As parents, we generally put our kids’ needs first. That’s perfectly natural and not something we should be criticised for! But, we often do so at the expense of our own health and wellbeing, and that’s something we need to work on. If we don’t take care of ourselves then we can’t take care of our children as well as we might otherwise be able to!
As a Mum of three children, I understand just how hard it is to find time for self-care. I work long hours as well as looking after the kids and taking care of the house. It really isn’t easy! But sometimes, I know that I need to take some time out to take care of myself. When I neglect to take care of myself, it soon starts to show. I start to feel unwell and run down, I don’t sleep well and my skin shows the tell tale signs of self-neglect.
So, I’ve come up with a few simple things to do so that I at least make an effort to take better care of myself. I hope you find them useful too.
I often find myself feeling anxious and unsettled. It can be the slightest little thing that sets this off, it doesn’t need to be a major disaster for me to start getting edgy. I never used to be like this so I guess it’s part and parcel of getting a little older!
One of the ways I calm myself down is to focus on my breathing for five minutes. This always works. There are lots of different methods you can do to calm down your breathing but I find the 4-7-8 method works really well for me.
With the 4-7-8 method, you breathe in through your nose for 4 seconds, hold it for 7 seconds, then breathe out for 8 seconds. It works really well to calm me down during the day and helps to slow my mind down when I’m struggling to get to sleep at night.
Drink plenty of water
It’s so important to keep yourself hydrated. I’m quite good at this and drink quite a lot of water throughout the day. But if you’re one of the many people that forgets to drink enough, then you can get yourself one of those bottles with marks on the side to remind you to keep drinking. Water is best, but you can add juice if it helps you to stay hydrated.
When you don’t drink enough, you can feel really poorly and your brain doesn’t work as well. Mild dehydration can cause headaches and fatigue, but severe dehydration is really serious. It’s really important to keep drinking!
Eat a healthy diet
I don’t want anyone to start obsessing about what they’re eating, but adding a few extra fruits and vegetables into your daily diet can only be a good thing.
We all need some quiet time just for us. When the kids are all tucked up in bed, take some time out just for you. This could mean you run yourself a bubble bath, or just curl up on the sofa with a good book. Or if your kids are in school, then spend some time outdoors when the weather allows. Fresh air does wonders for both our mental and physical wellbeing. You could head out for a walk, or even chill out on a hammock in the garden. Whatever it is that you like to do, do it. It’s so important to focus on your own needs from time to time rather than constantly taking care of everyone else.
If you’ve been feeling a little worn down recently, then just taking a little extra care of yourself will make a big difference. It’s so important to make this part of your weekly routine and you really will feel the difference once you do.