With the pandemic, Mother’s Day definitely won’t be the same this year, and most of us won’t be celebrating with flowers, brunches, or family gatherings. But to be honest, taking one single day a year to focus on yourself isn’t enough. You need to honor and care for yourself every day. Make this Mother’s Day the day you choose to start focusing on your own health. Here’s why.
Caring for Others While Sacrificing Ourselves
As women, we have a tendency to be caretakers. Look at me. I’m a caretaker by nature. And as a nurse, I’m also a caretaker by profession. Sadly, caretakers are often unhealthy. This is especially true among nurses, according to a 2016 study in Nursing Research and Practice, which found that:
- 92% have moderate to very high-stress levels
- 78% sleep less than 8 hours at night
- 70% eat more junk food to deal with stress in the workplace
- 69% don’t get regular exercise
- 63% overeat as a way to cope with stress at work
- 63% don’t eat 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day
- 22% are binge drinkers
Do you think being stressed, sleep-deprived, and sluggish from junk food makes them better nurses? No, it doesn’t.
As caretakers, we have this notion that if we’re going to tend to the health of other people, we must sacrifice ourselves. We frame it as some sort of noble act. This is nonsense.
You’ve heard the cliché that you need to put your own oxygen mask on first before helping others. It’s a cliché, but it’s a cliché for a reason. It’s true!
You can’t help other people—your elderly parents, your spouse, your children, your church group, your friends, your Brain Warrior tribe—if you don’t take care of yourself first. You won’t have the energy, motivation, or emotional fortitude to be there for them when they need you.
We understand this on a logical level, but the problem for most of us is that our values are out of alignment. And that holds us back from caring for ourselves.
Get Your Values in Alignment
When I was an ICU nurse and later as a mother, I didn’t realize my values were totally out of whack. I had to really do deep values work to become conscious of the fact that I was putting everybody else first before myself. I valued other people’s health more than my own. In my world at that time, my values were God, family, health. But that wasn’t correct.
It took me a long time to accept that I needed to re-align my values. It has to be God, health, family. I finally realized that I needed to take care of my own health first, so I could be my best to have the energy to take care of my patients, my family, my friends, and you—my Brain Warrior tribe.
In my lifetime, I’ve been sick. I’ve had cancer—multiple times—and I’ve had to endure 10 medical surgeries. During these times, I was down and out and of absolutely no help to anyone. In order for me to be able to take care of others, I have to take care of myself. For me, this means taking the time to exercise, eat right, get adequate sleep, and say my prayers and meditate.
I do it because I’m worth it. And so are you!
Taking care of your own health and well-being isn’t selfish. It’s the only way you’ll be able to care for the people you love. It’s also the greatest gift you can give your children.
Why Being a Good Mom Means Being Good to Yourself
Every Mom knows that kids don’t do what you tell them. Decades of scientific research prove it! Studies, including a study in Royal Society Open Science, show that children imitate adult behavior, meaning your kids are going to mimic what you do.
So if you’re thinking, “I’m sacrificing myself for my children,” then you’re effectively teaching them to sacrifice themselves in the future. They’re going to think that neglecting their own health is normal behavior. You’ll be setting up your kids to become adults who don’t take care of themselves.
If you want your kids to treat themselves—their brains and their bodies—with respect, then you need to be a good role model and start taking care of yourself. What better day to begin dedicating yourself to your own brain health, physical fitness, mental well-being, and spiritual strength than Mother’s Day? Think of it as a gift to yourself and to everyone you love.
One of the best ways to start boosting your health is with the healing power of nutrition. Check out the free recipes on my website or get your copy of The Brain Warrior’s Way Cookbook for inspiration. To ensure you’re getting the nutrients you need, take a daily multivitamin like NeuroVite Plus, which provides key brain healthy nutrients and was formulated to provide whole-body wellness. Get 21% off your purchase at BrainMD when you enter TANA21 at checkout.