Self care becomes so much more valuable when you’re a busy parent. Whether you’re between work, school drop-offs, house work, or just day-to-day mum-life, self care can be hard to schedule, let alone accomplish. It’s that special time, all to yourself, where you get to fill up your own cup before taking care of everyone else. How many web articles have you read on self-care practices and then rolled your eyes thinking “as if I have the time or energy to do that!” Instead, try these 5 achievable self-care practices you can apply without too much fuss or bother.
When you’re a busy parent, who’s got 30 minutes to zone out and meditate? Mini meditations, from just 2-10 minutes, can help relieve anxiety, increase creativity and improve focus. You don’t have to meditate sitting in the lotus position or wearing the latest yoga pants, you can meditate or just practise mindfulness while in the shower or sitting on the toilet. Take steady deep breathes – in for four counts, hold for two counts, and out for four counts, hold for two counts – allow your mind to cast aside all the things you need to be doing. If your mind drifts, just bring focus back to your breathing. Mindfulness can be practised in many forms, with benefits extending beyond reducing feelings of stress.
Take care of your diet
The way you eat can have a huge impact on your lifestyle. Eating convenience foods often means you may not have the energy or agility to do the things you’d like to do. While some mums are out cycling with their kids, you’re celebrating picking dirty socks up off the floor without hurting your back. Arguably one of the most researched and healthiest diets in the world, the Mediterranean style of eating is a fantastic way you can keep your health under control without feeling like you’re being deprived of all life’s luxuries, and it’s great for the whole family to enjoy together.
Home exercise classes
You don’t need a gym membership to do exercise. Thanks to smart TVs with YouTube and the ability to mirror apps on to big screens, you can participate in exercise classes from the comfort of your own home. From the routines on The Fast 800 programme to pilates, shadow boxing or yoga, there are a myriad of online workouts you can attempt in your lounge room. Not only will you feel better when you exercise regularly, you’ll sleep better. And by involving your kids as well, you can help them create healthy habits for a lifetime. For a free 7 day workout plan, check out The Fast 800 Workout at Home downable PDF.
Spend time with friends
The old adage “laughter is the best medicine” certainly rings true when you’re spending time with close friends. But you don’t need to hire a babysitter and meet up at a fancy restaurant (though that’s fun too!). Tie up your sneakers and meet for a walk along the beach or a bush track, play a racquet sport or invite them over for a girls night in with a Mediterranean-style food theme (so you can eat guilt-free).
DIY facials using nourishing oils
Never underestimate the power of a relaxing facial. If you’re short on time, you could combine it with a mini meditation. There are plenty of nourishing oils you might find in your pantry or bathroom cabinet that you can treat yourself to a DIY facial for the fraction of a cost of visiting a beautician. Coconut oil, olive oil, shea butter, Jojoba oil, almond oil and rosehip oil all make nourishing facials. Once the kids are in bed, or before they get up in the morning, take a few minutes to massage your face with some nourishing oils and feel the stress melt away.
Remember, it’s okay to ask for help. If you don’t have a partner around to help out, ask grandparents or friends to look after the kids while you take some time to yourself. Ask one of your older kids to watch the younger ones for 5 minutes while you take some time to make (and drink!) a cup of tea or take some deep breaths. Knowing when to delegate and ask for assistance is another form of self care.