Let's Love Our Bodies More: Game-Changing Daily Practices for Busy Moms
Being a mom is full of paradoxes, and one of the big ones for me is how I feel about my body. On one hand, it's amazing that my body grew another human being. While I'm more aware of how insanely magical my body is, I'm also more critical. I'm probably thinner now than I was in college, but it's not about that. No matter how I look, if I don't take time to appreciate my body, I end up descending rapidly into self-criticism.
Another paradox: I know that I'm happier when I like my body, and I'm a better mom when I'm happy, but where am I supposed to find time to love my body more while also working and keeping this small human I made alive?
The solution small doses of self-love, spread throughout the day. For me, the goals are less about looking "good" by the standards set by society and my inner critic. By taking a little time to connect with my body, I express gratitude for everything it allows me to do and support its ability to continue functioning well. The ultimate goal: feeling energized and capable. Here are a few daily practices that get me there.
1. Dry Brushing
Last Christmas, I asked "Santa" (my mom) for a dry brush. It took me a few days to warm up to the idea of actually using it. Honestly, I didn't really want to go over every inch of my naked body every day. I knew about all of the benefits, like immune-boosting lymphatic support and better circulation. Plus, it's supposed to help with cellulite, but that is based on anecdotal evidence only.
Ever since I worked up the courage to start, I've been dry brushing pretty much every morning. It takes about 3 minutes to go over my whole body with short, upward-moving strokes. I think *maybe* my skin is a little bit firmer, but one of the real benefits is that I'm not afraid of my own body anymore. The jury is out on whether I actually look better naked or not, but I feel more comfortable being naked and that is a win. I also haven't been sick all winter. Not sure if it's the dry brushing or my well-documented smoothie habit, but something is working.
Also, my skin feels amazing. It's so soft that I would keep dry brushing even if this was the only benefit, because I didn't even know adult skin could feel this much like baby skin.
2. Yoga every day (even if it's just a few minutes)
Before Phi, I was all about #yogaeverydamnday and handstand posts on Instagram. I went to a studio almost every day. Even though I need yoga now as much as ever, going to a studio feels like a treat these days.
I'm mostly limited to the yoga classes at my gym. Once or twice a week, my schedule aligns with the gym babysitter schedule and I'm able to make it. Otherwise, I have to practice at home. I know that I feel more comfortable in my body when I do yoga every day, but until recently I wasn't making my home practice a priority. Like, at all.
Enter the Asana Rebel app. It solves for the main reasons I've failed to keep up a home practice in the past. Typically, I get bored. I start to get into ruts where I do the same thing over and over again. Some people like that, but I need variety and the app gives it to me. I wouldn't necessarily say the sequences are challenging, but they pack a lot into a few minutes and keep my body moving. On days when I do have time for a longer yoga practice, I'm more ready to jump back into challenging sequences.
The videos range from just 5 minutes to just over 25 minutes. You can link them together to do a longer workout if you have the time. Usually, I don't. Some days I just do one 5 minute video. Taking even a small amount of time to connect with my breath and move a little helps me love my body more.
Also, the app counts "streaks." Right now I'm on an 18-day streak and I have no intention of breaking it. That gives me a little extra motivation on the days I need it.
By the way, this isn't sponsored or anything. I just really like using the app and want to share it with other busy moms.
3. Acknowledging my sexuality
Frankly, I don't know whether this is easier or harder as a single mom. Partnered moms do have someone like, right there. But, as a single mom I don't feel limited by the constructs created within one relationship, so personally I find it easy to think expansively.
For many of us, our sexuality is what made us moms in the first place. Its raw creative power isn't just for making babies; sexuality keeps us in the present moment, in our bodies, like nothing else.
Single, married, or wherever in between, there's no blanket solution for sexual fulfillment. There is something that works for you, whether it's a vibrator or the guy you're married to. For single moms, this might be your wake-up call to actively enter the dating world, buy a vibrator, or both. Partnered or single, I'm a big fan of the yoni egg. If you don't know what works for you, or if what used to work just isn't working anymore, go figure out what makes you feel good. You deserve to feel aware of your own sexual power, every day.
Would you be interested in an insta challenge focused on self-love and appreciation for our bodies? Let me know in the comments or on social!