Stress Busters for Moms and Writers: Body

The Super-Maniams 2011Have 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!

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Camille Faye | Author of Voodoo Butterfly | Coming Fall 2014

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

www.camillefaye.com

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10 Comments

  • I LOVE this! And couldn’t agree more with every point! Although some of the things listed are things we have all heard before they are in fact really important and sometimes we need to be reminded of them. I know I do! I love that you brought up going outside. This is something I haven’t heard a lot of and I find it important. Fresh air is so good, even if it is cold fresh air… Thank you for the tips!!!!

    • Thanks, Jess! You’re probably really experiencing polar vortex up in NYC. It’s tougher for me to get out because I have a baby and there’s extra gear involved…stroller, diaper bag, etc. But we’re just about out of the baby gear stage. LOL.

  • Hi Spiritual Lady – Thanks for the reminder that maintaining a more balanced life doesn’t take a lot of work. You just have to do. My favorite were your Yoga links. I’ve been wanting to go take the Yoga classes at my local gym, but every single time I get my butt moving and show up, the class is canceled. Being able to pull up the Youtube videos on my TV and do the stretches in my living room will be much easier and more flexible with my schedule.

    • I’d LOVE to sign up our family at the Y and take some yoga classes and put baby in the child care. But that ain’t gonna happen any time soon. She’s still too little, takes naps, we don’t get out of the house much and for only short periods of time. Maybe sometime in the near future I’ll get back into group yoga classes. The home yoga is good, too, because if you fall over you don’t feel like a goof. ;P

  • Thanks for the reminder Camille, It’s so easy to forget to take care of yourself whenever you are taking care of others needs .(Emotional and Physical.) Good article.

    • Yep, being a mom takes a lot out of you. But you know that because you’re this mama’s mama. Good job :)

  • I thought I left a comment here, but I guess I just read it and then didn’t comment (WHAT WAS I THINKING?). I think I need a stress buster. :) Seriously, I love this post, and you are so right about everything–which is one reason why I love you so much! First off, LOVE the pic of you all as superheros. My husband is always wanting us to dress up in themes like this. One day, i will do this for him. :) There are two on this list that I really need to work on–working out (I belong to the gym–I have trouble getting KB and me there at the time when there is free babysitting) and sleep well. It never seems like there are enough hours in the day. But if I didn’t sleep well at night OR I went to bed late because I was working on something or reading something or watching something, then I try to take a short (or long!) afternoon snooze with Katie. That often helps, especially because Rick doesn’t get home until 10:30 pm! I am looking forward to some more stress busters from you. CHEERS!

    • You all should definitely dress up as superheroes. It makes you feel like you can do anything! I know you’ve had trouble with the sleeping, but you guys are almost there. When my little guy turned 3 we noticed a shift in independence and things just seemed to get easier as far as care taking. The attitude…well, that’s the new challenge :)

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