Working from home as a mom can be stressful. Not only are you responsible for your children, but your work duties as well. You have multiple people depending on you to get both of your jobs done well. It’s no surprise that self-care often takes a backseat in this scenario.
For the last two years I have worked from home part-time building my health coaching business, and have realised that while there are a lot of benefits, there are also a lot of struggles.
My own self-care became lost among all my other responsibilities. However, over time I began to focus on a few golden rules that really helped me prioritise my health while maintaining productivity. I hope these eight strategies will also help you care for your own holistic health as a work-from-home mom.
1 – Time blocking
If you have flexibility in your schedule throughout the day, a great strategy to maintain productivity is time blocking your schedule. This means setting each task into 15-30 minute increments. For example, answering emails for 30 minutes, and then working on projects for 30 minutes.
This helps you to stay focused on the task at hand and minimise anxiety because you know you have a designated time for everything to get done. Time blocking also gives you natural breaking points throughout the day to connect with your children before getting back to work.
2 – Writing to-do lists
I have found that purging all of the things I need to get done onto paper and out of my mind has helped me to visualize my priorities and keep from feeling overwhelmed.
In the morning, write out everything that needs to get done today – these are your big priorities. In another column, write out everything that needs to get done this week. And then in another column, write out everything that needs to get done this month.
Similar to time blocking, writing out to-do lists is a way to help you stay focused and improve your mental health.
Plus, it is so satisfying crossing off everything on your to-do list!
3 – Setting meal times
Nourishment is so important, and oftentimes for busy, working moms it is one of the first things to get overlooked. Try scheduling your meal times into the day. Not only will this give your kids some routine throughout your work day, but it will make sure you are maintaining stable blood sugar throughout the day. This will allow you to stay productive and avoid that “hangry” feeling.
Meal prepping can be an easy way to make sure you have nourishing food options ready throughout the week. Some of my favourite healthy foods to keep on hand are rotisserie chicken, organic leafy greens for salads, and greek yoghurt.
4 – Prioritising whole foods
When focusing on nourishment, try to make sure you are eating whole, nutrient-dense foods throughout the day. Instead of eating a highly processed granola bar try choosing a whole piece of fruit and a handful of nuts. It is just as convenient and will support your body with greater nutrients and easier digestibility.
5 – Staying hydrated
Staying hydrated has many health benefits including helping to maintain a healthy weight, improved energy levels, better temperature regulation, and benefits to your cardiovascular health.
One easy strategy for staying hydrated throughout the day is keeping a refillable water bottle next to you. Then make a goal of finishing the water by your next meal, or another designated time throughout the day. Giving your kids a filled water bottle to drink from is also an easy way for them to stay hydrated and keep from asking you for drinks throughout the day.
6 – Getting ready for the day
Did you know that when women feel put together and ready for the day they are actually more productive and have improved self-confidence? Try setting your alarm a little earlier to give yourself time to get dressed and do your hair before your kids wake up. It does not have to be anything fancy or time-consuming – just whatever makes you feel good.
7 – Setting aside alone time
It can be difficult responding to everyone else’s needs all day and feeling like your’s are overlooked.
One way to avoid this is by setting aside your own alone time to do what you want. If you have a partner that can watch the kids you can get out of the house, but if you don’t have that option even setting aside 20 minutes of intentional time in the evening after the kids go to sleep can be helpful and rejuvenating.
8 – Incorporating movement
Movement is great for your physical health, but also your mental and emotional health as well. It releases endorphins that decrease stress levels and improves your energy. It even helps you to sleep better at night!
If time permits through your work day, try getting outside and taking a short walk with the kids. This will also help them to get some of their energy out and improve their night’s sleep as well! If you don’t have that time throughout the day look into a walking pad and standing desk, or a stationary bike that you can ride while answering emails. Even intentionally setting 5 minute breaks in your day for stretching and body weight exercises will be helpful.
By incorporating some of these strategies into your day not only will you be showing up better for work and your family, but yourself.
It can be challenging to find a balance working from home with children. But making self-care a priority is crucial to avoid burnout and stress, and maintain the necessary sense of well-being.