Over this past year, working full-time, blogging, mom-ing, and now prepping for baby number two have had me feeling more stressed than ever before. I finally decided to do something about it, because life doesn’t just destress itself. So, over the course of the past few months, I implemented a few simple changes and I’m happy to say they’ve paid off. While I can’t say I’m stress-free, I can say I’m a less stressed, a little less anxious and a whole lot happier.
Get up earlier than your kiddos.
For me, this is actually the hardest thing to do, BUT it is one of the most important, effective things I do. Starting my day before my toddler means I can actually get myself ready without having to also wrangle her! It gives us time to hang out together before heading out the door.
- Prep at night.
Get everything ready the night before. Lunch, diaper bag, bottles, your work bag, your workout bag, your outfit, baby’s outfit. EVERYTHING. Take your shower. Whatever will slow you down in the morning, do it the night before.
- Eat a good breakfast.
It’s important for both parents and kiddos to eat a good breakfast. For the past year or so, Blaire ate breakfast at daycare and I either skipped breakfast or ate something from the vending machine at work. We switched her to a new daycare in January and since I’m making it a point to get up earlier in the morning, we also (usually) have time to eat breakfast together before I take her to “school”. Typically she and I sit down together and eat, although there are mornings where we are running super late, so we both take our breakfast to go. She eats hers in the car and I eat mine at my desk while checking emails. We’re obsessed with these VitaTops MuffinTops. They’re so quick and easy, and they taste delicious!
- Work from home.
For me, working from home full-time isn’t feasible. I did it for 9 months and it. was. hard. But it is nice to have it as an option when Blaire isn’t feeling her best or when we need to have something in the house looked at. If it’s a day Blaire is sick, I may not get in as many hours as I would at the office, so I balance it by spending some time, usually after Blaire’s bedtime, logged in to make up for any time I spent with my girl during my usual working hours.
- Say “no” to work email on your phone.
This is a huge one for me. And I can’t even say I don’t have my work email on my phone. But I don’t always have it on. I keep it off unless I’m m checking my email for something important. You can’t unsee things. When you see a work email pop up (and you’re not actually working) good luck getting that out of your mind, especially if it’s something frustrating.
- Take “me” time.
This is the part where you spend some time doing something that makes you happy. The gym, dinner with your girlfriends, getting a massage, crafting or catching up on some Real Housewives with a bottle of wine and some popcorn. Whatever helps you destress — do it!
- Learn to say “no”.
Sometimes you just need time to unwind. If your weeknights and weekends are always jam packed, you’ll always feel overwhelmed. Taking time to relax with your family will give you more time to get your stuff done and will help you to feel less stressed!
- Get moving.
Okay, I know I said getting out of bed before my kiddo was the hardest, this might actually be even harder for me. When the weather it’s nice, it’s easy to get outside for a walk or to take Blaire to the park when I pick her up from daycare. But when it’s cold out, I’m just not the type to hit the gym. BUT if you make it a priority to do something active, it will help you feel less stressed. You’ll get out that nervous energy and replace it with healthy, happy energy.
For making our mornings less hectic, we LOVE VitaTops MuffinTops. We all know the top of the muffin is the best part, right?! There are five different flavors and each has something special to offer. The Chocolate Chip is gluten free, the Peanut Butter and the Banana Chocolate Chip are both high protein. Just store them in the freezer and pop them in the toaster or microwave, or leave them at room temperature for one hour to thaw them before eating. The microwave is my favorite (when I’m not running late for work!).
I found my VitaTops Wild Blueberry and Deep Chocolate at Target! (Imagine that, right?!) You can also find them at your nearest Publix, Kroger, Stop & Shop or Shop-Rite locations. Be sure to get this coupon before you head to the store to get them for yourself!
What tips do you have for balancing your workload and your personal life? Have you tried to implement any of these into your life? Leave me a comment below! xo