I know as mums, this is something that so many of us struggle with… But it’s something which I instil and talk about all the time, because I absolutely know the value of looking after yourself and keeping those batteries fully charged
I once heard somebody say that mothers are the battery pack of the family… I love it this so much because it is so perfectly true!
We run the family… (Most of the time …I understand this is a sweeping statement, but the majority of women do the majority of work in terms of childcare and running a home and that’s just how it is).
So if you consider I remote control, or any device when the battery isn’t running… It’s responses are inconsistent. It’s temperamental. It just doesn’t work properly.
And it is absolutely no different for us.
If our energy is low, our care and our response is inconsistent. Our resilience is low. We don’t give a proper care and attention because we are exhausted .
We might snap or shout or say ‘no’ more often than we would otherwise.
Not only is this inconsistent for us but it’s also inconsistent for our loved ones.
Our children’s behaviour becomes more fractious and unpredictable as we in turn are fractious and unpredictable, and this is ultimately more hard work and upsetting for everyone
So… What can you do about it??
1.Accept the fact that you are not a machine and that you need to look after yourself for the benefit of yourself, of course, but for the benefit of everyone else.
A lot of mums really struggle with this concept, but if you are always putting yourself at the bottom of the pile, how much weight can you carry on your back before you fall to your knees?
Whatever your idea of self-care is, learn to accept that this is a vital part of motherhood and a vital part of loving your family. It is essential.
2.identify what self-care actually means to you. The range for this is huge because we all have different ideas of how we want to look after ourselves and what our idea of care is.
So this might mean pampering yourself, nails, hair, massage … It might mean exercising, meditating, going out for a walk or having time for yourself in some way or another.
I personally love to get up in the morning before anybody else is up and hit the yoga mat for half an hour. It sets-up my brain and my body for the day… You might choose to put half an hour aside to read… Literally, whatever works for you… Do that.
3.Limiting toxic relationships
Self care might mean also limiting time with people who are not good for you. This is something I talk about a lot in the work that I do. Setting boundaries for yourself in terms of toxic relationships is an enormous part of self-care and definitely not one to be underestimated.
The damaging effect of people in your life who either drain you of energy, have you questioning your worth or value, gas-light you or criticise, judge and devalue you, simply don’t deserve your time and energy.
The hard part about toxic relationships is that unfortunately they can come from close ‘friends’ and family members… And that’s why it’s sometimes so hard to see how these people are.
But ask yourself this… Does this person make you feel good about yourself? Do you come away from conversations or meetings doubting yourself, questioning your ability?
Or maybe you just feel flat and low.
It’s always worth checking I was having an awareness. We can’t always completely disengage from these relationships but we can emotionally and physically step back so bear that in mind next time somebody who is meant to love and care for you has you questioning your worth.
4.Know who the people are who feed your soul
You may have one, two or maybe a handful…
They may be right under your nose or they may be people that you don’t even really think about as champions for you.
But just as in the point above, consider who are the people that make you feel wonderful.
Who are the people who, without realising it, fill you with confidence and a sense of gratitude and happiness
Make a mental note of who these people are because these are the ones that you want to spend time with. These are the people who really matter.
I am so lucky to have people like this in my life, and an afternoon or evening spent with a good friend is often the best recipe of self-care I can give myself
Feeling good about yourself makes you feel good about those around you.
Looking after yourself means you look after those around you.
Being kind to yourself means being kind to others around you.
Self-care is not a luxury, it is essential
What is your favourite way of practising self-care??