Self care for mums. Easier said than done I know but you cannot pour from an empty cup so putting some time aside just for YOU is as necessary as food and water! It doesn’t have to be for long but if you can do a little bit every day, add in some lovely extras and you will feel so much better which will absolutely have that trickle down effect into your family life too.
This blog has 5 lovely tips on how to do this and if you want some more, especially if you are a new mumma then head straight to my website. I have put together a lovely New Mama Journal that you can print out at home. It’s so easy to sign up and not only will you get it for free but you will also have access to my monthly newsletter with competitions and offers, total winner!
Self care is essential, I know that you probably feel allllll the mum guilt, especially feeling like it is selfish to take some time away from the kids just for you and when you have a ‘to do list’ that's as long as your arm and never gets any shorter but taking a little time out will help you be more present for them and will make that to do list feel a little less like a mountain. You should never be at the bottom of that to do list!
There are lots of lovely affirmations in the New Mama journal but another great one is “I will regularly take care of my needs. I love and respect myself and my children and this will make me a happier and healthier mum.” Sharing this practice with your children will also teach them that self care is not selfish and is a kindness that we show ourselves and, in turn, others.
Not practicing self care leaves us unable to be fully present with our families, feeling unhappy with our lives and means we are unable to see or focus clearly.
How to begin though?
Start with just 10 minutes a day! Meditation, yoga, pilates, a walk, journaling, all of this is self care. Got something going round and round in overdrive in your head? Treat yourself to a brand new notebook and pen (it doesn’t have to be expensive), something that makes you smile every time you look at it. Write down that thought, worried about the kids starting school again, am I doing enough for baby’s development, need to find a new job, what am I going to do for dinners this week. All of it matters (no matter how small you think it is) and as soon as you can write it down, answer it. Write down everything that you are thinking about. Get all of it out of your brain, all your worries and onto paper. Then it is out of your head, you can start to formulate some ideas of what you can do. Do a little research and write the results down. Try it for a week and just see how much lighter you feel.
Be patient with yourself though, think of how you treat others with compassion and love, you must also treat yourself with that same love and compassion. Not all of this may come easily to you, it is something you will probably have to work on but is so worth it.
Tip 1 - Drink more water and eat nourishing foods.
Sounds completely obvious right? Oftentimes when you are feeling hungry, you are thirsty. The hypothalamus regulates hunger and thirst so even if you have just eaten you may still think you are hungry, try drinking a lovely glass of water. How do you feel now? Still hungry or all good and actually a little more awake? If you are dehydrated you can feel quite sluggish too which is why it is so important to drink water, not a fizzy drink, water.
Nourishing yourself will make you feel ready to take on the world. Try going veggie one night a week. Make sure that you aren’t only feeding your kids the good stuff of fruit and veggies but you too! A little stuck on what to have for dinner? Grab that new notebook you’ve bought and research some quick healthy recipes, especially ones that can use the same ingredients at least twice so you aren’t buying specifically for one recipe all the time (anyone else got ‘five spice’ in their cupboards from 2015??).
One of my all time favourite things in my kitchen is my slow cooker, anything that I can literally chuck into it so we can have it for dinner with lots of veggies is always a winner in our house! My two slow cooker recipe books are definitely the most used recipe books.
Tip 2 - Treat yourself to some ‘me’ time.
Ok so you've found yourself with 30 whole minutes all to yourself! What to do? Personally, I love to do a facemask. I feel clean, refreshed and renewed after one and this one if my favourite and it is made with something pretty much everyone will have in their cupboard, honey!
Obviously do not use this if you have an allergy or a reaction of any kind to honey. Always do a little patch test before using it.
I love to pop some into a tiny container on top of bowl full of warm (not hot) water. This will make the honey nice and runny. I then spread it all over my face and neck. I leave it for around 10 minutes (wash off immediately if you feel you are having some sort of reaction to it!) then gently pat my face with my fingers. This helps to increase the circulation in the skin, leaving you with a lovely rosy glow once washed off. Once I have finished tapping my whole face I will wash the honey off with warm (not hot) face cloth. My skin feels absolutely amazing after it and so soft!
Of course you can choose any sort of face mask you like, there are so many gorgeous ones out there that you can buy.
Tip 3 - Connect with your partner
I know, life is busy but don’t let your busy schedule squeeze out time for the other person in your life who supports you. How about the first Saturday of each month being ‘Date Night’? I know that in the current climate it is difficult to plan dates, who is going to look after the kids whilst you go out! Now we have to get a little more creative. I get that it’s not the same, honestly I do, I really miss our ‘out in the world’ date nights but we have adapted and honestly are loving it! It still gives us something to really look forward to.
Restaurant at home.
TV Marathon with themed cocktails/mocktails. (Love this one, am totally trying it out!)
If you guys have any more ideas, hit me up!
Tip 4 - Laugh
Yes, I did say laugh. Do you remember that feeling when you laughed so hard your stomach hurt? Funny movies, catching up with friends, zoom family quiz night, watching carpool karaoke clips on youtube. There are loads of things you can do! I’ve recently started meeting my bestie for socially distanced coffee. I forgot just how much she makes me laugh. Of course we kept in touch via phone, message and zoom but there really isn’t a replacement for seeing someone face to face and although we can’t hug, it’s all cool, I’m just happy to have a giggle and have some time out. Laughing is one of the best things you can do for your mental health. Another favourite is watching cat or dog compilations, I just can’t help myself, they are so cute and crazy.
You know you can also do laughter yoga nowadays? I was at a yoga retreat last year and I have to be honest I regret that I didn’t sign up. I did walk past as the class was on and I was in tears laughing just from them laughing, it’s so infectious!
What will you do this week that you know will make you laugh and lighten your mood?
Tip 5 - Meditate
I don’t know how to meditate. I’ve tried it and just can’t do it. It doesn’t work for me. It takes too long. This used to be me! If I can do it you can too. It’s not about emptying your head so much as quieting the mind. It does not have to take 45 minutes 3 times a day. You can literally take 90 seconds out of your day and feel better. Youtube is an amazing place to find meditations of all types and durations (also Yoga with Adrienne is fab and free!) but I have to admit I absolutely love the Calm app. It has meditations of all types and durations. It also has some really gorgeous sleep stories on there which I often use. I have tried to listen to the Stephen Fry one about 30 times now and still have no idea how it ends! There is also a fab section with some lovely stretches in there AND some lovely bits in there for the kids too, sleep stories, bedtime music and more. There is a free version and I would totally recommend starting with that but the full version is fabulous if you find that the free version works for you. There are a million other apps out there that you can try too, Headspace, Yoga studio, Kite, MindU, have a search and I am sure you will find the one that fits just perfectly with your style.
If you have any questions or want some help or more information please don’t hesitate to contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org or on my facebook page https://www.facebook.com/littlebudsnurturehub.
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