By Hannah Schenker
Ah… self-care and mindfulness – no doubt you’ve come across these buzz words all too often in recent years, particularly relating to life as a busy/overwhelmed/burnt out mum. As mums, it’s almost our duty these days to include self-care and mindfulness in our lives, but there has been a tendency to confuse them with expensive, time-consuming, pampering-type activities – that are beyond reach for many. Both can easily sound like just another thing to add to the never-ending to-do list.
The good news is that self-care and mindfulness can easily be incorporated into a busy parent’s life, and they don’t have to cost a thing (unless you want them to).
What exactly is self-care? Aren’t we doing that on the daily already? Well yes, but it also goes deeper than that.
“Simply put, self-care is health-care. It’s nourishment for the head the heart and the body. It’s an act that nurtures your present self and makes an investment in your future self. So through that lens, you can see how a glass of wine savoured at the end of the day, can be an act of self-care, however, if that glass of wine turns into two or three and a late night, you’re hardly going to be thanking yourself for those choices in the morning. So, self-care is nourishment. It’s nurturing who you are right now, it’s meeting your needs in this moment, but it’s also taking care of the person that you’re becoming.” – Psychologist and Health Coach at The Mindful Mum, Suzy Reading.
Before you get turned off thinking this is already beyond you, let’s take a look at how you might incorporate this into your life.
Suzy says, “Self-care can actually consist of micro-moments, seconds of care, peppered throughout your day.”
Self-care is truly unique to everyone, but here are some examples to get you started:
- Say no to something you really don’t want to do
- Be in nature
- Notice and honour your feelings
- Keep hydrated
- Hold both hands on your teacup and sit down to enjoy it
- Smell your favourite scent
- Eat a nourishing breakfast
- Play uplifting tunes
- Forgive yourself
- Practice shoulder rolls
- Get to bed earlier
- Get out of the house and breathe fresh air
- Ask for help
- Listen to an uplifting podcast/audiobook
- Practice salutations to the sun while the kettle boils
- Take 3 deep breaths
We decided to ask Sally Wood at The Mindful Mum, what exactly mindfulness is, and for some tips on incorporating more of it into our lives.
What is mindfulness?
“I like to define mindfulness as a quality of paying attention to your present moment experience. It simply means “to remember”. It’s an innate quality inside all of us and something we all have the ability to tap into. Not only is it a type of meditation, but a way of being where you train your heart and mind to become more aware of your inner and outer exactly as it is. You do this by intentionally bringing an attitude of curiosity, openness and kindness. It’s relatively simple in theory, but harder in practice!” – Sally Wood, The Mindful Mum