Small Steps to Self Care
The life of a Mum is stressful. Even on the most perfect days, there are so many elements that you can’t control and there is always so much to organise. More and more Mums are choosing to work full-time, part-time or are launching their own businesses. And yet, we still seem to carry most of the load when it comes to household chores, arranging family events and raising our children to be beautiful, kind, strong, intelligent human beings. No wonder we may feel a bit stressed or overwhelmed from time to time.
If are consistently describing yourself as feeling overwhelmed, tired, exhausted, drained or all of the above, then it is probably time you started to invest in your own health and well-being.
Simple Self Care for Mums
I often find self-care lists overwhelming and stressful. I would hate for this to be another thing to add to your list, so please just pick one or two things that you think will make you feel good. Try them out for a week and see if it makes a difference. If you want to know what self-care you are craving, write down three things that you would include in your perfect day. Those three things might be the self-care practices you need right now.
Create a mini-morning routine
I have shared my morning routine here. It is a combination of the Three M’s. Movement + Meditation + Motivation. I find it really works for me, it helps me to start my day feeling energised and calm. A beautiful combination. I try to do this routine every second day. The other days I allow myself a chance to sleep in without the pressure of having to get up early.
I’ve said this routine takes 30-45 minutes. It can also take 10 minutes. It depends on how much time you have. A little bit is often better than nothing. Sometimes I do 10 minutes of yoga and set an intention for my day at the end. Movement, meditation and motivation done in 10 minutes.
Gratitude + Intention Setting
This is one self-care habit you should definitely start. Almost every single successful person I know has some form of gratitude practice. Gratitude brings your focus to the present moment and it shifts your mindset towards the positive. I have a very simple gratitude + intention setting practice which I try to do each morning.
- As soon as I wake up (before checking my phone) I think of one thing I am grateful for. I then allow that feeling of gratitude to expand into my body so I begin to feel lighter.
- Once I am in this positive state, I set an intention for how I want to feel during the day. I have 2 reminders which go off on my phone at 12PM and 3PM. It’s a reminds me of my intention brings me back to the present moment.
There is something so comforting about sitting and sipping on a cup of hot tea. Like most things, it is the attitude you take when you are drinking the tea that counts. If this is your sole form of self-care, then sit and really enjoy being able to relax and enjoy a cup of tea. I love having 2 squares of dark chocolate and a cup of chamomile and lavender tea at night after the girls have gone to bed. Such a simple practice, but it sends a signal to my body to relax and unwind.
There are moments in your day where you transition from one event to the next. Maybe you transition from work to home life. Whenever we have to stop doing one task and start another, there is potential for a huge drain of energy. For example, I work from home. I will often work right up till the moment I have to pick up the girls. I rush out the door, head still in my work thinking of all the loose ends I have to tie.
When you are transitioning from one task to another, create some time to really finish that task. Clean up, make a list of everything you got done. Make a list of what needs to be done tomorrow and then – just let it go. Take some deep breaths, move your body if you can and mentally allow yourself to switch off.I find a little self-talk really helps. I will say something like “I did the best I could do today. And now it’s time to enjoy xxx”.
Creating some space between tasks will reduce a huge amount of your mental load and will help you bring your full attention to each part of your day.
We spend our days adding stress into our bodies. We need to take the time to nurture our bodies and allow ourselves to just be. Restorative Yoga is perfect way to prepare for a good nights sleep. It allows your body to gently release stored energy and tension and is suitable for almost everyone. These are a few of my favourite restorative yoga poses. Hold each for 3-5 minutes.
Janu Sirasana (Single Leg Forward Fold)
Supported Balasana (Child’s Pose)
Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Butterfly Pose)
Supta Virasana (Reclined Hero’s Pose)
Viparita Karani (Legs up the Wall Pose)
Savasana / Seated Meditation
Meditation is the quickest way to achieve a deep state of rest. 20 minutes of vedic / matra based meditation is equivalent to four hours of deep sleep. Include a meditation practice into your day and notice how much better you feel! I recommend starting with a guided meditation.
I have included some of my favourite guided meditations in the Fit Mummy Project App.
Bath + Shower with Essential Oils / Epsom Salt
This is my favourite self-care routine. I try to do this at least once a week. If you have a bath, fill it with hot water and 2 cups of Epsom Salts / Magnesium Salt Flakes. Add 2-3 drops of Lavender Oil or Doterra Serenity Oil. Lavender helps to relax the body and calm the mind and is suitable for almost everyone, even young children.
If you have a dry body brush, brush your entire body with long gentle strokes in an upward motion. This helps to stimulate your lymphatic system and aids in the removal of toxins.
Allow yourself 20 minutes to completely relax and just soak. I love to listen to a guided meditaiton or podcst during this time (just don’t fall asleep!). After you get out, cover your body in Almond Oil with a drop of frankinsense (if you have it) or a good quality moisturiser! You will feel like a new woman!
An easy win. Aim to go to bed 15 minutes before you normally do. Instead of turning on the TV or looking at your phone, read 15 minutes from a book that inspires you. It is more calming than watching TV and the positive messages will seep into your subconscious.