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Being a busy mum, it can be hard finding time to fit self-care in. I’m a single working mum and I don’t get much support with the kids from family and friends at the moment.
This means I’m basically doing everything single handily (with a little help from my daughter).
I love my self-care, well I need it to survive and when I lost some of the support I got from their dad, firstly I didn’t know how I would cope, let alone get any self-care in. I went from having child-free days to having them 24/7.
So I challenged myself to get as much self-care in as I could, in fact, I needed more than before as I needed to be calm and happy if I was going to do this.
It’s now been 4 months since I’ve had my children full time and I’m feeling better than I ever had. I’ve found ways to fit my self-care in and I’ve also felt motivated to become healthier.
Being a full-time mum who works is like have 3 jobs!! So I knew that I needed to include more things around my physical health as well as my mental health.
The great thing is, when you improve your physical, you also improve your mental health!!
It’s a win-win!!
So how did I manage to get more self-care in my day when I have less free time?!
Making it my focus meant I could prioritise self-care over things that don’t matter as much and I found ways to make time for self-care.
It was a challenge but I feel so happy I did it because not only do I feel like I can survive being a single mum but I can actually thrive (let’s be honest, I do have my moments of stress like all mums do!!)
With every act of self-care your authentic self gets stronger, and the critical, fearful mind gets weaker. Every act of self-care is a powerful declaration: I am on my side, I am on my side, each day I am more and more on my own side.Susan Weiss Berry
Making self-care a priority means I am a better mum, friend and work colleague. I am just a better person all around!
Self-Care Hacks for Busy Moms
Here are some to the ways I managed to get enough self-care in my life!!
Schedule Regular Self-Care Daily
The first thing I did was make sure I had 3 self-care practices scheduled in for the day. This was going to be the minimum self-care I would get, so even if I had a busy day I would still have some self-care planned.
I also made sure that they didn’t take too long to do and they were scheduled at times where I didn’t have the kids.
The first thing I did was write down the child-free time I had, like when they were asleep or when they were at school. I then looked at what 3 things I could fit into these times and scheduled them in.
So my 3 things were 5 deep breaths when I wake up, meditate before bed and listen to my affirmations on the way to work.
I make sure I do these 3 things every day and they soon became a habit!
Taking Self-Care Breaks
This one you can do at work or at home. I recently quit smoking but when I did smoke I regularly went out for a cigarette. Part of me did it for a break (obviously the other part was addicted lol)
So when I quit I decided to carry on going for breaks but make them a lot healthier.
So when I’m at work, I regularly get up and go for a walk around the building. Or sometimes I’ll do a quick 5-minute mediation from my meditation app (only if I’m the only one in the office!)
When I’m at home with my toddler, I do still try to go upstairs to have about 5 minutes of quiet time. Sometimes I get away with it, sometimes he follows me 😂.
I try to do it at times where he is more chilled, like after we have been to the park and he wants to relax for a bit.
Even if you only manage to go upstairs, sit on your bed and do a few mindful breaths, it will still help.
You aren’t doing “nothing” when you choose to put your well-being first. In fact, this is the key to having everything.Brittany Burgunder
Deep Breathing Throughout the day
Another good practice to do throughout the day is deep breathing. This is a practice I started when I quit smoking. It’s amazing how much calmer you feel after taking a few deep breaths.
We always have our breath, so no matter what you are doing you can always take some deep breaths to centre you and calm your mind.
If you want to go a step further, you can try some Yoga breathing. My favourite is alternative nostril breathing (although this one is best done in private lol)
Here are some different Yoga breathing techniques for you to try:
Living in the Moment
Being mindful is the best self-care practice you can do. The more you live in the moment, the happier you will feel.
I love being self-aware and I noticed I feel frustrated when I’m not being mindful, especially with my kids.
So the move mindful I am, the calmer my whole house is.
I give people my full attention now, especially my children. I can tell when I’m not being mindful when my children are playing up!!
Our children are our biggest mirrors.
When they are having problems, it’s usually a reflection on us.
So I try to be as mindful as possible, for the benefit of myself and my children.
Get up Early…….or not
So many people advise you to get up early so you can fit more into your day. I kind of agree but I also believe you need to listen to your body.
Women are cyclical beings, so I find when I’m not on my period I usually wake up early. However, when I’m on my period or just feeling run down, I tend to stay in bed for as long as possible.
I’ve started listing to my body a lot more, so sometimes more sleep is better than getting more done.
There are no hard rules on life if you need more sleep or to leave the dishes till tomorrow to get some more self-care in….do it!!!
I’ve started asking myself “what’s more important right now?” Is it more important to do some washing or to get an early night?
The answer depends on how I’m feeling but it is usually self-care over doing more as I know if I push myself I can easily burnout!
The time you take away from obligations, parties, and even the people you love in order to soothe your own soul doesn’t require an apology.Jennifer Williamson
Embrace Your Skincare Routine
This is a great little hack!! Everyone has a skincare routine, so why not make it a little EXTRA!!
I’ve invested more into my skincare and created a longer routine. I used to be a quick wash my face and go!!
Now I’ve added nicer creams and oils to my routine.
When I’m moisturising my skin I say affirmations to myself. My favourite ones are:
I am radiant
I am beautiful
I am grateful for my body
I love my body
I love you
Just taking a little bit of extra time, care and love to your skin really makes a difference.
I also try to give myself a mini facial when I’m applying my oils to my face in the evening when I have a bit more time.
It feels so good to give my skin more attention!!
Looking After Your Body
So I have put a lot of focus on trying to become healthier. This is mainly because I felt so tired and I was struggling to have the energy to get through the day.
The main things I focused on was improving my diet and getting more exercise. I started to eat more plant-based meals and making sure I get enough fruit and veg in my day.
Eating healthier is also good for your mental health, as well as your body. If you want to find out the benefits of different foods, check out Medical Medium’s Life-Changing Foods
When it comes to exercise, I usually do a lot of Yoga but I wanted to add some cardio into my life. So I started a Boxercise class, which is so great for getting any frustration out!
My local gym also has a crèche, which is great if you don’t have anyone to help you with childcare. My son loves meeting new children, so this is a perfect option for me.
A great way to do more exercise is to track your fitness. What we focus on grows!! Using a Fitbit will help you track your health, including how much exercise you are getting!!
Other great ways to get exercise into your day are:
- Taking the kids out for a walk
- Walking instead of taking the car/bus
- Doing Yoga with the kids
- Taking the stairs instead of the lift
- Have a dance party
Adding a Little Positivity to Your day
There are so many other little things you can do in your day to feel more positive. Self-care is all about feeling good, so it’s about doing lots of small things that you love.
Here are some of the things I do to feel good:
- Smile more
- Listen to my favourite music
- Having a phone detox
- Reading a good book
- Writing my gratitude list
- Learning something new
- Watch a great film
- Giving more complements
- Letting go
- Painting my nails
- Drinking more water
The love and attention you always thought you wanted from someone else, is the love and attention you first need to give to yourself.Bryant McGillns
You can always find ways to fit self-care in, even if you are a busy mom!! Let me know in the comments below if you have any tips on how to get enough self-care!!