Happy New Year from my family to yours!
For many Manhattan women, the start of a new year marks the initiation of healthy diets, exercise regimens and other self-improvement resolutions, many of which are decided upon while nursing New Year’s Eve hangovers and vowing never to drink again. New Year’s resolutions are both optimistic and fundamentally flawed, as most of us set unrealistic goals, thereby setting ourselves up for failure. This year I have a different strategy – rather than making resolutions that I’m unlikely to attain, I’ve formulated smaller, more manageable lifestyle “tweaks” that if adhered to will contribute to a healthier and more productive 2017.
1. Clean-out my closet
Every city girl remembers the iconic “Take or Toss” scene from Sex and the City when Carrie has the girls over to help clean out her closet. Much like Carrie’s, my closet is in dire need of decluttering. Having too many clothes actually makes getting dressed much more difficult and sabotages my morning routine on almost a daily basis. And even more crippling, it leaves me with no space for new clothes! Although every item in my closet has at one point made my heart flutter, Manhattan closet real estate is far too precious to house pieces that aren’t part of my current rotation. While it might be tough parting with some of my lesser-worn pieces, regaining control of my closet is a small undertaking that can really make a huge impact on my day-to-day life.
2. Get more sleep
Sleep – the elusive slumber sanctuary of moms everywhere. “Just nap when the baby naps,” people eagerly suggest. What an innovative idea! How have I never thought of that? I suppose these very same people will pay my bills, tidy up my apartment, check my emails and do all of the hundreds of other things I do when my toddler and infant are sleeping. I should also mention that only occasionally do their naps actually overlap. In any case, sleep deprivation is real, especially for nursing moms who are waking for night feedings. Going to bed early is an effective means of counteracting my high sleep debt and I wake up feeling well-rested and prepared to tackle the needs of my toddler and infant… not to mention that restorative sleep helps prevent fine lines and promotes a glowing complexion. Here’s to sleeping my way to a brighter, fresher, and more vibrant 2017!
3. More “Me-Time”
As busy moms of the Big Apple, we try to take advantage of having the world’s greatest parks, museums, theaters and play spaces all at our fingertips. Our days are often spent toting our tots to music classes, play dates, story times and workshops, leaving little time for sanity-saving solitary moments. Although time apart from our babies can be guilt-inducing for many busy moms (myself included), it’s an essential part of contemporary parenting. Avoid confusing self-indulgence with self-preservation and give yourself permission to unwind for a few moments every day. Whether it’s perusing the racks at Bloomingdale’s, getting a massage or meeting a friend for lunch, taking some much needed “me time” every day will help me gain a fresh outlook and a renewed sense of perspective in 2017.
4. Drink more waterWe all know the health benefits of drinking water, but how many of us are actually drinking the recommended 10 glasses per day? Not only does staying hydrated flush out toxins and leave your skin looking radiant, but it also has the beauty benefits of helping to strengthen hair and nails. Although it seems like the busy lifestyle of a Manhattan mom isn’t conducive to meeting the recommendations for daily water intake, it’s actually easier than it sounds – just take it on-the-go. The best way to make sure that I’m drinking around 10 glasses of water a day is to keep a bottle of water with me throughout the day. Recently I became the proud owner of a cheetah-print S’well bottle and it accompanies me wherever I go. Not only does it keep my water ice-cold, but its sleek appearance makes a fierce fashion statement. Let’s raise our glasses of H20 and drink our way to looking more radiant in the coming year!
5. Prioritize family dinner
Despite knowing the long-term benefits of eating together as a family, pleading with a 2-year-old to sit at the table rather than paint the walls with ketchup is a monotonous routine that would send even Mary Poppins into a tailspin. At the end of a long day, it can be so tempting to give the kids an early dinner, put them to bed and indulge in Chinese take-out with my husband while playing catch-up with our DVR. Despite chaotic schedules, we will prioritize family meal time 2017 and eat together as a family as often as possible. Sitting down at the table and talking about our days is the perfect way to connect in today’s busy world. Besides, food tastes better when you eat it with your family!