Hi guys, Kait here! In honor of National Women’s Health and Fitness Day (Sept. 29, 2021), I wanted to talk a little bit about the importance of taking care of yourselves.
What does taking care of yourself mean? I think there are many forms of this, and there is no single “right” way. As a former D1 collegiate swimmer, the young 20-something me would have had a different answer than the 30-year old wife and mother that I am today. And both of those answers would be just fine!
One of the first things that I would suggest is to be reasonable with yourself. Look to others for inspiration, but don’t beat yourself up if you can’t meet someone else’s standard. Set your own bar. Taking a 15-minute walk is better than nothing at all. Going for a jog with friends, taking your children for a bike ride around the neighborhood, or doing a little bit of yoga on a Sunday morning are great ways to get a little movement.
We all have busy schedules, and sometimes exercise and eating right can fall to the bottom of the list. As a brand new mom, it’s been a bit of a struggle to determine how to make those things fit for myself. My advice is to make small changes, and be intentional with them. This will help form habits. If you slide a little bit, don’t beat yourself up too badly! Recognize where you went wrong and get yourself back on track the best you can.
Here are some of my tips for how I try to eat a little better:
- A day or two before you intend to go grocery shopping, pick some recipes that you might want to make, and gather the list so that it’s ready when you go to the store. I like crockpot and instant pot meals that I can make with minimal effort and we can eat for a few days before I have to worry about something new.
- Set aside some time to make freezer meals. There are a lot of recipes on the internet to give you some inspiration. When I was at the end of my pregnancy, I spent a few hours making some healthy breakfasts and snacks for myself that I could just pull out and thaw as individual servings. It was a lifesaver in that first or two month postpartum!
Lastly, I want to talk about mental health. It is SO important, and really makes a difference in how you’re able to manage everything else. Little things go a long way. Get your nails done, get that wax, buy that new piece for your closet that’s flattering on your body and makes you feel good. Meditate. Do something by yourself that helps you relax (for me lately that’s been baking). And most importantly, don’t be afraid to seek help and/or talk to someone. Having a support system is critical. We all need it. The postpartum period has been particularly hard for me; there’s a lot of changes happening in my life and to my body! It has been a struggle, but I’ve found that by talking about it, I am not as alone as I had thought. There is no shame in admitting that you need help—whether that’s someone to talk to, medicine, or sharing your work/home responsibilities. This is something I’ve been reminding myself of constantly.
Women are incredible! Be proud of yourself for who you are, and where you are. If you feel that you want to improve something, do it! But give yourself grace and realize that quality, lasting change doesn’t happen overnight. You are beautiful, strong, lovely, and loved. Treat yourself with love and kindness and you’ll be amazed with what happens.