Self Care is an interesting coin of phrase. I like it, but self care is foreign or at least a struggle for many mums who feel time poor and or financially limited. Most mums put their heart, soul, time and money into their family and for many, there isn’t a lot left over at the end of the fortnight. I, like hundreds and thousands of women around the globe struggle with taking time out to care for myself. There is always something to do, and someone is always asking something of us. Self Care? What even is that?
“In a general sense, self-care refers to activities undertaken with the intention of enhancing energy, restoring health and reducing stress. There are many ways to do this and self-care is something that can be personalised for every individual.”
When the kids were little, I felt like I was lucky if I got to go to the loo or have a shower without being barged in on, answer the phone and speak without an arguement breaking out, or NOT have my eye lid pulled up over my eyebrow at 5 am in the morning – after a night of trying to settle a baby (eldest child did this numerous times). In those days I told myself often that it was ‘Just a season’, and sure enough that season merged into the next new season, and then the next season, and so now here we are in 2018, two teenagers, 1 tween and a 7 year old. It’s still crazy and chaotic, but its different. For one thing I don’t have to worry about having my eye lid damaged by a little person.
The difference between having a toddler and a teenager in the house is not the amount of work, but the amount of deal making and driving. I used to laugh when people told me that it was easier when the children were younger, and sure enough I have found their wise words to be true. I don’t get jobs done now, not because the kids are rowdy, but because I spend my life driving them around.
So how does a mum do the whole self care thing when she feels like a time poor Uber driver. The rule is simple, though I am still learning to put it into practice for myself. The rule is that we have to say NO to some things that spontaneously come our way in our lives, and actually schedule our time. Write it in our calendar with a black pen, rather than pencil.
Pencils can be rubbed out!
What I love about taking time out for myself is that I feel so much better about my life and who I am when I do it.
I used to put a face mask on and read a book and sip a little glass of wine, but these days because I can’t see very well without my glasses, I have to choose face mask OR read my book. Sometimes I will put a face mask on and listen to a podcast or an audio book.
I love having time at home on my own. The house is quite and there is not a peep from any room. I find it rujuvenating having time alone at home. These days it rarely happens. Being a homeschooling family means that there is rarely an opportunity for time at home alone, so whenever it is possible I make it happen.
Recently I found a spot between Dicky Beach and Moffat Beach. There is a huge white house that sits half way between the two beaches and sits out on the headland. Just near this house is a green seat that looks out over the water. This same morning I sat and watched a pod of whales and dolphins playing in the ocean. I stayed for about half an hour before walking back to the car. As I headed back to my car, I felt relaxed, centred and balanced. Happy. Ready to take on the day and it felt good.
It doesn’t take much to rejuvenate the soul. When you rarely do it, you have no clue as to what to do with yourself when you do get the chance to ‘self care’, I used to feel anxious and excited. Anxious because I didn’t want to waste the short time I had on my own, but excited I was going to have some time on my own. I have found that when I take time for myself on a regular basis, I am less anxious about wasting time, and I find it a lot easier to enjoy every moment I get, because I will have another time in the near future to do that other thing.
Something I would love to do one day is to go to the Float Space in Maroochydore. I hear having the chance to just float in magnesium enriched water for an hour is amazing, and really good for you. I am just not sure that I am all that comfortable with the whole nudity part of the floating, apparently its not a good idea to wear swimmers as they go stiff like cardboard, because of the high salinity.
So, if you had time to be you and do something for yourself what it would be? Some women say, all they want is time to shave their legs, or go for a walk, or paint their toe nails, or do a mask, or get a massage. Self care is about doing things that help you feel good about life.
You have to ask yourself and answer the right questions…..
If you had 2 hours to yourself, what would you do?
If you had an hour to yourself, what would you do?
If you have half an hour to yourself, what would you do?
Just remember, self care is vital for our well being. I’d love to hear what you would love to do under the guise of ‘self care’?