Real Talk: How I Balance a Busy Schedule

Tamera Mowry

Lately, life just seems to be getting busier and busier! As a working mom, I always have a lot on my plate, but recently my schedule has become more packed than ever. Even though my days are full of things that are blessings, I have to make a very real effort to balance my time and energy so that I can be the most effective, happy and healthy version of myself.

The feeling of struggling to balance a busy schedule is something that I think most people can relate to. While I have not perfected time management, I have noticed amazing improvements in my ability to prioritize my day by using some of these simple strategies:

Make a list: I am a big fan of lists, and honestly, I would be lost without them. I like to hand write out my lists, but keeping one on your phone works great too. Without writing everything down, it is almost impossible not to forget at least something each day. Making a list is also great when you feel totally overwhelmed — The simple act of just writing down what you need to do, and being able to visually prioritize the tasks at hand, makes a big difference.

Put everything on the calendar: I literally mean everything! I will note just about anything on my iPhone calendar. From notes about what my son has going on at school that day (so I remember to ask him about it when he gets home), to a reminder to leave the house a little early because I have to get gas. I love scheduling notes into my calendar because then I can be sure I am not missing anything important.

Schedule your day: As a working mom, I have a lot of responsibilities in both my personal and professional life. I very consciously schedule my day so that I know when I will start and stop focusing on work commitments, and then I stick to that schedule. Having hours specifically allotted to work really helps me balance my family and personal time. Which leads me to my next point …

Make time for you a non-negotiable: Not too long ago I wrote about mindfulness, and the importance of taking time for your mental and physical health. Even when I am balancing a busy schedule, I make my health a priority, and schedule time for me just like I would a meeting. For example, if I have a workout planned, I block time off in my calendar and commit to taking that hour for myself — no excuses!

Don’t be afraid to say no: I have learned that it is okay to say that you are not able to do something! Setting realistic expectations for my time and my commitments is very important. If I am constantly saying ‘yes’ to everyone, I just end up exhausted, overworked and feeling resentful. When I receive an invitation, or I am asked to do something, I really think about whether or not I am able to commit before I say yes. This strategy has really helped me immensely because it ensures that my days are full of tasks that I am totally committed to doing.

Communicate expectations: Especially when it comes to work, I have learned that it is really important to communicate both my own, and other people’s expectations. By talking about what is expected of me (or what I expect), and verbalizing an agreement, I am able to prioritize and manage my workload.

Tackle one thing at a time: Women are often amazing multitaskers — It’s in our nature to be able to juggle a bunch of things at once. But I have learned that I am usually much better when I zero-in on one task at a time, and eliminate other distractions (like my phone). Whether I am doing something for work or something with my family, I try and really be in the moment and engaged with whatever I am doing.

Spend five minutes each night thinking about tomorrow: I take a little time each night to think about what has to be done tomorrow. By thinking ahead and looking at what I have on my plate for the next day, I avoid waking up feeling overwhelmed.

Understand that you can’t control everything: As much as I like to think that I can stay on top of everything each day, the reality is that nobody can. Some days life is just going to throw you a curve ball, and when that happens, it is important to just go with the flow!

How do you guys balance a busy schedule? Comment below and let me know!

Xx
Tamera  

Real Talk: How Being A Mom Has Changed Me

family post

Mother’s Day is coming up this weekend, and it has me thinking a lot about how being a mom has changed me for the better. Every day with my children I work hard to try and be the best parent that I can, trying to anticipate their needs. However, each day they manage to flip the script on me (in a good way)! I learn patience and persistence from them on a daily basis. Most importantly though, they have shown me what unconditional love truly means.

My children have also taught me how to be present and in the moment, which is something that can be really hard to do when you are a working mom and have a lot of responsibility in your life. As a mom who can be a little OCD, my children have made me realize that it is okay to leave some dirty dishes in the sink for a while, or to not write that email right away, and to just live in the moment. I have learned that it is worth giving up a little control in my life, to be able to sit and watch a movie with them or just have time to bond.

Growing up, I had a mother who some would say, was a strict parent. Now that I am a parent, I can see that everything she did and how she parented, was done completely out love for her children. I grew up to love the person that I am, and to feel confident about myself, and that is because of my mom. She worked so hard to develop good character, strong faith and to instill a secure sense of self in her kids. There is no way that I would have been able to navigate a career in the spotlight, and remain true to my values and faith, had it not been for my mom. How she raised me has had such an incredible impact on who I am today, and now in turn, how I am raising my own children.

