Whether your child is five days or fifteen years old, self-care is incredibly important. Everyone’s heard the saying, “you can’t pour from an empty cup,” and never is that more true when you’re a mum. Life with children be as hectic as it is wonderful, so taking the time to make yourself feel a bit more like, well, yourself, is key to enjoying the journey. The bottom line is: taking care of yourself will help you take better care of your family.
You may be thinking “but when will I find the time?” or “I’ve forgotten what ‘me time’ even feels like!” – Well, that’s where this list comes in. Here are a few tips to help you to achieve more self-care as a busy Mum:
- Put self-care back on your to-do list
It may seem obvious, or maybe counterintuitive, but why not try putting some time for yourself in the calendar? Try carving out the time to do whatever it is you’d like to do. If you add it to your list, calendar or even set an alert on your phone, you’re far more likely to stick to it.
You can even apply this to your day-to-day life, by making sure to keep up with medical and dental appointments that you may have previously felt weren’t a priority. You would never miss your child’s check-up at the doctor, so make sure you don’t miss yours!
- Get moving
You don’t have to sign up for the next half marathon or decide to become a yogi, but incorporating physical exercise into your daily routine can be transformative. Exercise can improve your mental and physical health, leaving you feeling more energized and able to take control.
It can be daunting, but getting your body moving doesn’t need to be scary. Whatever type of movement you choose – walking, running, swimming, cycling or even dancing – will be the right kind of movement. If you’re worried about childcare, try incorporating child-friendly activities like a walk with the buggy or a splash around in the local swimming baths with your child.
- Take a breath
When you’re run down from the myriad of jobs that being a mother brings, you’re far more likely to feel stressed or overwhelmed. Grabbing moments of calm in your day can be the difference between strain and serenity – and it doesn’t have to take a long time. For example, you could do a five-minute meditation app, take five minutes to sit in the garden and look at the sky or spend some time listening to a podcast you enjoy.
Seizing a moment of calm in the day may be easiest in the early hours or those precious minutes when your child sleeps. A moment of solitude in which you can reflect and relax can be just as rejuvenating as a rest, so give it a go!
- Focus on sleep
You may find this one comical. Yes, being a mother does bring with it a certain amount of sleep deprivation. But because sleep is so essential for your physical and mental well being, there are things that you can still do to make the most of your moments in bed.
Practising good sleep hygiene is one way to get a good night’s sleep. So, try turning off all your screens at least an hour before you go to bed, lighting a couple of candles, putting lavender on your pillow and enjoying your favourite book. And remember: lay off the caffeine from 3 pm!
- Look after your body
Between pick-ups, meal times, and cooking for your brood, you may forget to take a moment to cut your nails, properly wash your hair or take your makeup off at night. Sometimes the saying “when you look good, you feel good” really does translate – grabbing five minutes to blow dry your hair or paint your nails can make a world of difference.
So, whether it’s trying to stop your severely cracked heels bleeding into your sandals on the first day of summer or trying out that new hairstyle you saw on YouTube, give it a go. You might find you feel a bit more like yourself at the end.
- Reach out
Feeling isolated as a mum is incredibly common. So, try not to let your busy schedule get in the way of your relationship with your partner, family and or friends. After all, where’s the joy in motherhood if there isn’t anyone there to share it with?
Whether you’re having what feels like the worst day in the world or you’re just overwhelmed by mummy-admin, reaching out to someone can be a surefire way to lift your spirits. Consider taking the initial stress out of the interaction by putting a recurring date in the diary for coffee with a friend once a week? You may find it makes all the difference.
- Get in touch with yourself
This sounds simpler than it is. With all of the joys that come with being a mum, it can also lead you to feel a bit less like you. But don’t worry, this can be rectified.
Journaling can be a great way to get back in touch with your emotions. Making writing in your journal a daily (or weekly!) habit can give your brain a real boost and help you balance your emotions. If this doesn’t sound right for you, taking the time to cook your favourite meal or take a course that could help you learn something new can be a great way to feed your brain. There are some digital journals available to record your family memories video, photo, text audio. These can be your life storybook, and you can give it a title like stories about my life.
- Be grateful
Practice thinking about the positives in your day and picking out moments or things that you’re thankful for. After all, you’re experiencing the wonder of raising a child! Make time to reflect on the importance of your job and the brilliant things that you’re doing every day. It can make a huge difference.
Are there any other tips or strategies that you’ve found helpful?
*This is a collaborative post. For further information please refer to my disclosure page.
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