For many, new years is a time for making resolutions. It is a time to reflect and think about how we can be a better person in the coming year. We think about what we need and want, and set goals.
I don’t know about you, but one of my main goals every year is to take better care of myself…but every year, I fail in doing so in one way or another, and have to resolve to do better when the next year arrives.
As a mom, my schedule seems to revolve around meals and sleep schedules. Much of the time, I see my day as a TO DO list. While filled with GOOD and necessary things, these TO DO lists tend to consume my thoughts, plans and attention. Too often, I neglect to spend any time taking care of myself. I do not completely forget to read my bible, pray, exercise, or eat well, I sometimes choose to neglect doing them. And busy-ness is not a valid excuse.
Some days, I justify putting it off by telling myself I will do it later…when it’s quieter, slower…but in reality, I don’t. And there are tangible consequences. Self-neglect leads to something very unimpressive…I run myself ragged. I become impatient and cranky. I feel worn out, but don’t sleep well. This lack of spiritual and physical maintenance robs me of my ability to be an effective, joyful, healthy wife, mom, friend, Christ-follower and well, PERSON.
In 2015, I need some ammunition to keep going, instead of continuing this unproductive cycle. I need some reasons to persevere. Why? Because my determination will fade. I know it.
Here are 10 great reasons for busy moms to take better care of themselves in 2015 (and always). Whatever your resolutions may be, I hope this list of reasons will encourage you, and help you persevere in whatever you are striving to achieve this year.
Happy New Year!
10 Reasons to Take Better Care of YOU in 2015
1. Our children are watching us: We lead by example. Our kids will learn how to care for (or neglect) themselves by watching us. If I neglect to read my bible every day, if I never exercise, if I never rest and run myself ragged…where will they learn to make these things a priority?
2. What we eat affects our whole family: I shop and prepare most meals in our home. This means I decide not only how healthy I eat, but how healthy we ALL eat. I want my husband and kids to benefit from wise food choices.
3. We are too busy NOT to: I often claim I am too busy doing ‘good’ other things to exercise, pray, read…But in reality, I can do my job better and with more stamina if I do take time to do these things. My husband and family deserve to have me at my best.
4. There are long-term health consequences: We all have genetics that predispose us to certain diseases or disorders. But our health isn’t decided by genetics alone. How we treat our bodies will directly affect our quality of life, and perhaps the length of our life. Healthy living can prevent or delay many health issues. The genetics are up to God, but I want to know I did my part. And I believe He expects me to.
5. We don’t want to be a burden: Neglecting myself now may mean that I need more help when I’m older than if I’d done otherwise. I don’t want to be dependent on my husband or children because I failed to care for myself. It isn’t fair to them and I am far too independent to be OK with that. It is my responsibility to do what I can to prevent unnecessary needs.
6. It isn’t fun to be out of shape: For anybody. When I have neglected my soul…I’m not fun to be around, and I find myself ungrateful. When ungrateful, I don’t have as much joy, and am generally not as happy. For me, that steady peace and joy can only come from daily time with Jesus. Without it, I’m on my own, and it isn’t very pretty. When I’ve neglected my body…I don’t feel well and I don’t like myself much. Being lazy makes me unproductive, and being unproductive makes me feel bad about myself…it makes me unhappy and unpleasant…not fun.
7. Being unhealthy is expensive: For us, eating simple, homemade meals and in-season vegetables reduces our grocery bill. When in shape, my clothes fit better and I am more likely to be satisfied with what is already in my closet. This means I won’t be trying to find something new to ‘make me feel pretty’. And, being healthy generally means fewer illnesses and fewer medical bills.
8. There is no excuse: Sometimes we put our lack of self-care on others. Our loved ones should not bear this burden and don’t want to be our excuse. I think as moms, we often neglect ourselves because we’re so busy making sure others needs are met. But at some point, we give so much, we have nothing left but scraps. Perhaps we are proud and think we can do it all. Or, maybe we feel guilty because we think we’re so needed. Or, maybe we tell ourselves we’re sacrificing our needs for the greater good. Ha! If we’re running on empty, what good are we to anyone? We are to be stewards of our mind and body. We are accountable to ourselves, and to God for what we put into it and do with it.
9. You ARE worth it: God loves you. Your family loves you. It is time to love yourself enough to put in some TLC.
10. It is easier to maintain than correct: If I can’t keep this body in shape now, how much harder will it be in 10 years…20 years…40 years? The older we get, the harder it will be to change or to improve. There is no such thing as a less-busy time than now – life will always be busy, just in different ways. Including time to care for yourself is a habit worth building into your schedule, permanently.