I have also been lucky enough to have children around the same time as my sister! Tia had her son before I had Aden, and she was always 100% honest with me about her experience with motherhood. She really helped prepare me for both the joys and the realities of what being a mom looked like. Most importantly, she taught me that as a mom, it is okay to keep pursuing your dreams while being a devoted parent. That was something that I was really struggling with —  I wasn’t sure that it was going to be possible to keep growing my career and have children. My sister has the most beautiful and special relationship with her son, and she really showed me that that as a mom, you can do both. I love sharing motherhood moments with her. Some days we just laugh because we will try and talk on the phone after a long day, and neither of us can even finish a thought because we are so tired! To be able to experience all the aspects of motherhood alongside my sister is one of the most amazing blessings.

I have only been a parent for four years, and I can’t imagine my life without my children! Parenting is both the hardest and most blissful job I have ever had. When you’re a mom, there is no such thing as a day off, and yes, exhaustion becomes your new normal. But you just figure it out!

Hats off to all the mommys out there! 

Xo

Tamera

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Real Talk: How I Deal With Stress

Tamera Mowry

We all feel stress in our lives from time to time. Unfortunately, stress is part of life and we all need to learn how to deal with it!  For me, it’s a daily exercise to manage my stress. Some days I’m great at it, other days, I’m a mess. But hey, that’s life!

Work stress is definitely what gets to me the most. Mainly because there are the normal stresses and demands of working long hours, but on top of that, I find myself constantly thinking and worrying about my children. I worry how their day is going, whether they are feeling okay, how school is, whether they ate their lunch, and so on and so on. Basically, as a mom, I am constantly worrying, and that equals a lot more stress for me at work!

As soon as my stress levels rise just a little too much, my natural reaction is to panic. I freak out, I get anxious and if it’s a really stressful day, I cry. I can also feel all the stress and tension start to physically manifest throughout my body.

Now obviously some stress is normal, but feeling like you have been pushed to your breaking point, is NOT ideal! Over the years, I have gotten better at managing my stress levels and have developed different tips and tricks to cope.

The first thing I do is I allow myself to feel every emotion fully — I let it all out, and then after two or three days, I make the decision to let it go. I think that it is really important to feel those emotions, and then release them. If you hold on to your feelings, they will come up in other ways and you will find yourself displacing those emotions on the ones you love. Next, I write down everything that I think will help me deal with whatever is bothering me. It’s amazing how the simple act of writing things down can be a huge emotional release, and give you a sense of peace! I always try and think long-term, and ask myself if what is bothering me will really matter in 5-10 years. By allowing myself to feel, react and then make an action plan, I find that I have clarity.

Exercise is another BIG part of how I deal with managing my stress. Releasing endorphins during a good workout always makes me feel so much better equipped to deal with what is bothering me. I also make the decision to take a break from all things digital when my stress levels rise. By logging off social media and turning off the TV for a while, I get much more focused, and can live in the moment with my family and friends (which is what matters most!).

Lastly, I try and remember that some things just happen for a reason, and sometimes we need to just trust that everything is going to be okay!

Let me know how you guys manage your stress!
Xx

Tamera 

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Real Talk: How to Get Through a Painful Relationship

On my Facebook page awhile back, I asked you all what my next Real Talk topic should be. Boy did I get a lot of great responses! From my take on post-partum life to how to stop letting others define you, I’ve enjoyed being able to open up about these important topics. This latest comes from Facebook user Nessa, and she asked for advice on getting through a painful relationship…

How to Deal with Painful Relationships

Who else can relate?

It doesn’t so much matter what the painful relationship is – it could be a messy breakup, toxic friendship, disagreement etc – for all the joys that our relationships in life bring, there are bound to be some hard times… some of them the hardest. I wish I could say there was one cure-all for getting through the pain that these relationships cause us to suffer through at times (whether they’re ending or being mended), but I think we all know it’s not that easy. Instead, we have to let these experiences contribute to our growth and wellbeing in the future, as hard as it seems now.

I think the quote above really sums up how the healing process can go in these types of situations. There are always going to be ups and downs, but it’s important to remember that you don’t have to let others control how you feel, that you can choose strength. Don’t get me wrong, working through and listening to your emotions is by no means weakness – in fact, that’s part of the process. When getting through a painful experience, it’s sometimes better to allow yourself to grieve in a sense. But then, you have to make the decision to get through it and move on.

