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At a 40-something year old mom of two teenagers with a career and business, I totally get it. There is very little time to focus on our own needs. Everything feels out of our control – time, weight, happiness. We are at the whim of our bosses’ demands, the kids’ schedules and we struggle to keep our heads above water.

Striking that balance between taking care of everyone else and ourselves is almost impossible. 

Wait, what balance? Is there a balance?

Do we really even have the power to take back some of our life? To do the things we love? Maybe, like me, you have forgotten what it is you really love anyway.

A few years back, I was looking to the future and wondering, “What is it I want for myself in ten years?” Have you done this? Really considered your future after the kids are all grown up and flourishing in the glory of your efforts as a present-involved parent. 

I wondered, what if I showed my kids what it is like to work hard for a dream life. What it looks like to have a parent who puts health and wellness and life balance first. What if I demonstrated the power of a mom who loves her life, pursues her dreams and puts her health first – a top priority.

I have floundered on this quest over the past few years and spent a lot of time digging into what it is that really lights my soul on fire. I have looked self-doubt in the eye, thrown myself into social media bravely with sweaty palms to get my message out there and delved into the world on on-line business building. 

There are a few things that I have learned during this process. If I am completely open, I have not gotten it all figured out….but, I have definitely learned some valuable lessons.

When I took time to reflect and ask the question – “What makes ME happy? Or What is most important to ME? I began to formulate an answer. I believe that our subconscious minds work in very interesting ways here. Just by asking the question, reflecting and giving time for our brains to begin solving the problem, we can start the process.

I also learned that no one else knows this better than us. You know what you love, value and want in life. It may be buried a bit deep, but it is there. After a little digging, trial and error and courage, we can all get in touch with the things in life that make us happy. The things we truly want.

Self-awareness is a process and requires time away from distractions and quiet time to think and feel. We are so caught up in everyone else, whether it is on social media, what our co-workers are doing and the wants and needs of our families, there is little time to actually understand our thoughts and feelings about situations. What makes YOU tick? What are your unique strengths? How can you live your best life taking those strengths into consideration?

Two tools I have found very valuable which are available free on-line are the DISC and the Myers-Brigg. Both self-assessment tools can provide you with insight into yourself – this is so helpful in determining how to live a life according to your unique traits. 

My next top strategy is to set some limits in your life and learn to say NO! I have intuitively known this for a LONG time, but have struggled to implement in my life. I am a pleaser and do not like letting anyone down. I like “making” people happy, feel better…..The lesson I learned over this past year in particular, during quarantine, was that by not having so many obligations or stress (to be everywhere for everyone), I had a chance to relax. No, really, I relaxed from my crazy life during quarantine even with distance learning thing on my lap.

Bottom line, lesson learned – stress is the root of the modern-day mom struggle. Whether you are looking to lose weight, sleep better, have more energy or just be happy, reducing the stress in your life is paramount!

So, how do us busy moms reduce stress on a normal day to day basis?

 I know it is not easy. My life this fall is back to my “normal” crazy. Kids wanting to be here and there, work, home, appointments…..I now know the difference between stress and harmony just from that brief period of time and I make sure to take steps to take time for me. I have a regular practice of mindfulness/relaxation or meditation, exercise is a habit (even if that only involves a fifteen minute walk) and I set limits. Realize in all of this that you are a priority too. That it is ok to say no. It is ok to take time each day or at least several times a week to do something to fill your cup.

My best health goals have been met by reducing stress. Yes, totally true…..better sleep, time to exercise, urge to eat better with less cravings.

Next, it is time to get focused.

 One of the biggest problems we face in this modern world is distraction from social media and technology. We waste time without ever realizing it and for some of us, get lost in the polarizing world that according to a very deft algorithm is created to get us “riled up” and sucked in even more. Be very intentional about the time you spend on social media. If you find yourself reading comments, getting upset, comparing yourself to others or just wasting a half hour scrolling (it’s easy to do), set a time or better yet take a break by deleting the apps from your phone for a period of time.

In a time when we have so little “time” to do the things we know are healthy, we somehow get caught up in the time-suck of social media. Take away the distractions, pop-ups and be intentional about what takes away your attention. Constantly being interrupted by emails, pop up messages and dings takes us away from really getting things done. What works best for me is blocking off chunks of time to work on one thing only. I set my attention on that one thing and will silence and turn off my phone until the time is up. When I work out, now, I make sure I am not getting text messages and phone calls – that is my one “freedom” time. No distractions. No interruptions. This allows me to have boundaries and to be much more productive. 

It may not be easy to put your needs first every so often, but it is essential to your wellbeing. Give yourself permission to reflect on your wants, needs, desires. Do not expect anyone else to do this for you. 

Carve out uninterrupted time throughout the week by reducing wasted time and distractions and find one thing that allows you to feel good, unstoppable. Make this a habit. Feel good in the  example your setting for others in your life –  that your wellbeing is a priority. Your happiness is also a priority. That it is healthy to set boundaries and to fill your cup!

So, how do you become unstoppable? 

By recognizing your needs and desires. 

By getting your health and wellness needs met. 

By slowing down to speed up.

Stay focused. 

Be ok with saying “no” once in a while and take time to yourself with your thoughts, feelings, wants and needs 🙂



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