What is self-care anyway?
Self Care. It’s two words that seem to get thrown about a lot together just lately. Perhaps they’ve always been there but in more recent times, have come to the forefront of our awareness. So with this in mind, it feels really important and necessary to write about what self-care is and how to go about it. It’s simply about looking after yourself and a bit more…
Self-care for mamas
Why this also might feel so important to parents who’ll read this is because as a parent, perhaps you don’t have the time, motivation or inclination to do some of the things you feel you’d like to or should do now that you have a little person to care for. Just where do you fit in with all this? Well, that’s why it’s extra important! How can you care well for your child if you’re not caring for yourself properly? I’m not talking about ‘being your best self always’ where you need to shine like a superstar and hit burn out pretty fast. I’m talking about grounding, simple steps that WORK FOR YOU to help you be the best human and mama you can be each day. When you read through my list below, just remember they can all be adapted to whatever stage of parenthood you might be at!
I figured I’d start by saying some of the self-care I do. It’s funny because writing that last sentence felt like, whoah, who me, I ‘practice’ self-care? Err, yeah, we kind of all do but I guess there’s something about how to do it and how we view it. I don’t actually think, ‘oh it’s time for self-care now’! More like I’ve found things that are important to me, that feel right for me and it’s basically a way of how I take care of myself, how I look after myself.
For me, I meditate every morning. Drinking a cup of tea is important. Going to the gym several times a week is the kindest but not always the easiest thing I can do. Cooking a home cooked dinner at least twice a week is so important. I have non-drinking days. There’s nothing I love more than to have a glass of wine in hand while I’m cooking the evening meal but I’ve learnt that, for me, one is never enough and the bottle will very soon be gone so I only open one when it’s going to be shared or I am happy to indulge! I make sure I walk every day. Movement is so important. Even when I’m writing a blog post or a sleep plan or reading or studying, all the things that I love but they involve stillness, I make sure I move – a walk to the shops or park can be all my body needs. I ban my phone or laptop in bed. I charge my phone up in another room overnight. By the kettle is good then it’s with me for my morning cuppa! I write a gratitude journal. I write 5 reasons why I’m grateful for 1 thing each day. It takes 5 minutes but feels so impactful for me.
Engaging with friends and family is so important to me. I always try to have one or two social events in my diary. Never too many otherwise it’s too much for me but having nothing feels sad so it’s a nice balance for me to have one or two. Read. I read a lot. Listen to podcasts. I listen to podcasts a lot. There’s no doubt books are awesome and always will be but podcasts offer a different experience. Download one and you can listen to it on the go, at the gym, on the train, while you’re doing household chores, the ironing, the cooking (yep, I love this too!) basically anywhere and everywhere, even with your baby in tow!
Self-care ideas and inspiration
So now I’ve shared some of my self-care rituals, here’s a list of ones to think about for yourself. Some small, Some big. And they’re not all right for all people. You’ll know the right ones for you. Trust me. You will. I want to simply inspire you. Once you start with them, stopping will feel like something is missing in your life!