Let’s face it: moms usually put themselves last. They think about their needs after they’ve met their kids’, partners’, and co-workers’ needs. We get it. Some of us at Flora are moms, too, and we’ve done the same thing. But we’d like to introduce a radical idea. (Drumroll, please.)
Moms, you are the star of your own life, and you deserve to prioritize your own wellness.
That means self-care is an ongoing need, not just a bubble bath on Mother’s Day while your partner watches the kids. If it’s hard for you to do something just for yourself, try thinking of it this way: nurturing yourself physically, mentally, and spiritually helps you take better care of those you love. It’s like they say when you’re flying, put on your own oxygen mask first. ‘Cause, Mama, you’re runnin’ out of air!
Nurturing Your Body
You know the drill. Eat well, exercise, and get enough sleep. Obvious, right? But here are some fresh takes on what happens when you take good care of your body.
Eat for your mood
You probably think about vitamins, minerals, and fiber when you think about reasons to eat fruit and vegetables. Maybe you think about heart health or longevity. But do you think about mood? You should! Eating more fruits and vegetables can boost your outlook, according to a study of young people from New Zealand, who kept food diaries and tracked their mood for three weeks.
Exercise to fend off colds
Just like eating well, exercising has loads of physical benefits you’re probably already familiar with. But did you know a workout a day keeps colds away? If you exercise at least five days a week, your chance of getting a cold plummets by 43 percent compared to people who hit the gym once a week or less, say the results of a 12-week study.
Sleep to destress
As a mom, you’ve probably had your share of sleepless nights, and you know how rotten you feel the next day. Research shows lack of sleep raises your levels of the dreaded stress hormone cortisol, which explains why sleep deprivation feels so, well, stressful. While you can’t control when your little ones will wake up sick during the night, you can make getting to bed early a regular habit. That way, you’re not already behind on sleep when the inevitable happens.
Eating nutritious food, hitting the gym, and getting plenty of shut-eye will give you more of the energy all moms need. But even if you’re hitting all these goals, you’re still going to feel wiped out if you’re low on iron. Why? Iron is crucial for building hemoglobin, which ferries oxygen all over your body.* (Sort of like the way you drive your kids all town.) Getting that oxygen where it needs to go is key to healthy energy.
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Nurturing Your Mind and Spirit
When you start to feel depleted, what helps? Is it socializing with friends? Reading? Taking a walk? Pursuing a hobby? Whatever it is, commit to doing it on a regular basis. Block out ten minutes for a small restorative activity, like journaling or reading a novel, and do it every day. Then pick a longer activity like meeting your best friend for coffee or taking a yoga class and make it a weekly date. Whatever it is, make it specific and consistent. That way, you’ll always have something to look forward to.
It’s really easy to put yourself last, but that habit’s gotta stop. After all, if Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy!
 White BA, Horwath CC, Conner TA. Many apples a day keep the blues away—daily experiences of negative and positive affect and food consumption in young adults. Br J Health Psychol. 2013 Nov;18(4):782-98.
 Neale T. Can exercise fend off the common cold? ABC News. Nov. 1, 2010. https://abcnews.go.com/Health/Wellness/fitness-fend-off-common-cold/story?id=12025862
 Leproult R, et al. Sleep loss results in an elevation of cortisol levels the next evening. Sleep. 1997 Oct;20(10):865-70.