Time plays an important role in overall life satisfaction and wellbeing. So when we feel time pressure, we end up with experiences of stress, depression, and sleep and other health issues.
Mothers in particular tend to experience the sense of being time poor because of their constant balancing of roles such as homemaker, caregiver, partner, parent and so on.
Taking control of your time, including periods of self-care, is very important for mothers to consciously and actively prioritise. We often think of self-care as a luxury when in fact, without it, the whole family suffers. Mum’s self-care is not a selfish act. It is not healthy for a frayed, exhausted mum to keep pushing herself to do more.
Yes, there will always be things that need doing, so how do we learn to prioritise and incorporate periods of self-care?
- Schedule self-care into your weekly or monthly activities.
- Keep it practical, simple and doable. Self-care involves activities that you find good for your body and your soul. Those things that bring you joy.
- Make a mental (or written) list of both short and longer activities that you can realistically add to your time schedule. Anything from five minutes to an hour or half a day.
Here are some examples of self-care:
- Once a week, light a scented candle (meant only for you) to use while you take a bath after the kids are in bed.
- Listen to your favourite music for 10 minutes after you have dropped the kids at school.
- Sit with a cup of tea on the patio in the morning before everyone wakes up. Savour the stillness.
- Make sure you eat well.
- Get your body moving. Go for a solo walk around the neighbourhood on a Sunday afternoon or lock the door, put a short movie on for the kids and do some light stretches.
- Swap childminding with a friend once a month so that you can each have a few hours to go for a massage, have a long nap, go shopping or read a book uninterrupted.
- Keep connected with a good friend of two. Sharing our lives with girlfriends is a healthy stress release.
- Plan in advance for one or two longer periods of time to yourself each year.
- Pick up a hobby or activity you love but have neglected.
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