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Self-care that doesn’t feel like a chore

Posted by Anjalee Peiris on
Self-care

The Self-Care Buzz Term 

Everyone’s buzzing about self-care these days, but it sounds like a bit of a flowery term, right? It’s all well and good to glorify self-care when you haven’t got a baby who requires burping, feeding or consoling at any given time, on top of everything else.

Well, mums, we’re sorry to say that we’re hopping on that self-care bandwagon, but it’s in your own interest. We promise it’s not all flowery thoughts and deep breathing (although, hello newfound zen). Self-care is about taking back control. And if there’s one thing a mom boss needs, it’s order. We’re all control-freaks here.

Why self-care is important for mums

Mums have a lot going on, to say the least. This can take its toll. One in four mums suffer with anxiety or post-natal depression, on top of the huge life change of having to take care of another little person. Women are also twice as likely as men to be diagnosed with anxiety.

Self-care comprises a variety of strategies to combat the stressors in our everyday lives. It is important to try to find some activities that replenish us, so that we feel better and renewed after we complete them rather than drained. 

Negotiating self-care with packed to-do lists

When you’ve got 1001 things to do, self-care can feel more like self-discipline. Striving to take better care of yourself is great, but it’s easy for self-care to feel like just another item on the endless list of chores. When your notes app contains an unmanageable list of big jobs, writing ‘try to fuc*ing relax’ at the bottom of it doesn’t quite cut through the madness.

Small ways to fit self-care into a hectic life-style:

These practices are small but mighty ways to start building down-time into your mum routine. The trick: pick only one to start off with. Rein it in, overachiever. Start small and stick to it, rather than trying to renovate your lifestyle on day one and failing miserably.

  • If you look good you feel good

This could be something as simple as putting lip balm and mascara on in the morning. If you can’t fit in time for a full face of makeup, prioritise the high-impact products that contribute to a more polished mum look.

  • Unwind with a book

Read ten pages before bed, or whenever you can. If your baby rises early and settles with a feed for twenty minutes, maybe that could be your golden reading time. Reading is a great way to re-focus your mind away from any anxieties, and escape to another reality for a moment. Just read ten pages, that’s it. Ten pages is a realistic goal when you’re being pulled in every direction. 

If you’re in the market for some chill out reading, these books might help you feel more at ease:

  • Take a bath

If the kids are sleeping, take a hot minute to run yourself a nice hot bubble bath, this could also be a good place to take your book and have a little read. Use some muscle-soothing salts, or a nice scented bath bomb.

  • Learn to say no!

The answer doesn’t always need to be yes. Even if it’s friends or family and they invite you over for dinner one evening but you don't feel up to it, there really is no pressure to say yes every time. If you're not feeling up to it or you just want to have a relaxing evening then you can say no. There will always be another time you can see your friends or family.

  • Stay connected with loved ones

This shouldn't be a burden. It’s common for new mums to feel isolated, especially if your whole world has just relocated to your living room. Make a conscious effort to catch up with friends or family when you have a spare five minutes. Try ringing your friend when you’re on a long car journey, or meeting them for a walk with the baby in tow. Connecting with friends or family can be a massive stress reliever. 

  • Start a journal

People often say this is like therapy. Take a bit of time in the evening to write in your journal about your day. You could write down how you're feeling, what you’re grateful for, what you did with your day. Again, this shouldn’t feel like an essay. Stick to two or three items if you’re short on time, or use it to pour out your troubles if you feel so inclined. 

  • Make sleep a priority

Don’t put pressure on yourself to achieve the Earth when the baby’s sleeping. Hit the pillow, girl. Sleep helps you recover both mentally and physically. 

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