When my children were toddlers, I prioritized taking care of myself first. Friends and family balked at the thought and didn’t quite understand. Prioritizing myself was the best thing I did for my kids. To take care of them, I first needed to take care of myself.
When your body, mind, and soul are overtaxed for any reason, caring for and supporting others can be overwhelming.
This is especially true for military moms. As your child transitions from civilian to military service member, you transition too. That journey spans a wide range of emotions that can wreak havoc on your mind and body.
If self-care was not a priority for you before, then make it one now. When my son joined the Army, he had an important question for me: “Mom, will you be there to support me no matter what?” I said yes, but was I really ready to be the reliable support he needed?
I wasn’t prepared for a future with so many unknowns and was hit with an emotional avalanche. It was time to put self-care into action, to help my overall well-being and be the support that my son needed.
Self-care can help strengthen our resolve to be the best version of ourselves. It includes anything related to taking care of your health and well-being.
Where to start?
Boost your mood with regular exercise
One powerful tool I want to focus on is regular exercise. If you haven’t included exercise in your life before, it may sound a little overwhelming. It doesn’t have to be.
Exercise means just being active. You don’t have to go to a gym and become a bodybuilder. Being active can be as simple as getting outside for a 20-minute walk a few times a week. Getting out in nature is especially nurturing, and can help reduce stress.
If you’re feeling ambitious, you can train for and run a 5K race. You can treat your mind and body to Yoga, or perform strength exercises at home.
Whatever you choose, make it purposeful, and do it to the best of your ability.
Exercise is the best stress reliever! When my son deployed to Afghanistan, I was worried beyond any worry I had experienced before. The tears I shed and the fears I experienced were not helping me in life. I didn’t know what to do, so I began a disciplined exercise routine. Not only did I get in the best shape of my life, but my body and mind just felt better.
I ran a couple of 5K races and focused on my daily training, which helped break the cycle of intense stress and anxiety. It was quite meditative too, perfect for calming my mind. In turn, other aspects of my life started to improve.
By the end of my son’s year-long deployment, friends saw a big change in my emotional and mental strength. And I felt it! More importantly, I was able to be that supportive mom that my son counted on.
Just move. Do something active
Being active releases feel-good endorphins that help to enhance feelings of well-being and to take your mind off your worries.
As your child works on goals for their future, you can too.
But how will you do that if you are stressed to the max by anxious feelings? Activity can help relieve and manage your stressful feelings.
Your child is working hard to be their best; why not you? Let their hard work, dedication, and patriotism inspire you to be your best!
Raise your inner strength through self-care
Learn to raise your inner strength and resilience to better manage your daily emotions. Embrace your new role as a military mom. Take care of yourself to better manage your daily emotions.
You are the only one who can choose how you live out your journey as a military mom, and you will have to make this decision sooner or later.