Do you take time to practice self-care? If the answer no, join the rest of the Mama’s out there.
Did you know 78% of women often put off taking care of themselves or getting their health appointments made because they are so busy taking care of other family member’s health? according to healthywomen.org.
I know I can totally, I believe God made us women caregivers, it is in our nature, oozing out from our bones. But can I just say, even Jesus took time out by Himself to recharge and connect with His Father.
What is self-care?
The term self-care is bouncing around the world like a new phenonmom, but it isn’t, from Bible times it was there and according to bmihealthcare it simply means
“The practice of consciously doing things that preserve or improve your mental or physical (and spiritual) health”
In other words, self-care doesn’t happen by accident. We have to intentionally want to take better care of our health, our holistic health, mind, body and soul.
Benefits of daily self-care
* Less Stress
I have heard many mums say that finding time to do something for self-care feels like an extra thing to do, it is so stressful. Though I can empathise with where they are coming from, I also believe that when self-care is done correctly and in the right order (as I speak about in the 5 pillars to a healthy mum) it can reduce stress significantly, provide a calm and re-focus each mum to allow them to be bolder, stronger and happier.
* Better as a mum, wife, friend, work colleague
When mums take time out to look after themselves and feel good about themselves, something on the inside changes. They become happier, more vibrant with more energy ready to face what the day holds. By taking time to recharge, refuel and re-learn about themselves, they are able to identify things that can help them be the best version of themselves.
* You get to learn, develop and grow
Having time to do the things you love and have always wanted to do, allows you to learn new skills, develop old ones and grow and master what you have learnt. God created us with these amazing brains, capable of doing more than we know. He wants you, even as mum to feel confident enough to learn, develop and grow. You have so much to offer to your family and others in the world and self-care allows you to tap into that.
* You become more creative
When you give yourself a chance to stop and let your mind rest, it actually, allows your mind to become more creative. Have you ever had some amazing ideas whilst in the shower? That’s because your mind is no longer doing overtime, and instead you are now in a safe space, relaxed state, and free from a distracted mind. Your dopamine levels are higher and dopamine is critical to creativity. It is released when we are relaxed and doing things such as having a shower, exercising, and listening to music. Find more things to increase your dopamine levels, these self-care activities will give you more space to become up with more creative ideas for you and your family.
* You can do more
Let’s face it, burnout is inevitable if you keep going and don’t take time to recharge. If you don’t charge our phone, eventually it will die. If you don’t take time to really let your body rest and refuel, it gets worn out. The more exhausted you become the less you are actually able to do. So self-care actually helps us to do more. Don’t allow the mum guilt to tell you those 60 minutes of sitting down is a waste of time. That 60 minute rest will allow you to do 3 things in 30 minutes instead of 1 thing in 3 hours. Give yourself a break!
Why is self-care for mums so hard?
- Mum Guilt kicks in
As soon as we take a moment for ourselves, mum guilt pops it’s head up and tells us how bad we are for not doing something more constructive. We feel sorry for our children because they have to play by themselves and we tell ourselves we are not good mums. This makes sitting in silence, reading a book or doing anything for ourselves, especially while the children are awake, impossible. You are NOT a bad mum for taking time to breathe. You are a great mum because by caring for yourself, you will be able to better care for your family!
- We see ourselves as last. According to a joint survey done by
In the survey conducted by healthywomen when asked how they would rank how they spend their time managing healthcare topics, number 1 was Children, followed by pets, elder relatives, spouse and at number 5 was themselves. Even their pets’ health came before their own health! Because we have so much love for others, we find it hard to find time to love ourselves. I am reminded of the text “Love your neighbour as yourself” The second greatest commandment. We are commanded to love ourselves to Mama! Don’t forget that.
- We are naturally givers not takers
We have a desire to give and see others happy. Please don’t misunderstand me, this is such a beautiful trait we have and we are not to give this up. However, to be able to give more we need to have something to give. So let’s change the narrative of self-care from selfish to selfless. Self-care is allowing you to give more to others.
- There isn’t any time!
I know motherhood is just B-U-S-Y, if we were to really list all that we had to do, the list really would be endless. But just as we have to make time to cook, to clean, to take the children to their classes or even arrange the dentist appointment, we have to ensure we make time for ourselves too. We have to intentionally schedule in time with ourselves into our routine, and protect that time. Let others know, this is mummy refuel time so I can have all the energy in the world to play with you. Not sure where to start? I have a routine course for the busy mum to get you started.
11 Self-care ideas you can do for free
Here are some simple and free self-care ideas that you can start to do today!
- Go for a walk alone
- Go to the shops by yourself in the evenings
- Start a hobby
- Read a book
- Start a nighttime facial routine
- Write in your journal
- Call someone who can uplift you
- Help someone else
- Watch a documentary/ film
- Learn something new
How to find time to do self-care
- Re-arrange your routine
Without being intentional about the time you have and making space for yourself, let’s face it… it won’t happen. So have a look at your schedule. When would be the best time for you to take 20 minutes for yourself during the day? Early morning, evening, nap time? What do you need to change, add or take away for it to happen?
- Get help – delegate
Sometimes the reason we don’t have time for ourselves is because we are just doing too much. What can you ask someone else to do to lighten the load so you can reclaim some time to care for yourself?
- Prioritise, plan, implement Prioritise, plan, implement
Now you have space in your routine, make this a priority. The same way your children must eat, you must recharge. Plan what you will do in your time and then let everyone know so that it can be implemented.
- Be realistic
Don’t try to have 3 hours of self-care each day… especially if you have little children, this is going to be highly challenging. Start small and build up. If your children have never known mummy to spend time in quiet alone, they will find it difficult at first to leave you in peace. But start small. Put a timer next to them and let them know they can come to mummy once the timer has finished (unless there is an emergency of course)
Self-care isn’t a want it is a need! We need the time to wind down and recharge. The lie that is told that self-care is a waste of time is scientifically incorrect. Instead, self-care allows us to be able to give more to the ones we love. It isn’t easy at first, but with consistency, determination and intentionality it is possible to make self-care an every day part of our daily routine. By taking time to breathe we can be the best version of ourselves so we can give the best to our family.
What do you do for self-care?
I’d love to know what self-care ideas you have. Put them in the comments below so we can get new and exciting self-care ideas to try.