Momstrology

April 4th, 2012
Putting YourSELF Back into Self Care

by Latham Thomas

There was a new moon in Aries on March 22nd. This time is all about being selfish — not in the obnoxious way, but for your own self renewal and self preservation. This new moon, along with the sun in Aries, ignites the headstrong Aries qualities of progress, creativity, and leadership. This Aries new moon period is the perfect time to take initiative for yourself—both inward and outward. I grew up with an Aries mother. She would be considered vain; she takes two hours to get ready, and she also takes her time when she does other things, so as to not upset her pace (with the exception of driving). She spends money on self-pampering, massage, lashes, and does her own gel manicures impeccably in the comfort of her own home. And you best believe my mom has the baddest shoe and handbag collection around. She has the appearance of a woman many years younger. There is something about the way she takes care of herself that I have come to embrace in my adulthood. She puts herSELF first. You know that part of the safety instruction routine that flight attendants give before takeoff: “in case of an emergency, put on your own mask then assist others”? My mom has that one DOWN. No wonder she glows. Self care is such an important aspect of wellbeing and mothers know how challenging it is to make time for yourself. You also know that if mama is not happy, nobody is happy, so putting yourself first means you are acting out of love on the behalf of the collective.

This is also a time of new beginnings and first impressions. Last week, I launched Mama Glow, a lifestyle hub for women interested in maintaining optimal wellness. I wanted to help women and mothers explore their creative edge and live in their glow power. Mama Glow is all about celebration and self care is a huge part of celebrating yourself. Here are five self care practices for maintaining your Mama Glow:

Practice Gratitude: When you are thankful for what is happening in your life, you are mindful of your blessings, you began to see more of them every where you look.

Move Your Body: Our bodies were made to move. As it gets warmer our bodies naturally desire more sunlight and activity. Carve out some time in your busy schedule to do some of the things you love to do outdoors, like rollerblading, bike-riding, recreational sports, dancing, walking more, etc. When you do what you love, you are happiest and it is exercise without effort.

Don’t Worry, Be Happy: Stress has a terrible effect on the body, with one of the most noticeable physical results being excess belly fat. When we are under stress, our bodies imagine that we are under attack, and sends hormones into the blood stream to signal the “fight or flight response.” All blood rushes to your extremities- head, hands, and legs to help you think fast and escape the dangerous situation. If the threat is a deadline, clients, bill collectors, or unemployment- the body doesn’t know the difference between that and a bear. Eating with these looming stressful situations can cause poor digestion, gas, bloating, and weight gain- because the body isn’t putting any energy toward digesting and metabolizing your food. Where does it go you ask? It gets stored in your tissue as fat. Try deep belly breathing exercises to help oxygenate the body and signal a relaxation response, which will counteract the stress hormones. Sit up tall, shut your eyes, and take 20 deep, long, slow breaths.

Keep It Fresh: I mean two things here: 1. Eat the fresh seasonal foods that are available, and 2. Introduce new, exciting dishes and new methods of preparation to your culinary repertoire. It gets boring to eat the same old thing, prepared the same old way all the time. With the changing season try incorporating some new techniques and recipes that will inspire you to eat healthy and celebrate this new shift.

Get Some Sleep: Most of us mamas admittedly don’t get enough sleep. With all of the digital distraction, when the kids go to sleep, it is easy to get sucked in and stay up later than expected. The deal is- our bodies do all of their repair when we go to sleep. It’s preferable to go to bed before 11pm. I often find myself going to sleep around 9pm. Set a cut-off time for computers, cell phones, and television so you can help your mind and body get into the sleep zone.

 

Mama Glow is live in NYC, April 16th, with the East Coast Premiere of More Business of Being Born by Ricki Lake & Abby Epstein- Get your tickets.

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