Are you ever frustrated by helpful tips that busy mums need to:
- look after themselves,
- have a self care routine, and
- put on their own gas-mask first etc.
Very wise indeed! BRILLIANT tips.
I would put my own gas mask on first, but hey DUDE my hands are full – I’m holding two backpacks, a much needed coffee, a lunchbox, two pairs of shoes and an odd collection of sticks…
Jokes aside, even though it sometimes feels impossible to find time for ourselves, it can be done – even as busy mums.
Is a rock solid self care routine the key to a happy mum?
I heard Alice Nicholls say on the Blog to Profit podcast, something along the lines of: Noone with a rock solid self care routine has ever asked her how she “balances it all”. She has two small kids and ran two successful online businesses whilst studying, so I imagine she gets asked about balance quite a bit!
I consider myself to be be a fairly intelligent woman, but perhaps I had it arse about. Maybe the secret isn’t to do it all and then find time for myself, but rather to find time for myself so that I can do “everything else”. As an aside: by “everything else” I don’t actually mean EVERYTHING else, just the stuff I want in my life.
Deciding to make time for ourselves is the easy part.
The hard part is creating and prioritising time for ourselves as busy mums.
I hear women talking about their morning routines and they sound wonderful: morning meditations, exercise, writing routines, dry body brushing (OK, nope – don’t even know what that is, I’m totally busted!). But these delights just don’t fit into most busy mums’ days.
I have a job, a start-up business (that doesn’t even cover its own expenses as yet) two small kids and my husband works full time – rest assured, my morning routine is not a luxurious hour of calm.
When I started looking into self-care routines it was more than a little depressing – I was convinced that I would NEVER, EVER have time for myself. I was doomed to stay the cranky hulk-like mama I become when I don’t get enough time for myself (yes, I can be a little dramatic from time to time).
Then I took notice of what makes me feel good. That right there is self care my friend – doing things that make you feel good even if they aren’t glamorous or trendy (do people even say that anymore? Clearly I’m not “trendy”).
Pin this image as a reminder that we can keep it simple:
Want cheap and cheerful self care tips to brighten your day?
Here’s a few things you can do to brighten your day and “fill your cup” as they say:
- Sleep: I know this one is easier said than done! My kids don’t sleep a lot, so I’ve probably been tired for a good 6 years or so now. Maybe you could put on the tv and doze while the kids are occupied or you could get an early night. I am reading Thrive by Arianna Huffington and she talks a lot about the benefits of sleep.
- Mindfulness and meditation: Arianna Huffington also talks extensively about the benefits of meditation. Once again, meditation doesn’t have to be lengthy. I use the smiling mind app on my mobile and it gives me two minute meditations that help me feel relaxed and less hulk-like. I also like simple mindfulness exercises where I can just turn my attention to my feet on the ground or to the tension in my shoulders (You can read about how mindfulness helps me to survive the bedtime tantrums here).
- Friends: call or visit a friend. Nothing brightens my day like a quick chat to a girlfriend.
- Read a book: There are some really lovely books for mums about slowing down living a simpler, more relaxed life. Keep an eye out for my list of book recommendations coming your way shortly.
- Gratitude: I think this one is so helpful that I wrote an entire post about it, so check out this post.
- Laugh: see my tip above about the value of having a laugh with friends. You can also keep your eyes open for an upcoming post full of brilliant websites for a mum humour fix.
- Walk: Even if you have the kids in tow, put them on a bike or in the pram and walk down the street or around the block.
- A little ray of sunshine: Even if you can’t actually get out of the house maybe you can sit in the sun for a few minutes and take a few deep breaths. My kids tend to be much happier at outside so it’s a great distraction for us on the hulk-like days.
- What’s your creative outlet? Take a few moments to journal, draw or create. I find that journalling helps order my thoughts and improves my mood.
- Have a little self compassion: Yes: speak to yourself as you would speak to your friends and be kind to yourself.
- Avoid the time vampires: These are the little vampires that suck the time right out of our day… You can read more here.
If you are feeling frustrated because don’t have time for yourself subscribe here to your self care saboteurs worksheet. Brainstorm your way past the obstacles between your and previous time for yourself.
You might also enjoy my upcoming product: Find Five for Mum – quick, simple self care for busy mums.