments, my own doctors visits (routine) and then finally, a blizzard – shortening my nanny’s schedule, cancelling my son’s school — basically upending my schedule with hours of lost productivity.
I realize life happens… all of the time. How do other mom’s deal? What are the techniques that create more room for the unplanned? What brings stress levels down and creates space for peace and self-care? Most moms juggle a lot and share the strain that comes with it. A few, seem to have figured out a formula for being great, patient moms and incredibly effective in their work and communities.
I’ve been focused on understanding (and reducing) stress, as part of the quest for self-care, as I shared with part 1 results from the Mom’s Hierarchy of Needs survey.
Here’s what I’ve learned from the ‘stress question’ in the survey, when asked ‘when you do unwind, how do you do it?’ Mom’s responded with:
More than half of the favorite wind down activities (61%) are enjoyed solo! Moms don’t get much ‘me time’ to unwind or for self-care and when they do, solitude to recharge is vital.
“Any time alone or without worrying about direct care of a toddler is relaxing…”
“I try to simply sit down. It doesn’t often happen.”
“I rarely…watch a movie…I don’t want to hear more noise.”
“I attempt to simply sit still for a few moments (paradoxical, I know).”
Nearly one in four activities (24%) were some form of exercise, whether frequently or occasional, many link the positive benefits of movement with managing stress.
“Regularly go to the gym (every morning prior to work) and walk outside as much as possible”
“Exercise…yoga, barre class”
Screen time for mommy
Also, a quarter of the (25%) relax activities involve ‘screen’ based entertainment — TV, movies, social media or games online.
“(Go) to the gym on my lunch hour or watch my favorite TV show after kids are in bed.”
“…Ideally yoga and running, less than ideally, TV and reading novels.”
“…Watching trash TV.”
Out and about
Although, social activities came in last (6%) moms are also enjoying quality time with the spouse and friends to de-stress:
“Spend time with my husband after the kids go to bed.”
“…Dinner with friends, night away from kids.”
“…Girls’ night out!”
Top 10 ways moms unwind (based on survey responses)
Exercise run/walk/yoga– 24%
Reading – 12%
Other (i.e. mani/pedis, coloring, singing, baking, therapy, massage) –11%
Time alone/quiet – 8%
Adult beverage – 6%
Friends/night out 6%
Hubby time – 5%
Internet/Social Media/Video Games – 4%
What’s (not) surprising?
Although moments to de-stress and relax are rare, moms still judge the quality of how they unwind (i.e. TV and wine are bad, exercise and yoga are good).
Life hacks and advice on productivity abound. However, for many reasons, they aren’t tailored for working moms or caregivers that lack predictable or ample discretionary time to implement them.
The good news, there are life hacks that are working for moms! I’ve benefitted tremendously from routines that help me get closer to some of my larger goals, particularly, with meals and exercise. While as a society we await the big solutions (i.e., gender equality, closing the wage gap, longer maternity leave, prevalent paternity leave) those of us who are fully ‘in it’ right now need practical tips and tools to thrive and achieve our dreams this year.
I’m on a mission to bring more self-care into my life and to share the best of the best hacks and tips I learn along the way that will make the massive juggle less draining and more manageable for all moms.
What do you think? I look forward to your comments.
Would you like updates and invitations to receive an invite to the next survey? Let me know!