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Feb 10, 2016

More Than Just Mommy; How to Maintain your Identity and Happiness

Guest post blogger: Kelly Houseman, MS, LLP



Did you know that you actually had a name before it was Mom? Although it may seem like another lifetime ago it is still important to make time for yourself and remember the woman you are outside of the mother role. Here are some tips on how to reconnect with that woman:

Social Networking This doesn’t mean posting 100 baby pictures on Facebook (although we all do it because, yes, our kids are that cute). Friendships can be worth their weight in gold and are an often-underutilized form of stress relief. Take advantage of this and try to connect with a friend or two at least once a week. Whether it is a girl’s night out, dinner or even a phone call or email to check in; feeling connected to someone can be a mood booster.

Exercise We all know we need to move more but life and exhaustion can get in the way. Make time for 30 minutes of physical activity each day. It really does help with energy and overall health and wellness. Many gyms and fitness studios offer childcare, which can be a great option for busy moms. But you don’t have to spend money on a membership. Even a walk around the block or the nearest mall pushing a stroller counts.

Entertainment Sometimes mindless activities are what we need to decompress. Whether it’s a Real Housewives marathon or reading a few chapters in the book you picked up, losing yourself in a good book or show can help to wind down. Bonus points if your kids can actually be quiet enough for you to read in the tub!

 Alone Time Finding time to do something by and for yourself gives you a chance to recharge. Busy moms know that alone time is limited and fleeting so make the most of what time you can get. Possibly someone can watch the kids while you run out and go shopping or get a mani/pedi or go take a fun class. If that is not an option even just making a cup of coffee or a glass of wine and spending a few minutes away from hustle and bustle can help. When you take care of yourself it makes you a better caregiver.

Hobbies Wait what are those again? Maybe you used to take ballet classes or were a painter. Perhaps you would like to learn to crochet or learn another language. These days there are adult classes, groups and meetings for almost anything you can imagine. Even if it is just once a month do something fun that interests you and reconnects you to your passion.

Professional Help Sometimes we can get stuck in a rut of stress, anxiety and sadness that doesn’t seem to get better on its own. Asking for help is not an admission of weakness and but rather a declaration of strength. Seek out counseling or talk to your doctor. A happy, healthy mom is the best kind.

Kelly Houseman, MS, LLPC operates a private practice counseling office in Farmington Hills, Michigan. Her focus is on women’s mental health and wellness. She can be reached at (248) 278-7162 or KellyHousemanCounseling@gmail.com.

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