Just recently I’ve noticed that life has once again got on top of me. It’s funny because around this time last year I finally fully acknowledged the fact that I had been struggling emotionally and mentally for far too long and I secretly booked myself in for counselling. It went really well and turned out to be one of the best things I could have done for myself (I think everyone could benefit from this type of self-care). I don’t want to go into full details here as it will cause this post to go off on a tangent (as I often do!) but if you want to find out more on this topic you can read about my counselling journey here.
Anyway, back to now and my problems aren’t quite as deep or big but are tied to the fact that I never actually do anything for me. I am sure a lot of you can admit to this too. As a busy Mum of 2, working from home, I have suddenly realised that my hobbies have slowly disappeared, that I can’t remember my last girly night out, that I never go clothes shopping just for me (hence the bobbly jumpers and worn out jeans), that I don’t go out for meals and really just seem to work and parent. The housework has spiralled out of control, I get stressed just thinking about it. Jake is preparing for school which also means as am I (she says whilst checking off what else she needs to attend before the end of term!) The baby has had the most incredible journey and even though he is doing amazingly, I am still breastfeeding, we are just starting to wean and he does still co-sleep with us which means I am rarely without him… right now he is asleep in my arms as I type. Multi-tasking at it’s finest!
The thing is I am NOT superwoman. No, really I’m not! haha I have been juggling far too much for so long and in this time I have neglected myself. Yes, as parents we need to put our children first but if you become unwell, unhappy or stressed out, you are no good to those little guys. Yet, the trouble with me is that I feel guilty if I ever do anything or spend too much on something that I don’t deem as an essential purchase. However, I need to start to acknowledge the fact that I do need these things to feel like me, to make myself happy and to be at my best.
When we think of self-care we often think of a spa day, a facial, some time to meditate but it goes so much deeper than this. Self-care shouldn’t just be a one-day quick fix, it needs to be consistent in order to allow you to look after you. I am thinking more like taking the time to give yourself that long soak in the bath at least once a week, not missing your nightly skincare routine (errr, I’m not sure I even remember what mine is!), taking up a new hobby or getting back into an old one, having regular beauty treatments and not just one in a blue moon, buying a book and actually reading it! There is so much I could list that would just remind me of who I am, beyond being just Mum.
It sounds so simple when you write it down like this, doesn’t it? Read a book, what is she on about? Well, the last time I read one of my novels was when I was pregnant with Jake. He is now 4 and I never finished it! I took up salsa classes when Jake was a baby but I ended up giving up because his teething became so bad and I needed to be home with him… or I felt too guilty for going out and leaving my baby so I chose his needs over mine. I loved dancing yet I have never returned. And as for pampering myself? I have been on 1 spa day in 4 years.
What prompted a lot of this was my recent holiday to Crete. The resort was amazing and they had an on-site spa. My husband told me I could go for a treatment but it took until a few days before we left to finally book myself in for a massage. I just couldn’t think about going off and doing something selfish… I know, I know, I am too hard on myself. As soon as I stepped into this spa I relaxed. The gorgeous aromas, the chilled music, the calming atmosphere, I could have stayed in there all day. I had a well overdue back, shoulders and head massage and I came out feeling like I was walking on air. All I could think was, why don’t I do this at home? And I should do because I have constant pain in my neck and shoulders and I’m not helping myself. I put housework, kids, chores and writing first and I forget that I do have needs and I do need to look after myself.
So, this is one way of making sure I make changes and stick to them. I am holding myself accountable by writing it all down and my very first change has already been booked in. I am popping along for a taster session with a new choir in my town. I love to sing and was in choirs all through my school and college years but as an adult, the only time I have sung outside of the house is at karaoke! So, number one on the list is ticked off. Next on the list is to overhaul my wardrobe, I also want to go back for a pedicure, I want to book another massage and work on my posture, I want to make sure I take better care of my skin each day and (and this is a biggie!) I am going to look for a cleaner to help with the house. Simple steps but I am hoping that each one will bring me more happiness, will make me more relaxed and less stressed.
Will you join me on this journey to become a little more selfish in order to look after yourself better? If so, have a think and leave me a comment stating what steps you are going to take. I will keep you updated on Facebook and Instagram and you can do the same. What do you think?
I can’t wait to see how you all get on
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