I used to think self-care was sitting on the couch watching TV, mindless internet browsing and Facebook, or time away from the kids (once I was at the point of desperation for alone time). I now recognise that while there is a place for watching TV, Facebook and browsing the internet none of these things are what I need to feel refreshed, nourished and have a healthy mind and body.
Self-care is about consciously making time in our day to prioritise ourselves. As mothers, we need to look after ourselves so that we can look after others. I know that prioritising self-care can feel like we are being selfish but believe me, it is the best thing we can do for ourselves and our families. When I don’t look after myself I get grumpy, resentful and yell more. When I am looking after myself I am calmer, happier and a much nicer person to live with!
WAYS THAT I FIT SELF-CARE IN TO MY LIFE:
- Waking up before the children get up to have time alone.
- Meditation. Sometimes it is 3 minutes, sometimes 10. Usually I use a guided mediation but other times I will just sit and mediate without any guidance.
- Gym membership. Generally, I go two to three times a week, jump on the treadmill for an hour and then have a coffee alone. The kids love going to the child care centre at the gym and I get some time out, win-win.
- Getting outside. Feeling the grass under my bare feet, the sun on my skin, the wind in my hair. I try to do this every day and with young children it is a way of fitting in some self-care while I am with them.
- Slowly drinking a cup of tea or coffee, holding it with two hands and enjoying every mouthful.
- Journaling. Generally, in the evenings before bed I grab my journal and write. It might be about my day, it might be a list of everything on my mind, I might just write and explore something that is on my mind, or I may have a journal prompt to answer.
- Going out for a coffee alone.
- Colouring in. Yep, I occasionally grab an adult colouring book (Mandalas are my favourite) and my coloured gel pens and get colouring. Another one that is great to do while the kids are around.
- Spending a night alone at a hotel twice a year. Pure bliss. I swim, read, eat, enjoy a big deep bath and sleep in. Oh and eat some more, did I mention eating uninterrupted?
Everyone will have different ideas of what type of activities feel like self-care to them. And it can change with the seasons too. I like walking outside and chatting with a friend when the weather is warm, but when it is cold we never go walking. When it is wet and cold I don’t sit outside barefoot either! I might sit under the pergola where I can still get some fresh air but not get rained on.
OTHER IDEAS ON HOW TO INCLUDE SELF-CARE IN TO YOUR DAY:
- Having a bath.
- Daily walks outside.
- Go to sleep earlier.
- Catch up with a friend for coffee.
- Put your favourite music on and dance.
- Afternoon nap.
- Take a few minutes to massage lotion in to your hands and feet before bed.
- Being creative – craft, painting, drawing, making something, colouring, baking.
- Take a long shower and use your favourite body wash then rub in your favourite body lotion.
- Getting a massage, facial, pedicure or manicure.
- Buy yourself flowers.
- Sitting in silence.
- Watch something that makes you laugh out loud.
- Light a candle.
- Girls weekend away.
The list could go on and on. The important thing is to choose things that make you feel good. Make them things that you can realistically do so that you can fit them in to your day and week. If you decide that the only thing you want to do as self-care is to get a massage or to go shopping without your children but you can only do that twice a year, then you need to find things that you can do EVERY DAY and week. Schedule it in to your diary if you need the reminder to do it. Make it part of your everyday life, not something you save for when the kids aren’t home or when you have ‘more time’.
I am curious… do you currently have a self-care practice you love? Leave a comment and let me know.