I love that recently there’s been a shift towards recognising that we all need to look after ourselves, and take time for ‘self-care.’ This is important in every stage of life, and especially where I’m at now – as the Mum of 2 young kids, with another one on the way! I believe self-care is vital and that taking time for ourselves to recharge our batteries and prevent getting overwhelmed isn’t selfish, but is necessary. We need to take care of our mental health as well as the other aspects of health.
Self-care can be very simple, and it may just be sitting down at the end of the day once the kids are in bed to an episode on Netflix, or it might be a coffee out with a friend, a bubble bath, reading your favourite book or spending time in the kitchen baking. It could be getting your nails done each week, sitting outside watching the sunset of an evening, or getting out of the house for a walk. It might be listening to podcasts, decluttering a shelf or drawer, going to the gym each day, shopping, or a glass of wine and a piece of chocolate – the options are endless, and are unique to each person. The best part is that it doesn’t have to cost anything, and you don’t necessarily need a babysitter to enjoy time just for you.
For me, I crave time on my own, and love enjoying a coffee, watching a TV series or movie and sitting down to do some planning. Once a day I try to find something to recharge my batteries, and this may be just for 5 minutes. I really notice when I don’t make an effort to find time in my day just for me.
When I had my eldest daughter 4 years ago, the thought of putting myself first seemed selfish to me. And after awhile, I began to burn out. I craved time to sleep, sit and eat a proper meal, have an uninterrupted shower or just relax in general. And when I recognised that I was overwhelmed, and I learnt about self-care, my physical, mental and emotional health were able to be restored. If you are giving and giving all day long with no time to replenish and rejuvenate yourself, it’s only a matter of time before something’s got to give. One of my favourite quotes is: ‘You can’t pour from an empty cup. Take care of yourself first.’ This is so true, and we really need to give our family the best of us, not what’s left of us!
If you’ve never taken time for yourself before and would like to, I suggest sitting down and making a list of all the things that make you happy, and all the things you like to do that refresh you. They can be as small or big, and as inexpensive or expensive as you would like. Then grab your planner and begin finding those pockets of time just for you. Do you have a spare half an hour after work before picking the kids up on a Monday where you could grab a takeaway coffee? Or do the kids go to bed at 7pm and by 8pm you’ve tidied up and have time for an episode of your favourite TV show? Before long, self-care will become a habit that you crave, and you’ll feel better for it!
Do you practice self-care each day? I’d love to hear the types of things that recharge your batteries – feel free to leave a comment!
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