- by Emma Benyon -
As a mother you've heard the word ‘self-care’ so much – “make time for yourself, it’s important”. However, when there are 500 things on your to-do lists and you are being pulled in many different directions, how can you create time for this, if you are already feeling stretched and exhausted?
So let’s bust some of those myths first!
Self-care, simply put, can be anything that makes you feel good, brings you that inner calmness and joy and ultimately leaves you feeling nourished with more energy.
It is not something that needs to cost anything and it is not something that should feel like it’s an additional thing that we have to do.
Self-care can be different things to different people and what makes you feel good one day might not have the same effect another day (how we feel and what we need can vary daily.)
There isn’t a time frame to how much self-care you ‘need’ to do for it to be effective, even introducing five minutes each day will make a huge difference.
And it doesn’t need to be something you do alone either, it could be with your children, partner, friends or family.
So, what is it that makes you feel good, brings inner calmness and joy and leaves you feeling nourished?
Self-care is a fundamental practice to supporting your mental health, your resilience and your ability to parent from the very best resourced version of yourself as women and mothers (for us and our children.) It does not have to cost money, it can simply be taking the time to sit with a coffee in silence for five minutes in the morning and focusing on your intentions for the day.
Simply put, self-care can make you feel like you, gives you time for you, and increases your energy. Self-care is all about giving you vitality. Whether that be five minutes, five hours or five days, allow yourself to be your main priority. It can be any practice or activity that brings you joy, calmness and a smile to your face. Think back to a time when your child has been doing an activity and they are full of joy and happiness - self-care can give you that same ‘glimmer’.
Nourishing yourself can support you, as a mum, in being able to show up as the very best version of yourself and as a mum to your children. Being able to parent from a place of awareness of how you are feeling and what your needs are, can allow you to model this behaviour for your children, so that they can, as they grow, learn how to nourish their energy and needs. This self-awareness is also key to allowing you to focus on what you can do to best support yourself with the resources you have.
Being able to understand your needs and meet them means that you can operate from a place of balance and coherency in all aspects of your life. Self-awareness of what will support you is one of the greatest things you can do to help you move forward, as can being curious and trying different practices to see what works for you. So listen to your body, and become curious about what it might need.
Self-care is more beneficial when it is part of your daily life. It is often something that needs to be scheduled or it is likely to not happen (as there are often so many other things on the never-ending list of jobs). Though, that being said, you don’t want it to feel like it’s something else to do, something else to feel guilty about. This is why adding it where you can is important, around what you are already doing. For example, listening to a meditation whilst you have your morning coffee, journaling whilst you wait in the car to pick the kids up from school or instead of mindlessly scrolling on social media you could read a book for 10 minutes.
The more you add in those practices daily, the more they will become a habit and the more you will notice a difference in how you can navigate your days. Think of self-care in terms of marginal gains, the smaller changes you make, over time, the bigger the difference. Noticing the changes you feel and see when you have taken some time for yourself and added in self-care practice. This will allow you to visualise the difference made by adding a couple of simple practices.
Self-care can be as small a practice as you want or need it to be, it does not have to be spa days, holidays, or days out, it could simply be five minutes with a coffee in the morning journalling or an evening walk for 15 minutes. Spend some time looking at your daily schedules and see where you can plan in 5/10 minutes a day where you can take this time. This will help it feel more achievable and remember it’s not the quantity of the self-care practice, it is the quality of the practice and what is right for you then.
Listen to your body and what it is telling you, really listen to what it is saying. You have all the answers for what you can do to support yourself at any given time, so trust them.
So as we head into Spring, the time of re-growth, re-birth, new growth, new birth, the time to plant the seeds ready to bloom, here are some simple self-care practices to explore over the coming months. These practices can be explored on your own or even with your children too, inviting them to take care of themselves and support themselves with nourishing their own body and mind.
Simple Spring Self-Care Practices
Get outside in your garden and plant some seeds to watch bloom over the next few months.
Go for a walk around your local park - see what new life you can spot (this is a perfect activity to do with your children too). This will allow you to be present in the moment.
Start a new book and spend some time each week reading a chapter.
Journal using the prompt ‘What do I want to start to bloom this spring?’
Create some spring decorations for your house - for example, some Easter decorations or even some paper flowers or floral fabric napkins.
Tidy your wardrobe and bring out those spring outfits.
Create a vision board for all of your hopes, wishes and goals for this spring.
Spring is a time for allowing new things to grow and nurturing what you already have, so it is the perfect time to start to add in some simple, nurturing self-care practices. Allow yourself to bloom this spring.
Emma Benyon is a Self-care and Motherhood Coach and Educator, helping overwhelmed mums find balance and clarity. She is the editor of Positive Wellbeing Zine for Mums and host of the Self Care and Motherhood Edit. Emma supports mums in thriving and creating their desired lives through coaching, courses, workshops, and group programs.
Website - emmabenyoncoaching.co.uk
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