With the kids going back to school, and the days getting a little chillier – now is the perfect time to focus on some self-care tips and rituals to practise whether you have 10 minutes or one hour to spare. Remember, as a mum, taking five minutes to focus on some self-care can make sure a massive difference. Self-care is not just about getting your nails done, it can be anything that you consider an act of love towards yourself. Just because you had a baby doesn’t mean you aren’t worthy of self love! In order to love and care for your family, you need to love and care for yourself.
Small self-care ideas (5-20 mins max)
Try five mins of guided, or unguided, mediation
There are plenty of apps and YouTube videos you can use to guide and help you. Sit somewhere comfortable or lay down if you prefer and take five minutes to listen to your breath, focus on your body and calm that mind of yours.
This is such a simple thing to do but something that can dramatically change how you feel – psychically and mentally. To ensure you drink enough water, take a reusable water bottle with you everywhere you go!
Eat some healthy good food
It’s so important that no matter the lack of time you have, you try and fill your body up with nutrients and goodness that will keep your body thriving. Eat plenty of fruits and veggies because when you’re tired your body will naturally crave sugar and carb. Try to resist those temptations and eat something that you know will make you feel better after. That’s not to say you have to cut out all your favourite foods! It’s all about moderation. You could try going veggie twice a week, shop at a local farmer’s markets for organic produce, cook from scratch more often, drink water instead of soda, herbal tea instead of coffee etc and take a few minutes to plan what you’re going to keep in your fridge each week so you can make quick, healthy, easy meals.
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Fill out a gratitude journal
Before you fall asleep, quickly write down three things that happened that day that made you smile, feel happy, or you enjoyed doing. You can also write down all the things you are grateful for – it helps put things into perspective.
Watch your favourite sitcom
Even if it’s while you’re doing the laundry, watch something that makes you laugh and takes your mind off everything for five minutes.
Breathe some fresh air, go for a walk with the buggy and enjoy some quality time in nature.
Connect with a loved one
Call your mum, your bestie or you sister, or invite someone round who makes you happy. Someone you can sit with and enjoy some quality time with you and your baby. This will give you time to connect and feel good.
Bigger self care ideas (30 mins +)
Get your body moving
Choose an activity that motivates you to exercise consistently. It should be something you enjoy and not seen as a punishment. Try an outdoor or hot yoga class, train for a 5k race, give boxing a go. Why not download a fitness app that lets you workout wherever you are?
Time with friends/family/ and loved ones
Life can be busy, but don’t let your busy schedule squeeze out time for family and friends, try to at least schedule some time to connect on a regular basis. You could make the first or last Friday of each month date night, or schedule a once-a-Sunday-coffee with your friends. Invite them over for dinner and drinks or a family movie night.
Make sleep a priority
We know from research that a chronic lack of sleep has adverse health consequences: people who consistently sleep less than six hours experience increased appetite, which causes weight gain and increases the risk of depression, cardiovascular disease, and Type 2 diabetes. Try to establish a regular bedtime routine. This could include reading, spending time with your partner, a nice bubble bath or watching your favourite TV program. Try to avoid alcohol, food, emotionally upsetting conversations or caffeine.
Being a mum is time consuming, but you need to ensure that you find time to pursue your hobbies and not loose yourself. Journal, meditate, ready books, run, bake cakes – anything that brings you joy and allows you to have fun and zone out. We are evolving throughout our whole lives and staying connected to our inner-most passions is what keeps us fully alive and joyful.