Mothers are incredible in every sense of the word. Many mothers work hard to not only teach their children but to keep the house clean, make dinner, work other jobs, and keep their social and marital life wonderful. But most mothers would agree that, as they take care of the needs of their children, they often forget about the needs of their own. However, when you neglect your own needs for too long, it becomes harder and harder to care for others to the best of your ability.
Caregiver burnout is something that happens frequently to those caring for others. According to the Cleveland Clinic, “caregivers often are so busy caring for others that they tend to neglect their own emotional, physical and spiritual health.”
Taking Care of Your Emotional Health
Taking care of your emotional health is probably the most important area to take care of. I say this because, if your emotional health is not taken care of, both your physical and spiritual health also decline very quickly. Often, poor emotional health leads to poor decision making to help you cope and that affects your physical health. An example of this is drinking or doing drugs to cope with the stress or difficulties of being a mother. Many women will unwind with alcohol after a long day; however, when that is the primary way of coping, it can easily turn into an addiction. So it is important to take care of your mental and emotional health before it gets to that point.
You can do this by making sure you have breaks during the day. Even 15-minute breaks every so often could help. It is important that you continue to do things that you enjoyed before having children. It is also important to stay social with people your own age, in the same situation as yourself. If you feel as though you have not done a good job taking care of your emotional health, implement these things. If you feel that your emotional health has lead to poor decisions, such as drug or alcohol abuse, seek drug detox programs to help you get back on track.
Taking Care of Your Physical Health
When tending to the needs of your child, you must also make sure that you are taking care of your own physical needs. Exercise is a very crucial part of keeping your physical health in check. Finding time to exercise can be hard if you have to watch kids 24/7; however, try utilizing exercises that you can do at home in the living room or you can go on walks with your kids. Some parents do exercises in the living room and make it a bonding experience with their children by encouraging their children to do it with them. Doing so, you not only keep yourself in shape but you teach your child how to do the same.
Sleep is another very important part of physical health. If your sleep schedule is out of whack, begin asking yourself why and figure out if there is anything that you can change to allow more time for sleep.
Taking Care of Your Spiritual Health
In order to take care of your spiritual needs, you have to learn what that means to you. Spiritual needs are defined as the needs and expectations in which humans have to find meaning, purpose, and value in their life. For some that may be religious, however, for others that may mean volunteering, creating art, developing a healthy relationship with their spouse, etc. Once you figure out what your spiritual needs are and what would give your life meaning and purpose, begin to integrate that into your everyday life and routine.
Remember: your needs matter just as much as the needs of your little ones. You will have a much easier time taking care of them if you are also taking proper care of yourself.