By: Heather Bergstein
Before I met Natasha, I used to say I was powered by M&M’s, caffeine and red wine – and I wasn’t joking! It was how I kept up with my crazy life. I’m a single mom with a gorgeous and precocious 5-year-old, a demanding career, a full social calendar, and a couple of side projects which include my own blog and an upstate cottage. All of that translates into someplace to be, someone to see, or something to do at every moment of every day – and excuses about why I couldn’t take proper care of myself.
But about 8 months ago, my lifestyle started to catch up with me. I was sluggish, gaining weight and just felt exhausted. As a birthday present to myself, I went to see Natasha Uspensky, and my journey to health and happiness began. We evaluated my diet and eating habits, and when we had tweaked my approach to food, we moved on to the root of the issue – my lifestyle. That’s where the real work started; I had to stop complaining and making excuses, and I learned that if I didn’t create time to take care of myself, I’d never have it. And worse, I’d be on a path to burnout.
If you’re reading this and can relate to feelings like ‘I don’t have time’, ‘I’m too busy’, and ‘Work is crazy’, I totally get it. But with Natasha’s help I realized I could do it, if I prioritized myself. Whether you are a Mom or not, if you find yourself falling into the ‘I can’t’ trap again, read my 5 tips for making time and space for YOU in your own life!
1. Accept That You’re Busy, and Move On
You know your to-do list is endless, and that probably won’t change. But you can change your approach. Don’t try to do it all, all the time. Instead, be reasonable and do what has to get done, and put yourself on the list as a non-negotiable.
2. Stop Making Excuses
I made every excuse I could – I played the working mom card, the crazy workweek card, you name it, I said it. But guess what? These are just excuses. If you really want to do something, you will do it, and if you prioritize yourself, you can do it. Stop the excuses, own your life, and just do it already!
3. Take Baby Steps, and Use Shortcuts
Start with small changes that lead to better habits – not sweeping changes that will lead to burnout. Maybe that means cooking one meal each day at home, or fitting in exercise by walking somewhere instead of cabbing it. And there is no shame is using shortcuts to get there, especially if they save you time. So go ahead – order Fresh Direct – and start creating a little more time for you to do what you need to do.
4. Don’t Make Everything into a ‘Thing’
This is a Natasha original! If you look at everything you have to get done as a ‘thing’, each day feels like a mountain you have to climb. Accept that you have things to do, and have fun while doing them. And refer to Tip #1 when your to-do list takes over your life.
5. Happy Mommy = Happy Family
As a mom, I always put my son first. But that approach doesn’t really leave time for you as a person, doesn’t provide a lot of balance, and sometimes leads to a martyr attitude! Do the things that make you happy too. If you want to make time for exercise in your weekend, get a sitter and do it. You’ll be happier, and if you’re happier, so is your family!
It won’t be easy to make changes, but it can be done, so buckle down, take a closer look at what’s standing between you and your health, and use these tips to stop the ‘I can’t’s!
Heather Bergstein is a digital marketing and media professional with beauty and fashion expertise. A New Yorker at heart, she and her son Micah (and born-and-bred, legit NYer) live in NYC, and spend weekends bouncing around downtown or relaxing upstate. Heather is the creator and author of City Meets Country, her blog (aka passion project) about their adventures, both city and country.