Let’s talk self-care for mums. As a mum you want to do it all; be an amazing mum, a lovely wife, a great friend, excel in your career, while staying fit, looking good and making it all look as if it the easiest to juggle.
Fact is, finding balance and inner peace is extremely hard for busy mums who try to do it all. Many run on an empty tank, feeling powerless and stressed. Craving for more balance and want to feel ‘good enough’. So, where to start?
First, understand that you can’t do it all without at some point running into a wall. So accept that sometimes life isn’t perfect and learn to say no. But how to do this? When it comes to self-care for mums, here are some habits to integrate in your life to create balance:
Days are often extremely full and jam-packed with activities so adding another to the list that doesn’t immediately reveal many benefits can seem overwhelming. However, when you practice meditation regularly you will see a multitude of benefits flood into your life such as more clarity, inner-peace and an overall sense of control and wellbeing.
You will notice you complete tasks and makes decisions with greater ease and in turn begin to enjoy life more, be present with your loved ones and feel more fulfilled at work.
Silatha has created a special meditation series for mums, meditations start as short as one minute. Even the craziest day, you have one minute to spare. And you’ll grow a more balanced life over time.
Learn to say ‘NO’
Some people are better at this than others, but many of us struggle to say no, whether it’s to please s others or not to miss out, saying no doesn’t always come naturally. But it should and you shouldn’t be left feel guilty afterwards.
It’s okay to say no sometimes, and to not take on extra work if you don’t think you can manage or it will stress you out. You can only take care of others, after you have taken care of yourself, so be aware not to run into burn out.
How to define what to say no to? If it’s not a big YES, it is a no. You can’t give your time to everything and everyone. Saying no is empowering. Saying ‘no’ is a massive act of self-care and gift to yourself.
Next time you do not feel sure about going somewhere or accepting the extra workload, say no. In a polite and thoughtful manner, with a full heart and without guilt.
Moving stimulates brain development and is a great way to release stress. Find a way of exercising that you enjoy. If you’re not into running, go for a walk. It doesn’t has to be a extreme sport, but move, be it biking, yoga, lifting weights, or maybe join a class where others can inspire you to go.
Ideally, start your day with 20 minutes of exercise. Why not try walk or bike your kids to school and leave the car at home? Just make sure you move.
You might always ensure your kids have a healthy lunch and dinner prepared, but are you also feeding yourself with fresh vegetables? It’s important to take the time for each meal and make sure you get the needed vitamins through your food and not letting this slip.
Do you take the time to sit down for lunch and not multitask? Mindful eating has been proven to reduce many negative consumption habits, leaving you feeling more satisfied.
Learn from others
There are days where you are in total flow and everything simply works out, you wake up full of energy, the kids are calm and everything seems to flow. Most of this is driven by your own energy and intention. When you are relaxed and grounded, you send this energetic vibration out.
Though it isn’t possible to have this flow every day, learning from others and knowing that you’re not alone, will help on your journey. Talk with your friends openly about your bad days, dare to be vulnerable. Or if that is too uncomfortable, join an online group. Silatha for example has a Facebook group called Silatha Journey where you can share how you feel and learn from others.
Being grateful offers you lots. While experiencing gratitude does provide a warm feeling inside of us, a gratitude practice also increases the production of neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine, and increases activity in the hypothalamus. Serotonin is frequently referred to as the “feel good” hormone.
Studies have shown that practicing gratitude has mental, physical, and social benefits. With increased gratitude comes an increase in life satisfaction, better moods, resilience, ability to sleep, immune system strength, feelings of connectedness to others, prosocial behaviours, energy levels, and overall physical health. The more we take the time to be thankful for what we have, who surrounds us, and our life experiences, the more balanced your overall life will become.
Make it a habit to everyday when you wake up, write down three things that you’re grateful for. Before going to sleep, note down your most beautiful moment of the day.
Journaling helps you meet your goals and improves your quality of life. It can help you clear your head, make important connections between thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. It will help to improve your mood by: helping you prioritise problems, fears, and concerns. Tracking any symptoms day-to-day also allows you to recognise triggers and learn ways to better control them.
It also provides an opportunity for positive self-talk and identifying negative thoughts, enhances your sense of well-being and also improves your working memory. It has been scientifically proven that journaling is an incredible stress management tool and is an overall good-for-you habit that lessens the impact of physical stressors on your health.
In fact, a study showed that journaling for only 15 to 20 minutes a day three to five times over the course of a four-month period was enough to lower blood pressure and improve liver functionality. Plus, writing about stressful experiences can help you manage them in a healthy way. Try establishing journaling the moment you wake up, or/and before going to sleep.
We hope you found these tips on self-care for mums useful. What do you do to try and incorporate self-care into your life?
About the author
Veroniek Vermeulen is the founder of Silatha – a meditation app that incorporates proven scientific methods with psychology. Her journey began when she discovered meditation, and the calm and fulfilment it could bring to her busy, daily routine.