Being a mum is the most challenging role you’ll ever have to take on. The hours, workplace conditions and lack of holidays can start to grind you down.
One of the most important and difficult things to make time for when everything is getting on top of you is self-care, and yet this is one of the areas you need to invest in to help you feel like a human being again, as well as a mum. If you don’t look after yourself, how are you expected to look after your baby?
Here are some of our top tips for self-care:
Meditation is a great way of taking 10 minutes out to let your brain rest. There are lots of apps out there: try Insight Timer, Calm or Headspace. Allowing thoughts to settle for 10 minutes a day has been proven to help with wellbeing, and will give you the space to be you again.
Speak kindly to yourself
Being a mum is hard. You don’t know if you’re getting it right, and there’s no annual performance review. Notice your internal dialogue. If you’re telling yourself you’re a rubbish mum, or you’re not doing it right, then turn your language round and say ‘I am doing a good job’ or ‘I am the best mum I can be’. Repeat until it’s habit!
Make a list of random acts of kindness
You need to do things for you sometimes, no matter how hard that is. Make a list of things you love to do e.g. gardening, reading a book, going for a walk or run, listening to music, baking or taking a bath. Then make sure you try to do one every few days. Make a kindness chart and tick them off as you do them. You’ll feel better, and that makes you a better mum – remember the happier and calmer you are, the more content your baby will be.
Focus on now
It can be tempting to worry incessantly when it comes to your kids, and before you know it they’ve grown up five years and you’re worrying about something else that might not happen.
Try to focus on the now: being with your children and fully involved in the task at hand, using all your senses. It can be washing up, tidying, walking. What can you feel? See? Hear? Taste? Smell? Every time an anxious thought comes into your mind, acknowledge it and then focus back on your task and maybe take a couple of deep breaths. This will help equip the children with coping mechanisms too.