Social Moms

Simple Swaps: Ways to Challenge Yourself and Make a Change

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October 12, 2012

Feel like you’re in a rut? Getting bored with your daily routine? It can happen to all of us, especially when we are busy being moms. The key is to try new things that add excitement, meaning and interest to your day. Things that make you feel more energized, empowered, vibrant or relaxed. You can break out of the same old routine by consciously choosing to try new activities and replace old habits with healthier ones. Change requires a certain amount of adjustment but very often it’s just what we need to make us feel better and more alive. Your family will thank you too.  Here are 20 ideas and simple swaps to get you going:

  1. Drink a protein shake instead of a carb heavy breakfast. Smoothies with protein are easy to make, nutritious and will keep you full longer than a carb heavy breakfast.
  2. Swap 15 minutes on Facebook for 15 minutes in the yard unplugged each morning.There’s nothing like connecting with nature to ground yourself and have some “me “time.
  3. Exercise switch up: Kickbox or bike instead of the usual walk. Not only can the same routine day after day be boring, but it doesn’t challenge new muscle groups so switch up the routines often.
  4. Go to bed without your cell phone, laptop or Kindle. It’s said that unplugging for an hour or so before sleep helps your brain unwind and encourages a deeper rest.
  5. Listen to Pandora radio instead of Top 20. There are so many music styles and indy artists that deserve listening to.You just might find a new favorite.
  6. Call a friend instead of texting her. In this day and age, texting is becoming the normal way to say “hi.” Be the one to break the silence and actually call to say hello. Or send a thoughtul and loving card to make someone’s day. You’ll be surprised at how good it makes you feel too!
  7. Swap messiness for tidiness: Clean out a closet top to bottom. Why hang on to things you don’t need or use? Donate or toss. Then organize and see how good it feels to have a neat closet. Next up-drawers!
  8. Read a new type of genre instead of the same old books. It’s a great way to challenge yourself and even learn something new. Ask your friends or librarian for recommendations – or check the best seller lists.
  9. Swap a peck on the cheek for a deep soulful hug with a loved one. When kids come home from school, there’s nothing as welcoming as a loving hug.  And when you give, you also receive.
  10. Share memories with your kids instead of just talking the daily stuff. Tell stories of what you remember when you were their age, or funny things your Grandparents did or said. It’s one of the best ways to truly connect and let kids learn more about you. It’s great dinner time conversation too.
  11. Paint your office or kitchen a bright lively color. Color affects our mood so choose one that makes you feel great.
  12. Do 15 minutes of yoga instead of reading the (depressing) newspaper. No news is good news. Take the time to turn inward instead of out and to learn to de-stress.
  13. Listen to radio instead of watching TV. Crank it up and sing along as you go about your day, if possible. Singing is uplifting.
  14. Swap elevators for stairs for more exercise in the day. It’s an easy swap you can get used to and never go back to elevators.
  15. Swap recipes with a friend or try a new cuisine once a week. Never had Indian food? Greek? Thai?   Give it a try-you just never know. Even if you had it a while back, your tastes change, so try it again.
  16. Switch eating your lunch out to bringing a brown bag instead. You’ll save cash and calories too. Chop veggies ahead for a few days, grab an apple or banana, and make a sandwich or bring a yogurt.
  17. Ditch soda and grab water and sparkling water only. It can take a while for your taste buds to get used to sparkling water but the cut in sugar (or artificial sweeteners) is a very healthy move to make and great example for your children.
  18. Swap time on the couch after dinner for family ball games. Get outside and play good old-fashioned games even if you can’t keep up with the kids. Make memories that will be remembered and cherished more than they’ll remember sitting on the couch watching Good Luck Charlie.
  19. Walk on the beach instead of sitting. Don’t even bring a towel or chair. Walking tones your legs, burns calories and has great views.  Plus you never know what sea treasures you will find.
  20. Change your self-criticism to self-love. Vow that just for today, you will not put yourself down . Then do it again tomorrow. Habits form when practiced daily.
  21. BONUS: Appreciate what you have instead of wanting more. It’s known that the more you are grateful for what you have, the more you will have to be grateful for. It’s human to want more but we have to remember to really SEE what we have and be thankful for it, from the heart. Take time to pray or keep a gratitude journal.

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