Bags under your eyes? Drab, lifeless hair? Weird stains on your shirt? You must be a member of the mom club! Taking care of little ones and taking care of yourself doesn’t necessarily seem to go hand in hand, that’s for sure. But there are lots of little changes you can make to your routine that can make you look and feel a million times better. It’s all about taking a bit of time for pampering yourself, relaxation, and making a few healthier choices. Trust me; it is possible to look and feel great, even as a mom.
- Eat more greens
It’s so easy to overlook greens in a meal, in favor of carbs and protein, but they’re a vital part of a balanced diet, and crucial for making you feel healthy and energized. Sneak them into the kid’s meals in sandwiches or baked into the break, and perk yourself up in the morning with a spinach, kale, apple, and ginger smoothie – it really will do wonders for you.
- Drink lots of water
Water isn’t just important for keeping your vital organs running smoothly; it’s also vital for your hair and skin. Dehydration can cause bags under eyes, and skin to look pale and lifeless. It can even make wrinkles seem worse, and water keeps your skin plump and fresh. It can be tricky to remember to drink a lot of liquid when you’re always on the go, so keep a bottle in your handbag, and try to remember to have a glass whenever you’re in the kitchen. Fruit tea and juices are also great for keeping you hydrated, so don’t overlook them either.
- Don’t skip breakfast
The most important meal of the day – breakfast – sets you up for the entire day ahead. It kick starts your metabolism, so you process food and use the energy more effectively throughout the day, but also means that you’re more likely to burn fat as well. If you’re pushed for time, don’t go for the full sit-down affair, a piece of toast or some fruit will suffice.
- Exercise more
Keep your heart healthy, your skin clean, and your body trim by incorporating more exercise into your routine. It doesn’t have to be a full hour-long workout every day – there aren’t many people who have the time for that – but there are lots of little bits you could do to exercise more. Try to walk more often, take the stairs, and play energetically with the children. You could even introduce a small home gym, just a cardio machine such as a rower, a stability ball, and some kettlebells would suffice. And all of them should tuck out of the way in a cupboard to keep them out of harm’s way, so go for the best rower machine or treadmill to ensure they’re more easily folded and hidden, away from inquisitive little hands that might get trapped.
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Your skin will show the telltale signs of tiredness and a bad diet, so treat it kindly. A gentle cleanser and toner are important, but a good quality moisturizer will be a lifesaver. Make sure you choose one which is created with your skin type in mind – tiredness and stress can exacerbate any skin problems you have, so it’s important that you moisturizer works with your skin to counter them. If you get outdoors a lot, it might be useful to consider one with an SPF factor, so that you never end up with an accidentally burned nose again.
- Keep makeup simple
A simple but effective make-up routine in the morning can make you feel a million times better if you’re having a bad day. Just five minutes to yourself can do the world of good. Stick to concealer, a bit of mascara, and some blusher for your cheeks, and you’re good to go. If you’ve got a bit more time, take some time shaping your eyebrows to frame your face better, and maybe even add some color to your lip for a bit of glamor.
- Take time for yourself
You can’t be a mommy 24/7; you need a little bit of time to yourself. Even if it’s just giving the kid over to your partner when he gets in from work so you can pamper in the bath and shave your legs, it’s better than nothing. A few hours every couple of months to get to the hairdressers and get a manicure is also a fair request, and if you’re lucky you should try to get a massage thrown in as well. It’s important you allow yourself time to see friends, preferably without the children. You need adult company and a good laugh in order to feel happy and balanced.
- Allow yourself to dress well
While the kids are really young, dressing well can seem pointless since you’re probably going to get covered in spit up, milk, and anything else they throw at you. Don’t allow this to put you off dressing nicely, though. Anything that can go through the washing machine is fair game, and you’ll feel a whole lot better about yourself when you’re not embarrassed when the UPS guy shows up. Keep to simple, comfortable, but trendy staple pieces, with a few bold pieces you can throw on when you go out to see friends.
- Don’t beat yourself up when things go wrong
Being a mom is hard, and you can’t get everything right. It can feel like you have the weight of the world on your shoulders, and when you have a bad day, it can all get too much. When the kids are screaming, they won’t eat their lunch, and the washing machine is making noises like it’s about to explode, remember to take a few moments to breathe. Stress and anxiety are not conducive to feeling and looking good, so it’s important that we all learn to take a few steps back, and not blame ourselves when things aren’t all going right.
Just remember to make time for yourself, and ask for help when you need it. Your happiness is the most important aspect of looking and feeling good.