All of us, but particularly us mums, are guilty of putting the needs of others before our own. When our little ones arrive in our lives, there is no doubt that they are the important ones. We focus all our time, energy and money on them, doing all we can to take care of them. But do we check in with ourselves? Do we take a step back and think about how we’re feeling? What we need?
It is hard as a mother to take time out from our busy lives to prioritise our own well-being. Our schedules mean that we are constantly going 100 miles an hour, but this just isn’t sustainable over an extended period, and can lead to burnout. That’s why it’s so important to take some time for much deserved TLC.
There is no right or wrong way to start with self-care. It’s just about being as kind to yourself as you are to others. Here are some tips and tricks to try and start implementing self-care into your life.
Spend Money on Yourself… Not Just Your Children
It is fair to say that children aren’t cheap. Most of us need to budget our spending each month, setting money aside for our children’s essentials. Nappies, wipes, clothes, shoes, baby food… the list goes on! An astonishing 94% of mothers spend more money on their children’s wardrobe than their own, and 46% admit to feeling guilty about spending money on wardrobe essentials for themselves. It is important to treat yourself as well as your children, so don’t feel guilty for purchasing a new pair of boots, or treating yourself to that pair of earrings you’ve had your eye on!
Take Time Out to Tap into Your Senses
We all need time to take a break. So many mums neglect their own well-being by not allowing themselves time for a breather.
When you’ve put the kids to bed, why not run a hot bath with your favourite bubbles, light some candles, put on your favourite music and take half an hour to just be? It may seem simple, but this is a really easy way to take time out without having to physically leave the house. It is a great example of sensory self-care – tapping into your touch, smell, sound and sight senses.
Get Out and Get Moving
If you do have a bit more time, taking a physical break from the house will let off some steam. Try running, cycling or simply go for a walk! Or why not go to a yoga class? Yoga is a great form of self-care as it gives you both a physical and mental break. It is all about connecting your mind and body with your breath. Concentrating on your breathing forces you to become present, enabling you to let go of any tension, stress or thoughts of your to-do list. The act of conscious breathing also activates a different part of the brain than unconscious breathing – the cerebral cortex. This taps into the connecting areas of the brain which impact emotions, allowing you to relax and rebalance. This is the first step towards meditation.
Giving yourself time for self-care will inevitably make you feel happier and more balanced, ultimately making you a better caregiver. When we’re energised and at our best both physically and emotionally, we are much more able to handle the stresses of everyday life.
*This is a collaborative post.