Motherhood. It’s rarely easy – and while it can be rewarding, it’s often stressful. That’s why self-care is essential. Treat yourself to it regularly, and you’ll be better able to deal with the ups and downs of parenting. And no, you don’t have to indulge in pricey spas to achieve this – you just need to adopt a few techniques.
Let’s explore the five simplest ones here.
Schedule time for you
Amid the chaos of raising kids, it can be easy to forget about ourselves. And though it’s crucial to look after our children and keep them safe, self-care is also key. Develop ways to relax that work for you, and you’ll be better able to deal with stress moving forward – and this will benefit everyone. If you spend a small part of each day – preferably 10 minutes – doing something to unwind, it could really boost your overall mood. Better still, meditation can improve both our physical and mental wellbeing – and this in turn will leave you with more energy for jobs and family activities.
Don’t compare yourself to other mums
Comparison is nothing new – people have been doing it for years. In the age of social media, it’s easier than ever to fall into this habit. But for your sake, try not to. Competitive parenting is never healthy – and though it may seem harmless, regularly posting proud mum moments on sites like Facebook and Instagram can quickly lead to it. Do this often enough, and you could find yourself starting to feel inadequate in your parenting abilities, which will, of course, dampen your daily mood.
Now, we’re not saying that you should shut your accounts down. Just remember this: social media doesn’t present the whole story. This may be a simple self-care method – but it’s an important one.
Write down your strengths on a daily basis
You’re a fantastic mum. You may not realise it, but you are – just ask your kids. They’re most likely your number one fans. Very often, we’re so focussed on building our parenting skills that we forget to remind ourselves how well we’re already doing. So, make sure to note all your strengths, both as a mother and as an individual. Remember: you’re not just a mum – you’re your own person. Write down your attributes every day to see both your confidence as a parent – and in general – surge.
True, this can be a tricky activity to start with, as most of us struggle to congratulate ourselves. But start jotting down your qualities, and you’ll soon see that it isn’t selfish – it’s simply a healthy, positive thing to do.
Refresh your look
Want to feel revitalised? Then how about a makeover? Invest in the right beauty products, and you won’t have to fork out to update your look. Why not brighten your smile with a set of veneers, for example? Or for a free (or at least discounted) haircut, you could enrol as a model at the local beauty college. Take the kids with you, and the whole family could enjoy an affordable makeover!
Don’t worry, students are typically trained to an acceptable level before they’re allowed to practice on models – and they’re usually supervised by a highly experienced hairdresser. Likewise, you could revive your wardrobe with some second-hand shopping. Simply head to your local charity or vintage shop to get started!
Create a “Mum Mindfulness Corner”
We all need a place to go when times get stressful – and this is especially true for parents. So, why don’t you create a comfort zone within the home? A spot to which you can retreat when life seems like too much. Whether you choose a room or a corner of the house to unwind in is completely up to you. All that really matters is that this area contains things that help you to make it through rainy days. This can include essential oils, positive quotes (which you could stick on the wall), adult colouring books and much more. Tell the kids that this is your space – that it’s “Mum’s Mindfulness Corner” – and explain why it’s so special, and they’ll likely respect your privacy while you’re there. And even better, they’ll be learning about the value of self-care early on in their lives.
Contrary to what many people say, self-care isn’t selfish. Actually, it’s necessary – it allows us to recharge after long days and to return to our daily routines feeling more alive. And as almost all experts and parents argue, this is essential for mums.