This year mamas, it's time to put yourself first for a change.
It's safe to say that most mums feel a damned-if-I-do, damned-if-I don't pressure relating to feelings of guilt when they take time away from their children to practice self-care. With mile-long to-do lists and almost always wanting to put family first, by default, they often put themselves at the bottom of the list. Sometimes, they don't even make the list at all.
We know it's easier said than done, but it's so important to dedicate some time - however little - to yourself, no matter how hectic life can be. Yes, caring for the baby and kids is essential, but so is caring for you! If you're not at your best, no one else will be.
With this in mind here are six simple ways you can practice self-care, even if you're always on the go.
1. Get your body moving
Pick your favourite exercise. It doesn’t mean you have to run five miles a day. You can do anything you enjoy stretching, yoga, pilates, walking – the point is to get your body moving and get those natural endorphins flowing.
2. Make time for a hobby
Reading a book for half an hour, watching an episode of your favourite Netflix series - even if you're busy, taking that hour before you go to bed will encourage you to wind down and relax you so that you'll feel rested and ready for the next days task. What nourishes your soul? Find that and make time for it and you will see a big difference.
3. Break things into Tidbits
Break your self-care habits into smaller tasks and do one each day. So Monday evening is your day to really soak and unwind in the bath, Wednesday is your day to meet a friend, Thursday you might get your nails done - doing this means you get a small bit of self-care in every day without feeling you have to go through another massive mountain of things to relax. Plus, if you are stretched for time, it's much easier to try to box off half an hour as opposed to two in a day.
4. Get some sleep (really)
This is certainly not new wisdom, but it’s often avoided in favour of ticking off yet another item on your to-do list. We all know sleep is essential to staying healthy and being able to be at your best. It's nature's healer; true self-care means allowing yourself that time to rejuvenate and rest - that extra hour will do you the world of good.
5. Just say no
Sometimes there are things on your to-do list that are just not critical. Your needs come above laundry, the dish pile or making it to an extra brunch to sort out your friend's woes for the tenth time - you want to be a good friend but give yourself time to truly focus on you as well. Eliminating the unessential responsibilities will not only create some extra time and space, it will also lighten the burden you’re feeling trying to keep up with it.