Getting over painful past relationships or working through hardships is just plain tough. But it’s just as tough to stay sad, stay angry, and stay in one place. Instead, you can set an intention to lift yourself up, little by little, each day. Ultimately it will lead to a more positive change and you’ll feel like yourself again. Like they say, time heals all wounds… But it’s how you use that time that counts.

Hope this helps add a little encouragement to anyone going through a dark time. If you’ve been through this, feel free to share your best advice… Maybe someone who needs it will read it :)

Xx,
Tamera

quote illustration: psletteringshop

Real Talk: The Reality of Life Postpartum

I hope you guys have been enjoying my Real Talk series here on TameraMowry.com. I personally love getting a chance to talk directly about real life struggles and triumphs, inspiration and truths, and hearing your stories in return. Today’s topic is postpartum life, something that I’ve touched on before. The thing is, life after pregnancy is different in so many ways, and we all have unique experiences. But the digital world often makes it seem like what we go through is all the same, and honestly, that it’s a lot more glamorous than it sometimes is! I think we can all relate.

Tamera Mowry Aden

Throwback! My first time around…

As much as I hope to be an inspiration for all mommies on their journeys to getting that pre-pregnancy body back and knowing that you can achieve all your health and fitness goals, I also want to set a realistic example. The truth is that the length and pace of the journey is different for everyone. Nothing happens overnight. For some women, a major struggle post-pregnancy is dropping the weight. For others, there are mental struggles like depression (there are 3 million US cases of postpartum depression each year – and even more undiagnosed) and feelings of isolation or stress. Usually, there are both the mental and physical ups and downs to navigate.

And while it’s important to focus on keeping physically fit and healthy so that we can better meet the needs of our little ones, let’s face it – there are always going to be a million other things to focus on at the same time. Life can throw things at you that deserve more focus than arbitrary weight goals (don’t get me wrong – health is important, but a number on a scale? Not so much). Don’t be afraid to turn your focus on to something else, and even inward at times.

It took time to learn and accept that my journey is and will always be different from the next woman’s. Reading blogs, following those you don’t personally know on social media- these can all be points of inspiration, but they can also be points of comparison. It’s so important to know that what you see is only a carefully thought out version of the story. That’s why it’s become more and more important to me to be authentic – so that people get a genuine look at how I experience motherhood, my work, my home and LIFE! Life is beautiful as is, and if we’re too caught up in the physical parts of it, we can lose sight of the real focus – our loving relationships, our mental health and our happiness and fulfillment as mothers.

No matter what stage of pregnancy or motherhood you are at, I challenge you to give yourself a few words of encouragement each and every day!

What are your feelings on this postpartum journey? Do you have any words of encouragement for other readers?

Xx,
Tamera

Real Talk: Stop Letting Others Define You

On my Facebook page, I recently asked what you’d like to see in my next Real Talk post and I truly appreciate all the feedback I’ve received. I love that we can have a conversation about important topics on a place like social media, where needless to say there is a lot of not-so-helpful advice bouncing around. One such topic is how others define us, and its harmful effects. It’s hard to live our best lives when “best” is defined by someone else but luckily, it doesn’t need to be this way.

Real Talk: Letting People Define You | Tamera Mowry

It’s actually pretty empowering when you think about it – YOU are in control. That means that your happiness is independent of what another person thinks. If someone doesn’t reciprocate your feelings or take you seriously, it doesn’t make you any less good or worthy. What a relief to know that you can be anything you want, regardless of negative opinions and snap judgments, right?

When you make the decision not to let other people have this power to say who you are or who you should become you open the door to be able to do things according to your own beliefs. You can take your convictions and values and let those shape your identity rather than another person’s validation or approval. It’s natural to seek this approval from others – we all want to be liked, after all – but when you find that these opinions aren’t the ultimate decider, it’s very freeing.

Of course, people will always voice their opinions. Often times, the opinions that matter most to us come from those closest to us – like family and friends who think they have our best interests in mind. We value the opinions of these people and often seek out their advice. But remember that ultimately, the kind of mother, daughter, wife, friend… the list goes on… that you are, depends on you and your actions, not someone else and their comments.

If you stick to your values and stay true to the identity that you define, you will be able to focus on what’s important, and in the end be happier. You’ll be more confident when making decisions; you’ll feel less uncertain of the future. It doesn’t mean you don’t value what those people say, but it means you don’t let them make or break you.

Ultimately – judgment isn’t left up to any of us, anyway! I hope this inspires someone to let go of someone else’s definition of them today.

Xx,
Tamera