Self care as a Mum is important not only for yourself, but also your family. Taking care of yourself and your mental health is paramount for being an awesome Mum. You know, the mum that you are, and the mum you have wanted to be since you first saw those two sweet little eyes staring up at you.
Without taking the time out to care for yourself, you are less likely to be the best version of yourself that there is. All the aspects in your life can be affected when you don’t care for yourself. For example, your relationships with your kids and your partner may suffer, and these things can happen without you noticing straight away.
I can hear you groaning as you read this, thinking ‘how can I possibly fit something more into my life?’ I know the feeling, I have three kids under four, work a full-time job juggling pickups and drop offs with my hubby, constantly trying to organise dinner – the list is endless!
Some tips to secure time to yourself, to refill your cup and help you be the best mum you can be:
1. Do the things you need to.
Everytime I read something about self care it is often about massages, spa days and pamper packages. This isn’t what self care means to me. I believe it is about taking care of your overall health. Such as:
- Eating properly
- Getting enough sleep
- Having regular health checks at the doctor and dentist
I know you do it all for your kids, but do you do these things for yourself too? It is really important – you are really important.
2. Book it in!
Not having ‘enough time’ is mum code for not prioritising whatever it is that you don’t have time for. It’s important to make time for these things, even if it is not a long time.
At my house we work our time-outs from the kids usually once per week. Personally, I like to take some time out on Sunday morning, whilst my husband takes the kids out to the park or an activity so that I can do a few small things for myself. Whilst this can take some pre-planning and organisation especially for single mums or mums with partners that travel often – sometimes you just need to ask for help or accept it when someone offers.
3. Make a list and prioritise
I have a hardcover notebook that I bought from Kmart, that lives in my handbag. I use it to jot down any thoughts that I have, shopping lists, to do lists and things that I think I will need later. At the beginning of the week I generally start a list of things that I need to do, including the things that I need to do for myself on this list. Using the notes section of your phone can be handy for this purpose also.
Be conscious of the way that you spend your ‘me’ time. How much time you are spending on social media, or watching television – none of which are really refilling your cup. Making yourself a priority is so important for your stress levels, relaxation and mental health.
4. Set boundaries
Once you see yourself and your needs as a priority, you may need to say ‘no’ and not take on too much. This may at times be received by family and friends negatively, which can be an emotional challenge in itself. Don’t give up – you are worth this and you are not asking too much. This can be seriously hard if you are a person that finds saying ‘no’ difficult or you often put other people’s needs before your own.
To do this, you may need to start small. Take your time and build it up if you feel uncomfortable or want to avoid any confrontation. Alternatively,you may need to be assertive and be steadfast with what you need. Keep in the back of your mind taking a half hour out of the day when you come back everything will still be the same but you’ll be feeling refreshed and ready to be awesome.
Always remember self care isn’t an indulgence it is critical for your physical and mental health.
5. Little bits more often
Like a lot of things in life, consistency is the key to success. Whilst getting a massage or going to a day spa is really great and a perfect form of relaxation, taking 10-15 minutes a day to do something for yourself is much more helpful for your mental health, compared with taking an hour or two once a month.
Some ideas that will not take longer than 10-15 minutes a day:
- simple yoga moves
- breathing techniques
- gentle stretches
Self care doesn’t need to be something big and deliberate, think of it as simply listening to your body and mind.
About the Author
Kandice Williams is the founder of All For Herself – The home of Happiness Health & Self Care. She is a mum of three little people with big personalities all under the age of 4 and a half. Kandice manages the juggle of being a full time working parent balancing work, home life, kids and a happy relationship.