Self care is a hot topic at the moment. Everyone has a different idea of what self care means, and rather than all trying to agree I think we all need to just accept that it looks different to everyone. For some people it’s pamper time, for other’s it’s ticking jobs off the to do list and for other’s it’s a hardcore gym session or seeing friends. The most important thing is that we actually get to have some self care once in a while, whatever that might look like for us. We all have things that stand in the way of us getting that time to refresh and recharge our batteries, and as busy mums sometimes it can feel impossible to get much time that is truly just for us. Even if someone takes the kids for an hour, most of us end up spending that time on housework or life admin, because it feels much more productive. But if there is one thing I’ve learnt over the last four years of motherhood, it’s that I’m no use to anyone if I’m burnt out. As they say ‘prevention is better than a cure’, and to me self care is the only prevention for burn out and overwhelm. It’s important, and it’s healthy to prioritise it once in a while.
Making time for self care
I was going to title this ‘finding time for self care’, but actually I think making time is more accurate. Most of us aren’t going to stumble across a spare half an hour just waiting for us in our every day lives. We need to actively seek out that time and organise ways for it to happen. I can only speak from my experience as a mum in a two parent family – I know it would be different if I was a single parent – but one thing which I am actively working on getting better at is asking my other half for help and support. I used to think that asking him to help was a sign of weakness but it’s really not. It’s totally necessary and good communication. As a stay at home mum I do the lions share of the childcare, I spend 90% of my time on mum duty and as such it’s easy to forget that I need time away too. I fall into the routine of doing everything because usually it’s just me at home with the kids. But slowly I’m learning that there are two of us, and that in the same way that I am stuck in my habits, so is my other half, and unless I communicate my needs to him, he isn’t going to magically read my mind! And he wants to help – he doesn’t want to live with a snappy, burnt out version of myself anymore than I don’t want to become that!
If you don’t have a partner, maybe you have close family and friends you can lean on for that bit of support and time to yourself. Don’t be afraid to ask for it, remember it is important and people who care about you will want to help you. When your children start nursery, preschool or school you will also get more time to yourself. But even when you have a young baby it is still possible to carve out some time for self care. I was truly terrible at this when my first daughter was a baby and looking back now I can see I was doing myself a huge disservice by not taking even the odd five minutes to myself. Let someone else hold the baby, or feed the baby (if they can), let them rock, or play, or cuddle while you go off and take five to recharge.
My self care
Like I mentioned earlier, self care really is going to look different for everyone. For me it’s anything that makes me feel refreshed and recharged. Usually that will be something that reminds me to focus on myself and my needs outside of the demands of motherhood. I need to feel like me for a bit not ‘just’ mum.
At the moment my favourite moments of self care are going to the gym, writing, having a pamper and switching off from social media to get lost in a good chick flick. My ultimate act of self care is definitely having a pamper evening. I try to make time once a week for this, that doesn’t always happen, but I do always try. I have a bath, wash my hair, do my fake tan, my gel nails and then put on my favourite pair of pyjamas to relax for the evening. It’s like a mini spa break in the comfort of my own home, and honestly – it keeps me sane!
Pretty You London
I was recently sent some beautiful, and oh so soft, pyjamas from Pretty You London. They are from their new Bamboo Collection which have many amazing benefits. Aside from being ridiculously soft and comfortable, the bamboo material is also temperature controlling, eco-friendly, hypoallergenic and has antibacterial properties. The range comes in the most beautiful soft neutral colours and also the striking ‘Luxe Leopard’ design which is the one that caught my eye. Alongside all the lovely pyjamas on their site, they also sell a divine range of slippers and sliders. I went for these grey sliders with the knotted detail and they are just perfect for pottering around the house in. It’s little things like wearing a nice pair of slippers which are easy every day acts of self care and a daily reminder that how you feel is important too. If I’m rushing around after the kids all day at home, doing it in a fabulous pair of slippers is a way of doing something for myself too. The slippers are also machine washable which is so helpful and means they will stay lovely for longer.
At the end of the day when it’s time to take off my usual mum uniform, it’s so lovely to slip into my bamboo pyjamas, which allow my skin to breathe. Putting on a fresh pair of pyjamas after a long day is a little luxury that all of us mums (and everyone!) deserve. The whole ethos behind Pretty You London is about helping women feel prettiest at home, and this year they are putting a big emphasis on the importance of self care in motherhood, because – as I’ve said – it’s so easy to get so swept up in life that we forget about ourselves. With that being said, I’ve teamed up with Pretty You London over on Instagram on a giveaway. Click here to enter, and the winner will be announced on the 27th March. I wish I could give all of you wonderful ladies a gift this Mother’s Day, but this seems like the perfect way to at least give something back to one of you! The prize is a pyjama set of your choice and also a pair of slippers of your choice, with no price limit. You can choose what you like.
What is your self care?
I’d love for you to come away from reading this post feeling inspired to take some time to yourself. So think about what self care means to you. What easy things can you add into your everyday life to be a bit kinder to yourself? And the next time you can have an hour, or even a day to yourself – how would you like to spend it? There really is no right or wrong answer, just make sure that you do something for you, that makes you feel good. It’s important to get in touch with what is going to recharge your batteries and not worry about what everyone else is doing. In case you need some inspiration, I’ve made three lists of easy self care ideas – five minutes, an hour and everyday acts – which will hopefully motivate you to include a bit more self care into your life. You deserve it!