It is easy to put everyone else’s needs before your own as a mum. But in reality, you are a vital cog in your family, and as such, you need to make sure that you are well-oiled to help keep things running. Burning the candle at both ends will only lead to you not being able to do what you want to or even need to to support your family.
But I don’t have time?
This is a typical cry from exhausted mums up and down the country. And while life demands require us to be on the go as much as possible, you need to remember that you can’t pour from an empty jug. If you let yourself go until you have nothing more to give, you won’t be the mum you want to be.
I know how hard it is. Juggling a career, two boys and running a house while working from home can feel like I am stuck on a hamster wheel with no chance to stop and take a breath. But all of us must try as much as possible to take some for ourselves to support our bodies and mental health when we need to.
Why is self-care important?
Did you know nearly seven in ten UK mums feel so overwhelmed at times they’re not sure how they will go on? Self-care can help you to take a break from that overwhelm.
Self-care has a bit of a reputation for being self-indulgent or something only those privileged can take up. But it is about much more than that. Self-care is putting yourself first without being selfish. It is about knowing when you need a break and what you can do to give yourself that break. Whether it is locking yourself in the bathroom to cry for 5 minutes to release stress or visiting your mum for some quality time and the chance to unload.
With mental health issues on the rise, self-care can play a massive part in how we feel about ourselves and giving you permission to say it’s okay to stop even for 5 minutes. The ability to know you have reached breaking point is also self-care as you are aware of your limits and that you have reached them.
What can you do for self-care?
The act of what you do as self-care isn’t as important as taking the time to do it. Whether you are booking a weekend away to take advantage of offers for skin treatments at New York Laser Clinic or sitting in bed for an hour with a cuppa and a book.
Self-care needn’t be extravagant or luxurious or even cost anything at all. It is about doing what will make you happy at the moment.
Ask yourself what it is that you really need? Do you need the support of your friends and the chance to blow off some steam? If so, can you arrange a face to face meeting up or a video call with a bottle of wine or a coffee to vent? Or do you need to block off the world, get off social media, binge-watch the new show on Netflix, and just let yourself get lost into another world for a bit?
Self-care, by definition, is taking action to improve or preserve your health, both physical and mental. this can be any, none or all of the following ideas;
- Go to the gym
- Have an afternoon nap
- Read a book
- Go to a spa
- Have a digital detox
- Eat the cake
- Take a trip away
- Watch a movie
- Paint your nails
- Visit your GP for further help
- Lean on loved ones for support
- Tell yourself you are good enough
The reality is, in a world where mums are under more pressure than ever before, self-care isn’t a luxury. It is a necessity. However you view it, or whatever you do, you need to make sure that you identify what you need to keep yourself well and healthy and put plans into place to maintain this.