Updated: Jun 5, 2019
I have to admit that I have not always been the best with self-care. For years I have focused on everyone else making sure they were happy and always putting myself last. However, as is always the case the years of not looking after myself caught up on me and I ended up so run down.
That is when I realised I needed to put the time in to take care of myself not only for me but also for the rest of the family as when I am run down I can’t look after them.
As a busy parent finding time for myself is easier said than done but to ensure I put in some self-care every day I factor in 2 activities daily that help me relax and feel refreshed.
The first one is quite simply taking 5 mins, usually when I get home from work before dealing with dinner and the endless chores. I will make myself a cup of tea and sit down on the sofa, or at the kitchen table and chill. I find this helps me relax, clear my head and once I have enjoyed my tea break I find I am refreshed and ready to tackle the rest of the day. I know it may sound such a simple thing but how many times have you made tea and then forgot about it until it had gone cold or found that you are drinking your tea in between doing other things. I find just setting myself this small amount of time which can be easily achieved every day helps me to unwind and also gives me a new found energy to carry on with the day.
The second activity that I do daily that really helps me unwind and zone out from the real world is reading. I love to read so every night before going to sleep I lay in bed for around 30 mins to an hour reading my book. Reading for me is the best type of escapism, I forget about all my troubles and my full attention goes into reading my book. I also find reading before bed helps me fall asleep quicker and I have a better night sleep than if I didn't read.
When I do manage to find the time I go for a run or a long walk. I find these activities help me to feel refreshed and clear my head. They are great activities to do alone or with the whole family. I always find being out in the fresh air exercising invigorating and when running I am normally using up so much energy that my brain doesn’t have the capacity to worry about everything going on in my life and instead I can just stay focused and in the now.
I also find listening to music helps to relax and uplift my mood. I will have the radio on in the morning when we are getting ready, listen to my i-pod on the way to work, listen to music when exercising and also when doing housework. Music puts joy and a smile on my face, especially when doing mundane tasks like the housework. I will happily sing and dance away to myself this is also a great way to get some alone time as my kids get embarrassed when I do and go as far away from me as they can.
No matter how big or small we all need to ensure that we are taking time out for ourselves to feel refreshed and ready to take on the world (or just a hectic family).
Written By Cheryl Lee-White of The Simple Mum Blog
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