How often do you take care of yourself? And how do often do you take care of yourself before others?
For many parents, the concept of self-care is low down on their priority list, something to be fitted in once everyone else has been seen to. But actually, self-care is important to keep yourself and your family healthy, and neglecting it can have unwelcome consequences. Here are a few reasons why self-care is important:
Help yourself to help others
I’ve lost count of the number of quotes and affirmations I’ve seen about making sure that your own ‘glass’ is full before you look after your family. Actually, it makes a lot of sense, if you’re not in the right condition as a parent, both physically and mentally, then you can’t give your all to your family. I’m not saying that you’ve got to be running a marathon every weekend; do what works for you to make you feel good inside. If your child wasn’t feeling 100% then we would get them to rest or do something fun to cheer them up, but often we don’t follow our own advice!
Save Yourself Time and Money
Taking good care of yourself should mean that you’re generally healthier and don’t get ill as often (although don’t quote me on that!) We all know that reducing our stress levels is good for our mind and bodies, and self-care is an important part of that. Having something to look forward to at the end of a day, however small it may be, can really work wonders.
It benefits the whole family
Although it can seem daunting to spend time away from your children, especially on ‘indulgences’ like getting your hair cut or a much needed night out, it can be beneficial for everyone. Your children will boost their social skills and will love seeing you being well-rested and relaxed. Plus the excitement of seeing them again is all part of the fun.
What can you do?
We hear about this a lot and many of us consider meditation a bit hocus pocus but hear me out. You don’t have to chant or go to a hippified meditation class. Ten minutes a day can really help you reset and, before long, will be something you actually look forward to. Just ten minutes! Try popular apps like Headspace or Calm, which offer free trials, or YouTube for stuff that is free forever!
Get out and walk
Grab a walk at lunchtime or take the long route on the way to school pick-up. However you fit it into your routine, even a small brisk walk when it’s freezing does wonders to lift your mood and make you feel like you’re doing something just for you. This one also helps your physical fitness = double winner!
Practice a hobby
If you’re anything like me, you feel guilty about simply going off to be on your own even though that’s exactly what is needed on a regular basis! My code for “I need time out alone” is that I’m heading out with my camera. My hobby is photography so I use it as a great excuse to be alone for an hour at weekends or as the evenings get lighter. Ask yourself, what do you enjoy doing? Join an art class or choir and find like-minded people to discuss anything other than your daily grind!
Hit the salon
Whilst there are lots of free, small things you can do, let’s face it: everyone loves a salon treat! Gemma’s favourite place for self-care is Kala Beauty in South Farm Road. It’s run by two fantastic mums, Kelly and Angela, and is a lively salon offering a range of treatments. There’s massages, brows, lashes and facials, as well as ear piercing and stunning nail art with Nina. The treatments are super relaxing and the whole team are brilliant at making you feel comfortable.
The team recently won the Sunniest Service Sector business in the Sunny Worthing awards and thanks to their amazing success, they’re moving to bigger premises. This will allow them to offer even more luxurious and relaxing treatments. They’re officially opening their new salon with a party on Saturday 13th April from 12.00pm, with goody bags, bubbles, and special offers.
Ask for help
This is kind of a biggie. You cannot do anything for your own care if you are constantly bogged down with the day-to-day running of your life. Can you ask someone to have the kids for an hour while you hit the gym? Can your husband do bathtime & bed while you cosy up with a good book? Delegate, girl! Your happiness depends on it.
Most importantly: Don’t make self-care another chore
Whatever you do, however you carve out a bit of time for yourself, don’t make it another chore that you put yourself under pressure for. Make it your priority but please don’t beat yourself up if today was just too busy! Maybe an early night will be your way of taking care of yourself today? Don’t compare yourself to what others are doing. Be grateful for what you do achieve and pay attention to how good you felt doing that one act of self-care, whatever it was.
Do you already practise self-care on a regular basis? Or do you need to do more? Do you have any tips for others reading this? Have you discovered something really fun for yourself? Do share!