Busy mum? No time for this illusive ‘self-care’ your less busy friends constantly speak of? Girl, we got you.
Self-care is all about taking some time out to care for your ‘self’ – that’s kind of a no-brainer. But when you think about the many parts that make up your ‘self’ – your mind, your body, your soul – finding a self-care routine and sticking to it can be pretty darn time-consuming.
So, we’ve come up with a foolproof way to make sure you’re fitting a bit of self-lovin’ into your daily routine, while still having time for the 101 other things you’re meant to be doing that very second.
It’s less of a ‘routine’, more of a ‘cut and paste’ approach to self-care. But, hey – it’s definitely better than nothing! Try to fit in a few of these self-care habits every day and see if you notice a difference.
- PUZZLES: we don’t necessarily mean dusting off that old 1000-piecer you’ve got sitting in your board games cupboard, although dedicating even 10 minutes a day to work on a puzzle can be very calming. Having a Sudoku or Crossword book in your handbag can provide a great little time-out – and some light stimulation for your mind muscles – particularly if you spend a lot of time waiting for your kids to finish their 12th extra-curricular activity of the week.
- READ: reading is a massive part of our kids’ education but, for some reason, a lot of us don’t consider it important in adulthood. But even pencilling 10 minutes of reading into your night-time schedule can make a real difference to your stress levels, mental stimulation and knowledge. So tonight, put down your phone at least 30 minutes before bed time and give yourself a bit of time to read before nodding off.
- EXERCISE: exercise is typically considered physical care, but we want to talk about the mental benefits that it can bring you! There’s a reason so many doctors recommend exercise as a treatment for depression, anxiety and stress – it can help you think better, boost your self-esteem and resilience, and help you sleep. In the wise words of Elle Woods, “exercise gives you endorphins, endorphins make you happy – happy people don’t kill their husbands”.
- STRETCH: you don’t need a yoga mat to have a good stretch. Simply turning your head from side to side, rolling your shoulders back and forth or stretching out your hamstrings can improve flood flow, which can allegedly boost your energy and even help with digestive function! Score!
- MASSAGE: trigger point therapy is fantastic for releasing painful knots or tension, but did you know you can do a simplified version all by yourself? Have a tennis ball on hand – for example, in the door of your car – and give yourself a DIY trigger point massage whenever you need.
- PAMPER: whether your routine includes shaving, cleansing, toning, exfoliating, moisturising, spray tanning and nail painting, or simply spending an extra minute in the shower, everyone loves a good pamper sesh. If you’re DIYing it, don’t underestimate the power of aromas to set the tone – even if it’s as simple as buying a new lemon or lavender body wash.
- AFFIRMATIONS: standing in front of your mirror and repeating words of encouragement might seem unproductive – and even a little silly – but actual psychologists attest to the fact that affirmations can boost your ‘psychological immune system’ and have a noticeable impact on your perspective and positivity. You. Are. Worth. It.
- MEDITATION: Hollywood celebs say it’s all the rage, but don’t forget that mediation is an age-old technique that has been said to improve your concentration, relieve stress and increase your happiness. There are plenty of apps out there that offer meditations as short as five minutes if you need a little help!
- BREATHE IN, BREATHE OUT: who knew breathing could be classed as ‘self-care’? The calming effects of simply inhaling and exhaling can do a world of good for your mood and focus, so it’s important to take a few moments in your day to just breathe.