When you have laundry piling up, dinner to make, and a baby on your hip, it can feel impossible to take care of yourself! Most of my days are spent racing against the clock, and I end up putting my needs on the back burner. Although I haven’t perfected juggling it all, here are my 13 tips for creating healthy habits for moms.
13 Healthy Habits for Moms
On a busy day, I’ll grab a handful of chips and call that lunch. And if I didn’t even have time to cook a meal, you can bet that I forgot to workout. Next I’m promising God I’ll open my Bible “later” (we both know that later doesn’t actually happen).
If you’re anything like me, you know how hard it is to maintain a healthy lifestyle with little ones around. But, as my little one grows, I’ve found some ways that have greatly helped me develop some positive habits that I’d like to share with you today!
I’ve separated the “healthy habits” into my four biggest priorities when it comes to health: nutrition, exercise, mental health, and spiritual health. Of course, no mom is different, so some of these may come easier to you than others!
Nutrition Habits for Moms
1. Prep (Snacks, Meals)
When you’ve got a baby or little ones running around, it can seem impossible to prep and cook a balanced, healthy meal. It takes a lot of time, and in the moment, it’s so tempting to just microwave some corn dogs, throw a pizza in the oven, or even grab a bag of chips. But, if you’ve prepared your snacks and meals beforehand it’s just as easy to eat healthy!
MEALS – When it comes to meals, I absolutely love my Crockpot and my Instapot! They help me make meals faster and in bigger quantities, so that I can store them for leftovers throughout the week!
SNACKS – When it comes to snacks, of course, it’s easier to just pull a candy bar out of the pantry or eat the Cheez Itz. But, again, if you pre make some healthy snacks (maybe some protein balls or already cut up mixed fruit), you can grab them just as easily when those mid-afternoon cravings hit!
While it may seem time consuming in the moment to prep your meals and snacks ahead of time, you are really going to be thankful that you did!
2. Water BEFORE you eat anything
Recently, I discovered that I have this bad habit where I wake up, immediately make a cup of coffee and drink that in the morning instead. I was finding that I was feeling really groggy and having headaches in the afternoons. What I realized was that by starting my day with coffee, I wasn’t really prioritizing my water consumption, usually waiting until lunch or after to have water, and it was affecting me and my health!
So, this healthy habit for moms is to drink water before you eat or drink anything else! Start your day off on the right foot. Fuel your body with a nice, big glass of water, and your body will thank you for the rest of the day.
I would also recommend getting a baby-friendly water bottle (one that won’t easily spill when tumped over) and just keep it with you! Take it wherever you go, and continue to stay hydrated throughout your day!
3. Don’t eat the rest of your child’s meal
This healthy habit for moms will really apply to moms of toddlers and children who are older, and I never realized that this was something to think about until I had my own! As a mom of a little one, there will be many occasions where your child will not finish their meal. Whether it’s grilled cheese, chicken nuggets, or anything in between, you may find yourself really tempted to finish off their plate!
My advice is simple….Don’t do it!! Eating the rest of your child’s meal can set you up for a bad habit of adding unnecessary calories to your diet. If you’re going to eat, try and eat something for yourself. If your child doesn’t finish their food often, try to save it for later in the refrigerator or throw it out!
4. Cheat Meals
This may surprise you that I’m adding this to my list of healthy habits, but it is so true! Being a healthy mama is a balancing act! If you truly want to be as healthy as you can be, you’ve got to give in to your cravings every once in a while.
Being healthy means living a balanced lifestyle where you’re not restricting yourself and dieting all the time. For me, personally, I like to have a small “cheat” snack every day like a little piece of chocolate or the occasional overindulgent meal. If you want to sustain a healthy lifestyle, you’ve got to incorporate the things that you love that may not necessarily be “healthy” for you.
Exercise Habits For Mamas
Depending on the stage of motherhood you’re in, exercising in the traditional sense may not be feasible, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t get some exercise! Going for walks is a great way to get some exercise and enjoy being outside.
One of the things I love about walking as a form of exercise is that you can take your kids with you! If you have a stroller, simply get them a snack, let them sit back, and enjoy the ride as you reap the benefits of the workout!
2. Play with the Kids
If you don’t have the ability to go for a walk on your own or an area where you can take the stroller for a spin, you can always do something active while playing with your kids!
Now that my child is still very little, while she is playing on the floor, I will do some pushups or something active down with her. You can even make a game where you hold your child while doing squats!
As my little one gets bigger, I plan on simply playing with her and doing active things like chase, soccer, and so on! Kids have a lot of energy, so if you’re pressed on time and can’t workout traditionally, just play with them!
Mental Health Habits To Start
In my opinion, mental health is one of the most important steps in being a healthy mama with healthy habits! Because being a mom includes a never-ending list of things to do, and I really believe that the best way to stay on top of it all is to have some kind of an established schedule or routine.
No matter if you’re type A or type B, structure is important. It’s not only great for your kids, but it is also wonderful for you to have an idea of what to expect.
While having a set schedule is important for your mental health, it’s also equally important that you are not so rigid with it that it stresses you out when things don’t go as planned. You’re a mom. You’ve got kids that can be crazy (at times), and things are going to come up.
Remind yourself that it’s okay to have some flexibility! Maybe you’re having a special night as a family and you stay up a little past bedtime. Maybe you have family in town and you miss a certain scheduled event. It can be hard, especially for those of us who love a good schedule, but it’s important to be flexible!
3. Set Boundaries
Setting boundaries is so important! It’s important to set boundaries with your kids, your spouse, your family, or whoever you need to set them up with in order to allow yourself some time and space for self care. We are so busy, and if we never carve out times for ourselves, it just won’t happen.
4. Say No
This health habit for moms goes right along with setting boundaries because this is simply learning to say no. For me personally, I am a people pleaser to my core! I’ve found myself at times saying yes to so many things that my plate is just completely overloaded to the point where I’m not functioning at my best.
Our time is precious, and I’ve found that the times I was able to step back, evaluate what is being asked of me, and actually say “no”, I’ve been so much happier than taking it on and then resenting the person who asked. As moms, we have so much on our plates, and it’s incredibly important that we only add things when they are something we want to do and have the time to do it.
5. Realistic To-Do List
Similar to being flexible, it’s best for your mental health to create to-do lists that are realistic! I think I’ve said this so many times, but it’s because it is the truth: we are SO BUSY as moms! At times, it can feel like we accomplish one thing and then notice three more things we need to do. It’s simply overwhelming!
As you are setting your to-do list for the day or week, be realistic with yourself! There’s nothing more discouraging and deflating than making some outlandish to-do list and always coming up short! Set your sights realistically and feel proud of accomplishing that list!
Spiritual Habits for Moms
1. App with Notifications for Verses
We’ve got our phones pretty much wherever we go. So, why not get an app that sends notifications with Bible verses? Whenever our phones go off, we’re going to check them. So, it’s helpful to set up an app that sends you a Bible verse a day. That way, no matter how busy you may be, you can still take the time to read and reflect on the verse.
One thing that I’ve noticed that makes a big difference is to take little moments of gratitude and prayer that I combine with breathing. No matter what’s going on around me, I love taking some moments where I breathe in and out deeply and as I’m breathing out, I whisper prayers of thanks. I’ve found it to be something that I look forward to that brings me back to center where I feel calm and at peace.
While these aren’t by any means all of the healthy habits for moms, these are some things that I’ve found incredibly helpful as I’m navigating my own personal journey in motherhood! Hopefully, you can feel inspired to try some new habits and get one step closer to a happier and healthier you!