Caring for ourselves is probably bottom of our to-do list. We’re always too busy rushing around, making sure everyone else is OK and happy before we assess our own situations. But that needs to change. It’s time to realise that you’re important too and the only way you can help others, is by helping yourself first.
It’s important to remember that self-care isn’t a one-off kind of thing. It’s something that needs to be practised on a regular basis in order for it to take effect. It’s not just about taking a long, hot soak in a bubble bath, or giving yourself a baby-free evening to spend some time with the girls. It’s about learning to love ourselves again, and discovering how to be kind to the person staring back at us in the mirror.
I’ve found it extremely difficult to fulfil my need for self-care. It’s challenged me into thinking about what actually makes me happy and what my needs are. This has been a difficult task.
For me, self care has been a journey of discovery about me. Me, myself and I. The new me, the mum, the 23-year-old, the lost soul. It’s about realising that I don’t need to apologise for every move I make. That I’m not wrong for the decisions I make. It’s about believing in myself and the dreams I know I’m capable of fulfilling.
There’s a little saying, ‘if you don’t love yourself, there ain’t nobody who’s going to love you’ and that’s so true. So learn to love who you are, blemishes and all, and you’re sure to see a difference in your mood. But in the meantime, some little self-care practises wouldn’t hurt either, so here are a few I like to do.
Go for a walk | Sometimes fresh air really is the best medicine and so simply taking a walk can clear our minds, make us feel refreshed and like a whole new person again.
Switch off your phone | The days I’ve put my phone down, not looked at social media and just taken a little social detox have been more wonderful than I could have imagined. We live in such a digital age where our lives literally revolve around the internet, so it’s nice to sit back and relax without sifting through ‘perfect’ pictures.
Light a candle | I love dotting candles throughout our house and lighting them to give me that feeling of zen.
Buy yourself flowers | Fresh flowers always put a smile on my face and if there’s no special occasion on the horizon that may be a reason for you to receive a bunch from a loved one, then why not buy yourself some instead?
Go to bed early | I’m rubbish on an evening and regularly fall asleep on the sofa earlier than I’d like to admit but I have to say the odd time I take myself up to bed when I’m tired, I wake up feeling like a whole new woman.
Cut out the toxic people | As we get older we realise who is meant to be in our lives and who simply isn’t. By cutting out the toxic people who bring us down or add no value to our lives, we’ll be able to focus more on happiness. Motherhood happens to do this quite naturally and those who don’t care, won’t bother with you anyway.
Stop comparing | This is particularly difficult for me and I’m not sure how and if I’ll actually achieve it. But in order for us to focus on self care, we must stop comparing ourselves to those around us. Social media is a huge factor in this and so by combining this with turning off our phones more and switching off from the internet, we might just be able to achieve it.
Declutter | I’m by no means the tidiest of people, but I do feel calmer in an organised environment. As they say, a tidy house leads to a tidy mind.
Soak in a bubble bath | Now I know I said earlier than focusing on self care isn’t all about relaxing in the tub, but it does help to put your mind to rest. Just lie back and enjoy this quiet moment to yourself. Why not take a book in there with you too?
How do you like to focus on self care? I’d love to hear your tips too!