This year’s New Year’s Resolutions for moms can be summed up in one statement - prioritize your health!
As moms, we are usually taking care of everyone else around us. This can leave us feeling exhausted and like we have nothing left to give, especially for ourselves.
Not to mention the mom-guilt. A lot of us moms deal with debilitating mom-guilt. This can make it challenging to find time for ourselves and really prioritize our own health.
But, let me tell you, your health matters!
Without your health, you will fall apart and, not long after, you won’t be able to be the loving, supportive mother, wife and friend you want to be either.
So let’s start 2024 on the right foot with these New Year’s Resolutions to prioritize your health (mental, emotional and physical).
How to prioritize your mental health in 2024
Our mental health is extremely important. Motherhood adds more stress than most of us know what to do with, so it’s key to have some supports in place for your mental health.
Option #1: See a counselor
This one is a little tricky, because it can cost a fortune if you don’t have insurance.
But, let’s explore it for a minute first, and then I will give you some alternate suggestions at the end that are FREE.
As a mom, when you feel like you need to be everywhere for everyone all the time, there’s a lot on your plate. Physically, but mentally too.
As moms, we often feel overwhelmed by things like:
- Booking appointments (and then remembering them)
- Planning meals (and making them)
- Breaking up fights
- Doing the laundry
- And the list goes on…
By going to see a counselor, you have the chance to talk to a trained professional about your thoughts, feelings and experiences, without fear of judgment or feeling like you are burdening the other person.
Having someone you can talk everything through with can be incredibly helpful (because feeling understood helps us to feel happier and more satisfied in life).
Option #2. Find something you enjoy
I realize that time can be hard to come by as a busy mom. But it’s important that you have something in your life that you look forward to that’s just for you.
It’s important to have an activity that you enjoy, that makes you feel like you again.
Here are some examples:
- Reading a good book
- Going to the gym
- Taking an art class
- Playing an instrument
- Spending time with friends
Maybe you can take a weekly art class, or plan weekly hangouts with your girlfriends.
Maybe you take some time in the evenings to read a good book.
Whatever it is you enjoy, schedule it into your week.
If you find that you are having a hard time, no matter what you try, there are some resources listed below.
*FREE counseling (CANADA only): If you are struggling with anxiety and depression and need someone to talk to, you can talk to a mental health professional from Wellness Together Canada one-on-one:
- call 1-888-668-6810 or text WELLNESS to 686868 for youth
- call 1-866-585-0445 or text WELLNESS to 741741 for adults
You can also visit Wellness Together Canada to access different levels of support, including:
- one-on-one counselling
- credible articles and information
- self-guided courses and programs
- peer support and coaching
*IMPORTANT: if you are struggling with thoughts of harming yourself or someone else, please reach out to the Suicide Crisis Helpline (information below)
9-8-8: Suicide Crisis Helpline (CANADA)
If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, call or text 9-8-8. Help is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
*UNITED STATES: If you are in the US, you can reach out to Mental Health America (information below).
If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available. Call or text 988 or chat 988lifeline.org. You can also reach Crisis Text Line by texting MHA to 741741.
You can also call 1-800-985-5990 or text “TalkWithUs” to 66746 at the SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline. Trained crisis workers will listen to you and direct you to the resources you need.
How to prioritize your physical health in 2024
Another way we can prioritize our health as moms in 2024 is by focusing on our physical health.
Our physical health can affect everything else we are dealing with, from how well we sleep, to how much energy we have and even our mood.
Here are some tips for prioritizing your physical health in 2024:
Option #1: Exercise
Exercising regularly can drastically improve your energy and your mood, not to mention your mental health. Regular exercise can even result in:
- “Improved sleep
- Increased interest in sex
- Better endurance
- Stress relief
- Improvement in mood
- Increased energy and stamina
- Reduced tiredness that can increase mental alertness
- Weight reduction
- Reduced cholesterol and improved cardiovascular fitness”*
According to the National Institutes of Health,
“Exercise improves mental health by reducing anxiety, depression, and negative mood and by improving self-esteem and cognitive function. Exercise has also been found to alleviate symptoms such as low self-esteem and social withdrawal.”
Option #2: Get Enough Sleep
I know, I know, this is a tricky one. If you have a newborn, or even toddlers running around, it can be incredibly challenging to get enough sleep. But when there are times that the kiddos are napping and you have to choose between sleep and cleaning the house… sometimes it’s important to choose sleep.
Adequate sleep helps everything else to feel less overwhelming.
Another tip? Limit screentime before you go to bed. Staring at a screen before bed can make it challenging to fall asleep and have a restful sleep.
And, for those of you who are breastfeeding… try not to go on your phone in the middle of the night during those 2am breastfeeding sessions.
I did this with my first and always had so much trouble falling asleep afterwards.
Instead, try having a dim night light close by, so you aren’t woken up quite as much each time you get up to nurse.
Option #3: Listen to Your Body
Are you hungry? Grab something to eat.
Are you thirsty? Make sure you’re drinking lots of water.
Are you feeling worn out? Rest as much as you’re able to (and don’t feel shy to ask for help).
And last, but not least...
How to prioritize your EMOTIONAL health in 2024
Here are our top tips for improving emotional health:
Option #1: Find a community
Being a part of something greater than ourselves, where we can go to feel heard, understood and belong is SO important!
Research is even showing it has health benefits!
Having a community can help reduce isolation and stress.
“Research shows that people who are part of strong communities tend to have lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol levels, and a lower risk of obesity. They are also more likely to exercise regularly and eat a healthy diet.”
Where can you find community? Try:
- Your local healthcare clinic - they sometimes offer moms groups (e.g. AHS in Alberta).
- A local church - see if they have a moms & babies group you can join.
- Paid moms groups - search online in your area for mom & baby groups or classes.
- An app like Peanut.
Option #2: Ask for help
Asking for help can be hard for a lot of us.
We feel like we need to do it all on our own. But let me tell you… you don’t need to do it all on your own!
We weren’t meant to do everything and all without help. So ask a friend, your partner, a sibling, or a parent if they can help.
Here are some ways people can help:
- Watch the kid(s) while you go out or have a nap.
- Wash the dishes.
- Vacuum your house.
- Do a load of laundry.
- Pick up groceries for you.
- Hold your baby so you can have a shower.
- And anything else you need help with!
But what if I don’t have anyone to help?
Sadly, this is the case for more moms than I wish it was. So here’s another option.
If you don’t have anyone that is able to help, try swapping help with a friend.
Maybe one day you can watch your friend’s kid(s) at your house, and the next time she can watch yours.
It can be small favors back-and-forth, but it can be tremendously helpful!
Option #3: Let go of unhealthy mom-guilt
Last, but not least, on our list is mom-guilt. I hope that 2024 is the year you let go of mom-guilt (and me too, because it’s a daily challenge!).
Chances are, you are doing your best. In being yourself. In being a mother, a wife, a friend…
So why beat yourself up? Don’t get me wrong, I understand how challenging it is not to.
But it’s SO important to let go of unhealthy mom guilt. If you don’t, it will weigh you down and taint your experiences and perspectives of everything.
Your kid(s) know you love them and they want you to be happy.
And, if I was going to guess, I’d say they love you more than anything in the world. So relax, and choose not to give in to the debilitating mom-guilt.
From one mom to another, I hope you are able to let go of mom-guilt this year and prioritize YOU!
Thank you for being a part of the Joyleta fam 🙂