I am really into the current trend of Self Care which seems to be dominating my Pinterest feed at the moment. I totally buy into the ‘You can’t pour from an empty cup’ theory. Especially as a parent. You can’t be the best for everyone else if you aren’t looking after yourself. Not that it means I practice self-care particularly well. I see how important it is, but, like most parents, I just can never seem to find the time (or the energy!)
Am I the only one who finds that the general self-care ideas online just make you feel completely overwhelmed and under-prepared when it comes to looking after yourself? If I’m really lucky I can have up to 10 minutes completely to myself each day and in that time am simply not able to ‘take a leisurely walk in the park’ or ‘give myself a pedicure’…
So I’ve decided I needed my own list of realistic self-care ideas for busy Mum’s who don’t feel like self-care is possible, and here it is to share with you all… Let’s just say if I could manage at least one of the below every day I would be absolutely thrilled!
- Drink a cup of tea while it is still warm
It’s been two years… and I miss it so!
- Go to the toilet without your child(ren)
We all know this one, how often I would love to lock Little K out of the bathroom just to have 5 minutes to myself!
- Sleep when your kids sleep
I have to say, sleep is my favourite. A nap is my ultimate self-care option. When Little K naps, that’s my cue to close my eyes too!
- Eat something that isn’t your toddlers left overs
Bonus points if it’s something remotely healthy!
- Stop feeling guilty
We all hold onto far too much ‘Mum Guilt’. Are your kids healthy and happy? Then, drop the guilt. You do not have to be perfect. No parent is. And that’s ok, in fact, it’s more than OK. It’s 100% normal.
- Drink more water
I bet you often make sure that your son/daughter is drinking water. Every time you offer them a drink, make on for yourself to, and actually drink it!
- Say ‘yes’ to the next offer of help
Other than from my parents, I do not accept help particularly well. But sometimes we need to. No matter what it is, say ‘yes’ to the next offer of help you receive and don’t feel bad about it. It will relieve you of one thing to worry about.
- Listen to your favourite song
Just one piece of uplifting music is enough o put a spring in my step for the rest of the day. What would your song of choice be?
- Wear an outfit you love
Only too often do I jump out of bed in the morning and pull on the first things I lay my hands on before getting Little K ready and running out the door. But rarely, I actually think about what I’m doing and put together an outfit I truly feel good in, accessories and all. It makes my entire day a little brighter and doesn’t take any extra time than it would to pull out any other clothes!
- Don’t use dry shampoo – Actually wash your hair!
I am a real culprit of this: so much easier to spray on a load of dry shampoo and pull your hair back than wash, dry and style… but how good it feels when your hair is truly clean!
- Watch a TED talk
No matter your interests TED will have something to make you think, or get you motivated, and added bonus, many of the talks are under 10 minutes.
- Write in a journal
I have spoken before about how I feel much better when I’ve been writing. Use a bullet journal to keep your to do lists together, keep a gratitude journal to focus your mind, or collate images into a picture journal. Whatever works for you, it doesn’t have to be a big commitment. Just 10 minutes before bed each day.
- Have a glass of wine on a week night – and feel like a rebel
I know after a day at work and an evening of chasing Little K around nothing means relaxation quite like a large glass of Pinot Grigio!
- Buy yourself some flowers
While in the supermarket and your toddler is screaming for their 3rd ice pop (or whatever) head to the flowers and pick a beautifl bunch that makes you smile!
Do not compromise on time to focus on yourself. 10 minutes a day is completely do-able, and even more important once a month give yourself a real treat. Book a babysitter and go for dinner at a fancy restaurant, go to the theatre, go dancing, do what it is that makes you happy and allow yourself to feel good for it.