A Back-to-School Self-Care Guide Just for Moms
Posted byMakeba Giles
Congratulations: you have made it to the end of summer! It is time for school, and you’re scurrying about working to handle everyone’s needs for the new school year.
But what about your needs? Are you handling the self-care and keeping of you?
As the school year draws closer, remember that it is true what they say: you cannot pour from an empty cup. The only way for you to completely take care of your household and family duties during the school year is to take care of yourself first.
I can relate. As a busy mom, there’s so much to do. The increasing demands of my husband, children and home responsibilities oftentimes consume the bulk of my time. There are many days when I never get one single moment to myself. After mustering the courage to stare at myself in the mirror one day, I decided that enough was enough.
This school year, I have committed to making self-care a top priority. I hope that all other busy moms realize the same, so that’s why I’m here to help!
After the school shopping, lunch planning and first day of school preparation is done, why not establish or reboot your self-care routine for the months ahead? Below is a super simple guide for moms just in time for back-to-school.
Mental and Physical Wellness
Emotional well-being is a vital piece in the quest to be the best woman you can be every day. Set your alarm an hour earlier each day to practice meditation before the kids wake up for school. Start using a journal to release your emotions at the end of the day. Join a local mom support group or plan a weekend getaway with your closest friends.
It’s no secret that physical activity is important, too. Exercise releases endorphins that improve your mood and outlook on life, says the Mayo Clinic.1 Regularly participating in physical activities may have a dramatic improvement in the way you think and deal with challenges.
That science project you were just notified about that is due tomorrow? The unexpected phone call from the school nurse in the middle of the day? The lost field trip form? While these are still surprises, having a positive outlook may remind you to not sweat the small stuff.
As the school year progresses, try new and creative ways to increase your physical activity. Try a yoga class or even yoga apps for times when you only have your lunch break and the office floor. Arrange a meetup with another parent for a nature walk in the neighborhood park. When it comes to exercise, small efforts make a big difference.
Self-care goes beyond spa days and appointments at the salon. Fully caring for yourself means doing so from the inside out.
The hectic school year may cause women to attribute any off-kilter happening in their body to stress. While that may be true in some cases, some issues could denote a more serious problem.
This is the case when it comes to your menstrual cycle. While everyone’s definition of a normal period may be different, typical menstrual cycles occur every 21 to 35 days and the duration of your flow lasts approximately five days, according to the Cleveland Clinic.2 Abnormal uterine bleeding (AUB) is any bleeding that differs from your normal cycle — whether in amount, frequency, timing (such as between your regular periods) or after menopause.
AUB can occur at any age, notes the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.3 In fact, a study published by American Family Physician reports that up to 14 percent women experience AUB.4
I asked several women to share their thoughts about menstrual cycles, motherhood and the school year. One mother said, “It’s so embarrassing to hunt for a bathroom every time I go to my kids’ events at school because I always have to change my pad and tampon. My periods are so heavy, it’s unbelievable.” Another woman went so far as to wish for menopause so her period would finally end!
If issues with your menstrual cycle, such as heavy bleeding, cramping or prolonged periods, are affecting your life and you think your period may be abnormal, schedule an appointment with your doctor. You can fill out a quick checklist to take with you.
Talk to Your Doctor
Never feel that you have to go it alone when it comes to your menstrual health. Sure, it is an uneasy topic to talk about, but know that along with your health care provider, there are online communities where you can share your challenges with women of similar conditions. Above all, always keep the lines of communication open with your OBGYN. Don’t be afraid to reach out to them to discuss any questions regarding your menstrual health.
The kids returning to school is an exciting time for moms. However, excitement may be replaced with stress as the school year progresses. Commit yourself to putting the above strategies into practice, and you will be placing yourself on the right track to making self-care a priority for back-to-school and beyond.
If this women’s health topic speaks to you, sign up for our newsletter to connect with Change the Cycle’s online community for women with abnormal uterine bleeding.
1“Exercise and stress: Get moving to manage stress.” Mayo Clinic. April 16, 2015. http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/exercise-and-stress/art-20044469
2“Abnormal Uterine Bleeding.” Cleveland Clinic. May 12, 2014. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/abnormal-uterine-bleeding
3“Abnormal Uterine Bleeding.” American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. March 2017. https://www.acog.org/-/media/For-Patients/faq095.pdf?dmc=1&ts=20170822T1542458183
4Sweet, Mary Gayle, et al. “Evaluation and Management of Abnormal Uterine Bleeding in Premenopausal Women.” American Family Physician. January 2012. http://www.aafp.org/afp/2012/0101/p35.html#afp20120101p35-b1
- Posted by Makeba Giles
- On September 18, 2017