“I don’t have time to slow down and smell the roses – I’m a mum!”
Absolutely we hear you! But finding time for some mindful self-care is vital for your health and your sanity. By putting your own oxygen mask on first you will be much better placed to sustain caring for and raising your children.
If you don’t have a self-care strategy begin by writing five things you can do that revitalise and nurture yourself. Then make sure you put at least one self-care activity in your calendar for next week! Prioritise sleep, eating well, exercise, and a mindfulness practice every week.
It isn’t as hard as you might think. Even simple activities such as having a bath, painting your nails, and walking are all perfect opportunities to practice mindful self-care.
Try these three easy ways to incorporate mindful self-care into your day:
In a mum’s world of rushing around, endless to-do lists, and overwhelming distractions, we are in increasing need of some intentional practice of mind discipline. So having the time to establish this act of essential self-care might seem impossible.
The trick to getting a new habit in place is to link it to something you already do. For example, if you can tag your practice time to the end of your morning shower or before your morning coffee you are much more likely to do it.
It doesn’t have to be a 20-minute guided meditation (although that would be amazing!) – a mindful walk or a few minutes sitting still with your eyes closed will still be beneficial.
Arrive at your day by Consciously Connecting to the 3 G’s
Gratitude: A gratitude check-in before you get out of bed aligns you to what is positive and working in your life, and it only takes a minute or two. Now you can focus on seeing everything from a perspective of positivity and possibility, and that sets you on the path to opportunity. Great way to begin a day, right?!
Goals: Your goals need a little daily love too. Choose an activity to move your goals forward each day, no matter how small. Put energy and time into these commitments on a daily basis and you’ll see results!
Goofiness needs a spot in your life too. Block out some time each week to focus on an adult playdate where you can be silly and have fun. In the interim, giggle a little each day as you connect with others through laughter.
Drop “Just” From Your Vocabulary
When we use the word “just”, we are trying to jump forward to the future, so we are not really living in the present. How many times a day do we say it? I just need to have a bath, I just need to have lunch, I just need to paint my nails and then I’ll be with you.
The “Just” means we are treating it as something we need to do before we can get on to do something else. When our minds are racing ahead to the next thing like this we are not in the present moment, and this can quickly lead to feelings of stress.
Allocate times to do the things you need to do and stick to it. Do them with your full focus and attention. Notice how you feel when you are doing these things. You will notice that your enjoyment of every activity will increase, no matter how mundane the task, just not the ones in the future you want to get to.
Bring yourself back to the present by really focusing on what you are doing and you will get much more joy out of it and a lot less stress. Instead of “just” having your coffee, “worship” it by savoring every sip. Instead of “just going for a shower”, say “I am going to take a shower”. Then really enjoy the feeling of the hot water on your skin and the beautiful fragrance of the shampoo.
This strategy translates to any task we have to do, not just self care. Even if it’s “I’ve just got to change this nappy”, you can still bring yourself into the present and turn the mundane into something memorable by treating it like it’s the first time you’ve ever changed this particular nappy. Which of course it is, and is a moment in time with your baby you will never get again. Make the most of the moment by really noticing her face, eyelashes, the freckle on her ear.