Self Care For Mums
Being a Mum is hard!
No matter what you read or who you listen to, one thing is certain – nothing can properly prepare you for Motherhood. You know you will be suffering from lack of sleep, learning about this new baby and dealing with your body post-birth. The difficulty is, doing it all. So, how can you find some “me time”?
Fill your own cup – This is a variation on a quote that is often seen regarding motherhood. It is the KEY to ensuring that you are able to still give to others. You need to ensure that your ‘cup’ is not always empty. How can you give to others if you have nothing left to give? This is where that all-important self-care routine comes in.
The thing is to acknowledge that in order to still be you and be a mother and partner you need to know that you will need to put some time into your own health. You can read how you can ‘ditch the guilt’ in a previous article. It is not an easy process, every time we even think of doing something for ourselves, the guilt can kick in.
Realising that you NEED to put some energy into your own wellbeing will enable you to be more present in your other roles: Mummy, Partner, Daughter, Employee or Business Owner. So, with that now in the front of your mind, how can you start to find the time and energy for yourself?
Things to try
- Take a moment before you get out of bed in the morning to think of something you are grateful for. It does not always need to be the big stuff, sometimes it can be really small such as “the baby only woke once last night” or “it looks like it will be a sunny day”. This Gratitude Practice can often have a profound impact on how we start a new day.
- Decide to do one small thing today just for you. Again, it might be to drink a cup of tea when it is still hot! Put on makeup before you go out. Often, just a few minutes needed to complete these small tasks allows us to take a minute – just for us.
- Mindful Moments, so when you decide on your one small thing, be present in that moment. Do not make up the next feed while drinking your tea, or talk to your baby when you are putting on your make up. Just enjoy the simple pleasure of completing this one thing, just for you. These Mindful Moments allow our brain some time to rest and re-set and affect not just the brain waves but also our parasympathetic nervous system (the one that controls our involuntary nervous system), so our blood pressure lowers, breath deepens and heart rate slows.
- Pick something to read. (Maybe not War & Peace!) Just for the pleasure, whether it is a trashy mag or a book you have wanted to read for ages. Nothing too taxing or large, or you will be defeated and see it as something else you have not finished. This is a great ‘guilty pleasure’ and can definitely take priority over putting the washing on.
- Connect with friends and family. It is easy to stay in contact with people over social media but it is really important for your wellbeing to actually meet up with people. Getting out and about is vital for our emotional and social wellbeing. Being a Mum can be a lonely business, being able to chat with other women can really help to reassure us that we are all in the same boat!
- Get planning on something bigger, an evening out or meeting friends for coffee or lunch. Book a Massage (great for the body and soul), have your hair cut or maybe even a night away! Just the act of planning allows us to think of something that is not revolving around other people’s needs.
- Nap when you can, when your baby sleeps, try and grab some time. The accumulation of sleep deprivation can have a massive ongoing effect on your mental and physical health. The evidence is now clear that a ‘power nap’ can help with brain function (even Google are now promoting power naps for employees!).
- Get a cleaner! I know really? Yes, ditch the guilt on the cost. The small weekly outlay will be worth it. You will be at home, baby taking a nap and think “Oh I really should just clean the bathroom, or dust or….” Let’s face it, the list is endless! Knowing that the basics are covered will have a direct impact on your mental health! We are back to the mindset again, remember, your health needs to be a priority too!
Motherhood is the most wonderful thing to enter our lives, embrace it but also believe that you are worthwhile too. Be KIND to yourself. We are often our own worst critics and listening to that voice in our head over the choices we make can be life-affecting. You are doing a marvellous job (yes it is indeed a job – just without pay!). I hope you feel that you can now create your own Me Time with these simple tips.
So, be kind to yourself without guilt. Enjoy your journey with your family and welcome to the ultimate TRIBE – Motherhood!
If you live in Kent, England and are looking to book a massage for some real self-care love then, check out Harmonia Therapies
For some great Mummy Cards for self-care then have a look at the Nourish to Thrive Cards
For great tips on why Massaging Your Baby can benefit you both then read our previous article.
My new book, providing you with some Mindful Parenting tools is now available to purchase on Amazon.
This has over 40 different ways for you to add in some Mindfulness with your family, and the guided visualisations and breathwork are perfect for adding in even more self-care moments too.
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Head on over to the Pinterest board and see more tips from birth and beyond.