6 Self-Care Practices for Mother's Day : Celebrating Mom SeriesBy Carole Anderson Lucia
If you’re a mom, chances are you’re busy … really, really busy. So busy, in fact, that you might be tempted to neglect your own needs in favor of driving the carpool, ferrying kids to and from athletic events, making healthful school lunches, walking the dog, cleaning the litterbox … you get the idea. But putting yourself last can take a toll on your physical and emotional health. It can also become so ingrained that you actually forget how to practice healthful self-care.
So this May, how about dedicating some time and attention to yourself? Forget the nagging to-do list or the idea that you’re being self-indulgent (you’re not!) and take the time to invest in some restorative practices like those listed here. It’s time to practice some self-love—not only on Mother’s Day, but for the many days ahead.
1. Head to the park.
Rather than going to the Mother’s Day buffet at a crowded restaurant, why not gather your family, pack a healthy picnic (make sure someone else does it!) and head to a local park? Not only will you get some healthy vitamin D, but you can get some fun exercise with your kids as well. Have fun and relax—can you remember the last time you got on a swing? Put on a broad-spectrum sunscreen— experts recommend an SPF of at least 30 that is sweat- and water-resistant1—and a hat and sunglasses to shade your eyes, then enjoy!
2. Plant a garden.
There’s a reason that growing your own fruits and vegetables is gaining in popularity: Just-picked produce is mouth-wateringly good; it’s less expensive than store-bought produce; and there’s something infinitely satisfying about planting seeds and watching them grow. Bonus: Your children can get in on the act … and they might even eat more veggies if they participate in the growing and picking.
3. Take a nap.
There’s probably not a mother around who doesn’t wish she could get more sleep. So grant yourself this wish and grab a few Z’s … and make it a habit.
4. Get a massage.
In addition to being extremely relaxing, massage may help with anxiety, insomnia, digestive problems, headaches and more.2
5. Practice yoga or meditate.
Practicing the relaxation techniques associated with yoga can improve lower-back pain, headaches and arthritis while lowering blood pressure and reducing weight.3
6. Go for a walk.
Head to a local trail or your favorite outdoor spot and enjoy some time outdoors with the added bonus of getting your heart pumping. You don’t have to hike a mountain to reap the benefits of this activity—just 12 minutes of walking a day has been found to offer mood-boosting benefits.4
News on the Sunshine Vitamin – Vitamin D
While vitamin D is an irrefutably vital nutrient—helping to protect against bone density loss and numerous health problems, perhaps even obesity5—experts are somewhat divided on the best way to get it. The sun is one source: the American Osteopathic Association recommends spending 5 to 30 minutes in midday sun twice a week to maintain healthy Vitamin D levels.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, getting outside is good for the body and soul. “Spending time outdoors can improve overall health and wellness,” the organization states.
However, the American Academy of Dermatology states that vitamin D is best obtained through food. Incorporating foods such as tuna, eggs and cheese can help you achieve your daily needs. Bottom line: Check with your doctor to see what is best for you, and be sure to wear proper sunscreen if you opt for getting outside.
We hope you take one of these ideas and make your Mother’s Day a healthy and fun day you won’t soon forget. Try taking these tips and integrating them into your daily routine—you deserve it!