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Putting Yourself First - Living For Health and Wellness


Pride is one of the Seven Deadly Sins, and modesty, a virtue.  So is it any wonder that moms, work at home moms, and women in general have a hard times taking care of themselves first and setting aside time each day to improve mind, body and spirit? 

As a mother, it is especially hard to find time in our hectic lives to pamper ourselves and to de-stress.  However it is of the utmost importance that we do so, so that our mind can center itself, the body can relax and the spirit can be renewed.  And although we sometimes get so busy that we forget to do these things, I would encourage you to somehow remind yourself to take this daily time to yourself, whether by using post-it notes, an alarm clock, and a note on the calendar, or even a computer reminder! 

When you take time for yourself, it doesn't have to be a long time (although, the longer you can afford to relax, the better!), because it is the quality of time that counts, not the length of time.  You start with taking just 15 to 30 minutes every day to let yourself unwind and relax.  This can be really early in the morning before the children wake up, during a lunch break, right before bed, or any other time that fits your schedule.

Here are some ideas that you can use to get started with your daily time to help yourself de-stress.  Please feel free to modify these ideas in any way to fit your lifestyle or personality!

Meditation - Meditating has a reputation for sounding much harder to do than it really is.  Take a few moments to either lie down or sit comfortably and clear your mind of worries, daily stresses, or other intrusive thoughts.  Relax your entire body and try to clear your mind, focusing only on deep, diaphragmatic breaths.  You can meditate for as long as you would like to.

Take a Warm Bath - Water has its own peculiar way of taking away stresses, relaxing the body and helping us to unwind.  But when you are putting yourself first and taking care of yourself, you don't want this to be a short to-the-point bath.  Take time to add scented oil or bubble bath, fix yourself a cup of hot tea or cocoa, grab a favorite book and have a luxurious soak!

Prayer - No matter what your religious beliefs are, prayer has been shown to relax the mind and soothe the soul.  Take a few moments to pray or simply be grateful for what you have in your life.  This helps you center your spiritual self as well as to focus on you for a while.

Yoga - Yoga is so much more than twisting oneself into a pretzel.  Most beginners yoga poses are very easy to do, and help you to focus your mind, body and spirit all at once!

These are just a few of the ideas you can use when you take time for yourself.  However, putting yourself first doesn't mean simply taking 30 minutes everyday for mom.  It also means that your own basic needs must be met everyday.  What are these needs?  Abraham Maslow. a humanistic psychologist developed a hierarchy of basic needs that every human being has. Let's take a look at these needs and how they relate to you as a work at home mother.

1.  Physiological Needs

These include the very basic needs that are the most necessary to a human being.  They are: oxygen, food, water, sleep, and a relatively constant body temperature.  If these needs are not fulfilled they can influence your thoughts and behaviors, cause you to become sick or even cause pain, discomfort or death.

2. Safety Needs

When a person's physiological needs are met, then the need for safety will come next - whenever one stage is fulfilled, the next stage suddenly becomes more important.  Safety needs include: physical safety (from violence, aggression, etc.), a secure home, secure employment, security of revenues and resources, moral and physiological security, family security, security of health, and security of personal property against crime.

3.  Love/Social Needs

The third layer of Maslow's hierarchy after physiological needs and safety needs are those involving your emotionally-based relationships, including: having healthy friendships, sexual intimacy, and having a supportive and communicative family.  This includes feeling as if you belong and are accepted, and feeling loved as well as loving others.

4.  Esteem Needs

All human beings have the need to feel as if they are respected and to have self-respect.  Therefore the 4th level of needs include:  self-esteem, confidence, achievement, respect of others and respect by others.

5. Self-Actualization

The fifth and final level of basic needs is self-actualization, which is the instinctual need of human beings to make the most of their abilities and strive to be the best that they can be.  Self-actualization can best be described as reaching one's fullest potential.  These needs can include (but are not limited to): morality, creativity, spontaneity, problem solving, and lack of prejudice and acceptance of facts.

With these basic needs in mind, think carefully...what needs of your own are you meeting?  Which are you neglecting?  At any given moment, think about which layer of the hierarchy you are on at the moment.  Can you improve this? 

Even though as a mother, you have a responsibility to meet the needs of your children and family, you also have an obligation to take care of yourself first.  Because, quite simply, you cannot fully take care of others if you are not making sure your own needs are met first.  So each day, keep in mind what your own needs are, and see that you are taking care of yourself first so that you can take even better care of your family and loved ones.


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About the Author:  Stephanie Davies is a WAHM from Mid-Missouri.  She loves to read, write, knit, watch movies, build websites and surf the internet.  Her website at provides website hosting and other online services to work at home parents.  She recommends Christian Work From Home Moms and Grandparents as a great online source for work at home moms.