While becoming a mother of three, supermodel Molly Sims started a YouTube channel, launched a blog, and wrote two books. She also continued on with TV appearances, charity work, and, well, you get the idea. Given this, it’s no wonder her second book, Everyday Chic, so often uses the term “supermomma.” For all her many hyphenates, this title describes (the sleep-deprived, yet always glowing) Sims best.
While Sims admits she’s fortunate in many ways, even she can’t escape the stress that comes with trying to be a working mother, supportive partner, present friend, and so on (and on) it goes. Instead of letting the pressure cooker explode, however, Sims employs tried and true methods for maintaining a healthy equilibrium despite the day’s demands.
Below, she shares 5 unexpected go-to’s for staying sane amidst the chaos of her super-fill-in-the-blank (momma, model, etc.) life.
“You’re mentally more focused when you’re not surrounded by clutter,” Sims says, noting that this clarity is important when you’ve got limited windows of time in which to achieve specific goals. To keep her space sparse, Sims utilizes the 80/20 concept: “Leave your closet, drawers, ect. 80 percent full and 20 percent empty,” she advises. That way, you always have a place to put things away. “Also, you should never have a junk drawer—it will take you down a slippery slope.”
For further help culling her clutter, Sims also turns to celebrity-beloved organization company The Home Edit. “They come in and have you make three piles—ditch it, donate it, keep it,” she says. “Then, there’s a pile for things you haven’t used or worn in awhile but you can’t part with. If you don’t touch it within the next six months, you get rid of it.” Sounds very KonMari, with a buyer’s (read: tosser’s) response element attached.
2. Get organized
Sims relies on an organized space to minimize stress. For help in creating order among the chaos of her busy home, she again turned to The Home Edit team. They completely reorganized her closet, pantry, “and sanity,” as she puts it. Sims says she’s a big believer in containers, baskets, and bins and that she labels absolutely everything. Still, she and her collaborators managed to keep her storage solutions chic and display-worthy. “Organization doesn’t have to look or feel clinical,” she says.
And while getting started is the hardest part, completing the project doesn’t have to take forever. Sims’ advice is to tackle each area in each room individually, and then employ daily maintenance (e.g. check in on one space for a few minutes each day). When you break the tasks up into bite-size pieces, you help prevent projects from becoming overwhelming—and it helps ensure that you won’t have to redo them ad nauseam.
3. Use the 2-2-2+1 method
Sims also finds a well-planned schedule to be a critical component of staying sane. She says she does much of her organization on weekends, including food prep for her family. “I plan all snacks and meals ahead of the week, usually on Saturdays because I like to relax on Sundays,” she says. In order to be the most efficient, she uses what she calls the 2-2-2+1 strategy for this. “On Saturday or Sunday you choose two protein dishes, two salads, and two veggie sides,” she says. “Then you prepare them all at once to mix and match throughout the week.”
On Wednesdays, she’ll then prepare her +1 “top it off” dish to add more variety. “My slow cooker is my best friend on these days, and I’ll often choose to make a simple one-pot meal, stew, or casserole—anything that doesn’t require a ton of prep or cleanup.” Test out the tactic with this vegan coconut curry slow cooker recipe and these one-pot Paleo meals.
4. Have shortcuts handy
Anyone with kids under the age of 5 knows that they’re always sick, inexplicably sleepless, or incurring minor injuries—and Sims has three of them. To save herself time at the doctor—plus commute time, because, well, she lives in Los Angeles, so you know how that goes—Sims utilizes the LiveHealth Online app for quick and reliable medical advice. “I call it ‘a doctor in your pocket,” she says. The platform offers live video visits with licensed doctors and therapists via your smartphone, tablet, or laptop 24/7. It’s useful for diagnosing and obtaining prescriptions for things small children are prone to such as rashes, colds, pink eye, and diarrhea. Molly uses it herself, too, because the last thing busy moms have time for is a sick day.
5. Practice self-care anywhere (and everywhere)
Though Sims says she prioritizes a once-yearly, girls-only spa weekend, she also acknowledges that it’s incredibly difficult to make time in her schedule for what she sees as critically important self-care. “We know we are definitely overstimulated, and even science tells us this,” she says. Her advice: Occasionally slow down and take deep breaths. Self-care doesn’t necessarily require a hefty time commitment (or a bath tub).
Her go-to de-stressing spot is (drumroll, please) the pantry, where Sims occasionally meditates. She admits this with a good-natured laugh, saying, “Sometimes, to get a grasp on your sanity, you have to just lock yourself in a room [or, closet] and get away from it all.”
Because you can’t always hide in a pantry when you’re stressed, find out why you may overeat when the pressure mounts—and how to stop. Plus, this quick trick will help you slow down and breathe deep, no matter where you are.