Stress Busters for Moms and Writers: Body

Have the planets aligned in a certain dysfunctional pattern or is the winter blahs just hitting everyone harder this year? My peeps are seriously stressed. I swear if I hear “polar vortex” one more time I’m gonna karate chop the TV. Whatever the reason for everyone’s depression, lack of energy, and overall bad mood, I thought it would be the perfect time to pep you up with some of my favorite ways to de-stress.

To balance things out, I’ll break this information into three separate posts dealing with each aspect of our complete wellness: body, mind, and spirit. I can attest to the importance of these things in my own life–as a writer and as a mother–because I’ve encountered serious specific problems (like postpartum depression and spinal degeneration) in both of these occupations that absolutely had to be addressed or I’d be chronically unwell. Most of the tips I have here will work whether you’re a mom, a writer, or both.

Spirit Lady’s Top Tips for a Healthy Body

  1. Drink water. What? Now hear me out before you say “duh” and move onto tip #2. After I had my first child, I went into a health food store, seeking the holy grail of energy boosters. “Please,” I begged, “Give me a supplement, smoothie, or secret potion that will magically cure this bone-tiredness I’m feeling.” The lady asked me, “Are you drinking enough water?” And I responded, “Probably not.” She told me that I didn’t have to drop a bunch of money on all that stuff because a lot of people are just dehydrated. Every time I have a meal or a snack, I drink a pint of water (we’ll cover pints of beer in another post). And when I find myself dragging, I think about the last time I had a drink of water. Most times the answer is: it’s been too long.
  2. Get your nutrients! As a culture, we tend toward processed food instead of nutrient-rich food and some experts even say that our soil is so depleted of nutrients by modern farming practices, that even if we eat fresh whole foods, we still don’t get enough of what we need. To help me boost my normal intake of healthy food, I take a powerful multivitamin to provide me with the best wellness feeling (a.k.a. more mom energy). The one I take contains 8333% of my daily value of Vitamin B-12 and requires me to take four capsules a day. These are [dun-dun-DUN] super vitamins. These are a powder put into a capsule, so they actually break down in my stomach and the nutrients are delivered to my cells. Invest in this…mine run about $30 a month, but I feel a gazillion times better than if I popped a run-of-the-mill vitamin. Go talk to someone at a health food store or do some research online. I like Life Force Multiple Energy Activator and LifeEssence Vitamins by PURE. Sometimes I’ll also do juicing or green smoothies once a day to detox and boost my energy. I have tried–and liked–recipes by Green Smoothie Girl and JJ Virgin.
  3. Exercise 3-5 times a week. Some of you may be thinking, “Five days a week! Are you crazy?! That’s way too much of a time commitment.” But hear me out. I’ll agree with you that exercising for 1 hour or more five days a week is Cah-razy. In our short attention span world–in my mom world–we just don’t have the time, so I’ve found a good solution that won’t allow me to make excuses about not getting the exercise I need. I commit to 20 minutes a day and I can choose two days “off” a week. Really, I probably could do 20 minutes every day, because COME ON…it’s 20 minutes. Yoga is my favorite form of exercise and really helps with neck issues that I have from being a mommy and from being a writer. I go on YouTube and find short sessions (5 min, 10 min, 20 min) depending on what I need (flexibility, stretching, neck pain). It can be a quick way for you to re-center without having to dedicate a whole hour to it. Tara Stiles is my fave…she works with Livestrong on YouTube. And then a great neck routine from Chaz Rough at Yogamazing will help writers and moms with babies (carrying a twenty pound weight wears on your neck and shoulder area).
  4. Get out every day. Our ancestors lived and worked outside year round (farming or hunting and gathering). We need fresh air no matter what the weather is like outside. I’m bad about this one, especially in the winter because I hate the cold. I loathe it. I detest it. I probably need to move to a tropical locale, but since that’s not gonna happen anytime soon, I just need to force myself to get some fresh air.
  5. Sleep well. I’m not ashamed to admit that I need a good nine hours at night; chalk it up to my creative, busy brain that needs the extra zzz’s to come up with fabulous ideas. But seriously, we are a sleep-deprived society that doesn’t really need to be. As a mom, I understand the pressure to get your kids and family involved in all these different activities and organizations. Just say no. More rest will make your family so much happier and healthier.

These are my top five for a fabulous, healthy, energized body. These tips can be daunting to take on, so do one step at a time. Your body will thank you, your work will be better, and your family will have a happy mommy (or daddy). Stay tuned for my next post about having a healthy mind, which will be out the first Thursday of March. Happy writing and happy mothering!

Camille Faye | Author of Voodoo Butterfly

Experience love, purpose, and the paranormal in New Orleans.

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*Originally posted on The Literary Ladies Blog

*Photos courtesy of Nic Walker from Flickr Creative Commons