Mother’s day is an opportunity to show our mums just how much we love and appreciate them. Being a parent can be demanding and exhausting and often you put your child’s needs before your own. Practicing regular self-care is something many of us (especially busy mums) don’t do very often. But this doesn’t mean we should overlook its importance.
So what is self-care?
Surprisingly it’s not just about face masks and bubble baths (although if you can find time for this then go for it!). Self-care is any activity that will benefit our mental, emotional or physical health. It can be anything from taking a shower to challenging yourself to run a marathon.
There’s a common belief that thinking of our own needs is selfish and something we should feel guilty about. But when our own needs are met this then puts us in a better position to look after other people. It can make us calmer, happier and more organised parents.
Many of us might feel that we don’t have the time or energy to think about our needs. But there are always small things you can do to incorporate self-care into your daily routine, even with a busy schedule.
Here are some suggestions:
- Play some music
Many studies have demonstrated the positive effects of music on mood and stress levels. You could start by making a playlist of your favourite songs. Even if you’re busy having music on in the background can help you to feel happier and more positive.
You could even put on some music and have a boogie! As well as physical health, exercise is great for improving our mental wellbeing. The endorphins released by our brain during exercise can help reduce stress and anxiety and help us to feel more relaxed. You could also try walking instead of driving for short distances or getting off the bus a stop earlier.
- Switch up your diet
Good nutrition is crucial for maintaining health and wellbeing. It can be easy to reach for the unhealthy sugar-filled snacks when we’re in a rush. But these will often leave us feeling low and sluggish and can lead us to develop long-term health conditions such as diabetes. For some quick and easy low carb snack options why not try picking up some nuts, olives or mini cheese portions next time you’re out shopping?
- Practice being mindful
You don’t need to take hours out of your day to practice being mindful. Just take a few seconds to bring your focus back to the present moment. Look up at the sky, notice your breathing, pay attention to what you can feel or hear. Mindfulness can help you to feel calmer and more relaxed so you feel better prepared to deal with what the day brings.
- Ask for help
Being a parent is hard work and it’s perfectly ok to ask for help to ensure you get some time to yourself. Reach out to your partner/family/friends, even if it’s only for 5 minutes so you get time to have a quick shower or make some lunch. That time will make a lot of difference.