We all spout that ‘self-care is a must’ or ‘happy mum, happy children’ but in reality, how many of us actually take time out for ourselves? And I don’t mean hiding in the hallway hanging out the tonnes of washing (that’s my trick). I’m guilty of needing that ‘time to myself’ once the kids are in bed, but I don’t often use the time productively – usually scrolling through Instagram and staying up too late or on the rare nights ‘off’ it usually results in too many drinks and late nights; which definitely doesn’t help the cause of feeling spritely and refreshed.
What is self care?
The Law of Attraction describes it as “a broad term that encompasses just about anything you to do be good to yourself. In a nutshell, it’s about being as kind to yourself as you would be to others. It’s partly about knowing when your resources are running low, and stepping back to replenish them rather than letting them all drain away”
So with that in mind, here’s my list of self-care tips that I must start doing more of:
- Book regular trips for nails/lashes/facials – yes, it might seem excessive but I’m sure if you look closely at where you spend you could rein in other areas where you probably waste money (for me – it would definitely be takeaways/lunches out/coffee stops)
- Turn the TV off, set the lights low and grab a good book. There is nothing better than curling up and getting lost amongst the pages. I’ve got so into reading that I’ve set myself a reading challenge and am trying to complete two books a month – I write about them monthly – here’s February’s!
- Get the bubbles out, run the bath, light the candles, choose your music playlist and set yourself an ‘at home pampering session’ complete with face packs, hair masques and the razor (anyone else neglect their leg hair? It can’t just be me, can it?!) Once you’re refreshed and out, complete the pampering with a polish to your fingers and toes.
- Get the old photo albums out! We spent a fortune on a wedding photographer and since our gorgeous wedding pack arrived, we’ve never ever looked back through the photos! I’m going to make this my first photo album to look through and then delve further back; think of it as an old school Instagram scroll.
- Switch off your phone – or at least ‘Flight Mode’ it. There’s nothing more time (or mind) zapping than scrolling through social media looking and comparing yourself to others. I did a lot of Flight Mode’ing at the start of the year (when I set my 2019 parenting resolutions) and mentally, I did feel so much lighter. Old habits die hard though and again I find my usage creeping back up, so I’ve decided to make more of an effort with this one.
- Cook from scratch. Stuart’s the cook in our house but since I started at Slimming World I’ve really enjoyed cooking different styles of food, branching out from the standard chilli/spag bol dinners to following recipes – I’ve actually found it really therapeutic. Plus I love food – so it’s win win, all round!
- Go walking. So often I would get in the car to go to our local shop, however since I’ve been trying to be a bit healthier (and since the intro to my Fitbit) I now choose to walk more – and actually, there’s nothing better to clear your head, thinking of nothing else apart from appreciating all the things along the way.
- It’s ok to say no to things if you just don’t fancy it. I learnt not to feel like I need to keep ‘catching all the balls’ from my counsellor who I had about my anxiety over sickness. I was the worst at always saying ‘Yes’ to everything, just because I felt like I couldn’t say no, or I wasn’t busy doing something else. Recently I’ve started to politely decline things if I just don’t fancy it, or if I’m knackered out and would rather lie on the sofa in my DG. People don’t get annoyed, they understand. Sometimes life is busy and we don’t need to be on the go, all of the time.
- Time with friends. It’s so easy to fall into the trap of work/home/school/school parties (rinse and repeat) but there is nothing better than a lunch/evening in or out catching up with friends. Luckily, my friends are the type where we can go literally months without seeing each other but when we get together, we fall right back into place like we saw each other yesterday. I always look forward to these days and for days after I’m on a high planning for the next meet up.
- We rise by lifting others. I found this quote online and it really resonated with me I’ve noticed the smallest things can make a big difference; I do the school run everyday and on my way to/from the school I’ll smile or say a ‘Good morning’ to whoever I happen to pass. It makes you feel good and you don’t know the difference that little action might make to someone else’s day.
What are your self care favourites? I’d love to hear some of your ideas!