‘If you dont know yourself. You can't live the life of your dreams’
I was thinking this morning, what does self-care really mean to me.
Yes of course Me time, having a massage, cup of tea with my bestie and definitely my weekly yoga zoom class.
Then I dug a bit deeper and thought, well today my self-care is writing this blog in bed still in my dressing gown whilst the kids are eating coco pops with instant cream in the living room because the kitchen is still a mess.
(My daughter had her last day ever in primary school yesterday, so big celebrations. I promise it's usually porridge with blueberries and a hint of local honey ;)
Other days it might be folding and sorting my own clothes first before the rest of the families - so I can have a stress-free pick of outfits for the week that really make me feel good.
Does reading this give you an immediate sense of discomfort? And a...I don't know if I could do that.
Surely the kids need to come first. Well, if I don't iron my husband's shirt he'll be late for that important meeting. How could I possibly put myself first, I don't have the time.
I guess it doesn't really matter what it is that helps you make that first break through.
The important thing is that you start practising! I sure had to!
- Putting yourself on top of your priority list - believe me this apparent self ish, self centred act will actually make you a much better mum and woman.
- Centred, self-reliant, and resilient!
And hey, such wonderful role modelling of self-care and self-love for your kids!
- Put ‘self-care time’ in your Google calendar right beside your end of week target presentation or that all important baby swim class.
Yup, it's actually vital for survival!
- Spend some time figuring out what it is that you really need and want, to get that coveted work/ life/ play balance.
- Value yourself!
If you do, everyone else will too!
It's a simple law of attraction.
During pregnancy and the first year after your baby is born; self-care can take on another whole different dimension and seem like an insurmountable hurdle:
SIMPLE MEASURES APPLIED EARLY CAN MAKE ALL THE DIFFERENCE
‘Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication’
- Clare Boothe Luc
What are your needs and how can you or others meet them?
Are you communicating clearly what you need or are you assuming people can read your mind?
How do you react when you are overwhelmed or tired or in great discomfort.
What helps you to feel loved, secure and grounded again?
Is it touch, a special scent, music, alone time, meditation, time in nature.
It can be as simple as a 5 minute walk down the road.
Find out what your magic wand moment is!
Remember the basics:
Eat Well and regularly, Sleep as much as you can, Fresh Air and Lots of clean, fresh water.
Treat yourself to:
A full body massage or why not try some self massage. Massage can help you ground and connect to yourself and release anxiety reducing feel good messengers such as serotonin and dopamine. Find out how here
You’re favourite body oil
Buy some super soft lounge-wear to help down regulate your nervous system and activate your parasympathetic nervous system that helps you go into ‘rest and digest’ mode.
Having a Pedicure- knowing your toes look snazzy can really boost your feel good factor even if you can't reach them any more :)
Try a supportive herbal tea to boost and support your transitions through parenthood.
Our Full Bloom nourishing tea and relaxing Fresh Bloom tea are a much needed ‘Hug in a cup’.
Sleep , sleep, sleep- whenever you get a chance.
Everything else can truly wait.
Let the house go to pot once in a while or get a cleaner.
The best pennies you ll ever spend! Frees up oozles of baby bonding and partner cuddling time or simply a walk in the park or a shower just by yourself!
Have a date with yourself at least once a week. Even if it's a 10-20 minute walk around the block.
So important to help grow your own skin again and have time to breathe when you’re 24hours on call with a newborn or toddler.
Believe me it actually makes you a better mum.
Factor in adult talk.
Have some partner time- a cuddle with full presence
Ask for help when the going gets tough. There's huge strength in being able to ask for support when days and nights fuse into one, between poos, pees, feeds and sleep routines!
Feeling blue all the time: Talk to your partner, a trusted friend, GP, Public health Nurse or Midwife.
Having the brief blues day 3-7 postnatally is perfectly normal. If these symptoms prevail for more than a week any time in the first year postnatally you may be experiencing postnatal depression which affects up to 1:5 women.
Laugh together and at yourself! Parenting is probably the most imperfect and ad hoc job you ll ever do. Yet it requires constant attention with minimal sleep for literally 24 hrs a day.
Trust me you’re doing a super job!
The first two weeks post partum are sacred! Let your partner be the door bouncer. Only those shall pass that will:
- Do the dishes
- Pass a hoover
- Tell you go have a shower whilst they watch the baby
- Whisk off the other kids for a kick around the park whilst you get a snooze with the baby
Kindly decline entry to well meaning relatives and friends who:
Talk for hours whilst you're slowly sliding off the chair with tiredness.
Offer to take the baby whilst you race around getting the housework done instead of catching up on sleep.
Spend hours giving you conflicting well meant advice on parenting.
Most importantly: Trust your instincts, you actually know your body and baby best!
Say to yourself often and ad-lib:
‘I am a competent loving mother’
‘I know best what my body and baby needs’
‘I am able to recognise my needs and voice them’
‘I value myself as a woman’
‘I love myself freely abundantly and therefore allow others to love me’
| Karin Mueller is co-owner of Solaris tea and has been working in the field of wellness and health for over 20 years now.
She is a Medical Herbalist (BSc Hons), practising Midwife (BSc Hons), Massage and Spa therapist and experienced course facilitator and teacher on a wide range of topics related to mindfulness, meditation and women’s health.
She is currently also studying in the ‘Medicine of Light’ school to deepen her spiritual practise.