By Lisa LaMaitre
Health Writer, Wellness Presenter, Lifestyle Adviser, Business Owner
It’s very easy as a mum to fall off the self-care radar.
We spend so much of our time taking care of others that there’s often no time, energy or care factor left to take care of ‘mum’.
However, to give the highest levels of care, patience and love to our nearest and dearest, we need to be able to restock our reserves. No one can nourish and feed people from an empty pantry, right?
So how do we learn to take care of ourselves, I hear you ask? Take the time today to try these strategies.
The stratetiges for taking care of ‘mum’
- GIVE yourself permission to.
And if that doesn’t work, then I give you permission to care, love and honour yourself and your needs!
Putting aside guilt for placing yourself first is often the hardest thing for mums to do.
Deep breathing, where we fill up our belly with air, calms our nervous system, lowers the heart rate and improves mood. It also improves mind–body connection, boosts energy and stamina, increases blood oxygen and improves sleep and immune function.
So let’s do a few deep breaths now to help you get into the habit – in through the nose, fill the belly with air, and out through the mouth.
Once, twice, three times.
Aaaahhh! Feel better?
- Create a habit or find an activity that helps restore you. Then set boundaries around it!
It might be an early morning walk while the family is still asleep, a quiet cuppa after the school run is done, a weekly yoga class or an uninterrupted shower.
Ask you partner, family or older children to help create this habit of self-care for you. When you make this a priority you are not only teaching the world to honour your needs, but you are also teaching your children and partner that you are a priority.
And that’s a life skill we could have all benefited from had we learned it when we were younger, don’t you think?
- Show gratitude.
It’s easy for us to focus on all the stuff that stresses us out and aggravates us. But how much attention do you give to what makes you smile and what you’re thankful for?
I keep a Gratitude Journal, but you don’t have to be that formal. Expressing gratitude improves our physical and mental health, enhances empathy, reduces aggression, and improves self-esteem and sleep.
So perhaps on the days when you’re feeling overwhelmed, just breathe and look at all the things in your world that you are grateful for, and give thanks.
Rose is a Fit Busy Mum of 3 fit kids. She aims to empower mums who are time poor. She acknowledges that mums are ‘busy’ but tries to inspire them to regain their fitness through simple everyday habits that she promotes through her book ‘The Fit Busy Mum: Seven habits for success’. Visit www.thefitbusymum.com.au