Self-care is something that’s very important for everyone, but if you’re a mum – especially a new mum, you may find that you suddenly have guilt if you feel like taking some time for yourself.
Although this is a perfectly normal feeling, it’s one you really need to learn to let go of, because there is absolutely nothing selfish about taking care of yourself.
In fact, it’s actually more beneficial for your children and those around you because when you’re operating from your highest level of energy, health and potential, then you can be more present to take care of your children and be there in the way they need you to be.
Have you ever noticed when on a plane and they tell you that in the event of an emergency to place your own oxygen mask on before attending to others – including children?
Although most people’s reaction would be to save a child before themselves, there’s a real reason they tell you this, and that is, if you’re unconscious from the lack of oxygen then you’re not going to able to save a child, and in this scenario nobody wins.
If you take care of yourself first, you’ll be conscious and can then make sure you save the child.
The same principle is applied to self-care and parenting.
You can’t take care of others if you’re not taking care of yourself, so this is why self-care is important, not only for you, but for your children.
It also sets a good example to them that they don’t have to put their needs on the back burner when they, themselves become parents.
The thing with self-care is that it really doesn’t have to be big or extravagant things that cost a lot of money.
Here are just a few ideas to get you started so that you can make time for regular self-care no matter what your routine or budget allows.
Have date nights:
Whether it’s with your partner, with friends, or even just alone, make a point of having a kid-free evening at least once a month (once a week if possible). You don’t have to go anywhere fancy, and you can even stay at home and have your date night after the kids have gone to sleep, but just a simple movie and a burger, or dinner at home will do just as well.
Have a duvet day:
Sometimes the best thing you can do to unwind is just doing nothing. A lazy duvet day watching Netflix on your own is a great way to disconnect from the stress of daily life.
Again, this doesn’t have to be anything majorly expensive, but you’ll be surprised at how good it makes you feel to go get your nails or hair done once a month. Even just a blow dry is enough and a great way to create a self-care routine.
Looking after your body and mind is probably the best act of self-care you could practice, and there’s no better way to do this than through exercise. Whether it’s a brisk walk or run for 20 minutes per day, or a trip to the gym, exercise is not only good for you, but will actually leave you with more energy to be there and fully present for your kids.
As you can see, none of these things are over the top, because that’s not what self-care is about, it’s just about acknowledging that you need some time for yourself and not feeling bad about trying to be the best you can be for your children.