Diary Adventures of LagosMums | Mums Is Self-Care Selfish or Necessary
Mums focusing on your self-care is not selfish. If you ever had this idea, believe me when I say it is absolutely false. The same way that your car needs regular service, the same way you need to sleep, find the time to shower, eat and do other things you need to survive is the same way that self-care is important.
What is self-care in simple English? it means taking care of yourself. It means being intentional and planning it into your busy schedule. When you make time for it, then you will not always be operating from a place of half empty. Rather when you regularly partake in self-care you are able to ensure that you are at your best. When you are at your best, your family, children, spouse, business, job and all the other hats you wear will get the best of you. This is not selfish at all!
According to a dictionary definition, self-care is the practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress. It includes expressing oneself, as this is an essential form of self-care.
Having an enabling environment and feeling safe enough to express yourself is part of self-care and it is important for your well being. Find a community of people going through the same things as you; friends, your coach, spouse or anyone that lets you feel safe to express yourself regularly.
Not taking care of yourself as a mum is more emotionally costly. Being stressed out as a mum means your kids are scared of approaching you, you could strain your relationships with your spouse and kids and you might have feelings of resentment because you give so much and might not feel appreciated the way you expect.
Practical Ways to Practise Self-Care
This means planning for your me time. You need to plan it because in between busy and taking care of all the demands of other people, self-care tends to fall to the bottom of the list. Self-care, first of all, does not have to break the bank nor does it have to cost any money at all. Some of it could include pausing, speaking out about how you feel and take some time to center yourself and feel better. You could get on a phone call with a friend, listen to music, take a quick nap, go for a massage or drink a cup of tea. The point is that there is no right or wrong self-care method, as long as it is focused on your well-being then it can work.
Have rest Times
You need to rest, while a good nights sleep is important we are talking about being able to take periods to rest during the day. Taking breaks in between your busy schedule is important for your well-being. Have you heard of mummy brain? that is thinking about a million things at the same time. It is advisable to have windows of rest throughout your day, and you might just be amazed at how this will reduce your anxiety and stress levels. Some easy ways to build in rest could be to set a timer and stop a particular work activity after 25 minutes, get up and stretch or practice deep breathing. Do not rush your meals, put your phone down and try to have a slow lunch without rushing or doing a million other things. The point is to slow down a bit and truly have rest or break times.
When it comes to expectations you cannot control how anyone else behaves, not even your children; the only thing you control is yourself and your attitude. As a mum, there will always be periods that are stressful but it cannot be chronic stress that is never-ending. [Read: DALM| Stress is Not Cute]
A Mum who loves herself and is kind to herself will be the absolute best mum possible. You cannot give what you do not have, so if you are not loving yourself, affirming yourself and being your biggest cheerleader, it could be difficult to do this for your children and family. Children pick up our vibes and if we are always stressed, rushing around and not in control of our day then your children will start to mirror that and be harried and anxious. Rather take the time when you wake up to speak words of power to yourself, affirm yourself, say a word of prayer to start the day, wake up a little earlier to have time with yourself before you jump into the day.
All of these are simply tips, the main thing is to realize that self-care is not selfish. Your well being needs to be a priority, only then can you truly do all the things that matter to you for yourself and your family.