Everyone needs a bit of self-care, but none moreso than a busy mum. Whether you’re working or staying at home, have one child or five, there are so many priorities for a mum. If work is also in the mix, then daily organisation and problem-solving are absolute must-have skills. It’s no surprise that busy mums eventually hit a wall and go searching for self-care. The problem, many mothers don’t know where to start as they prioritise themselves so infrequently. But it doesn’t have to be this way; self care can be as simple as adopting new habits or taking a few minutes out of a day for yourself. Here are 7 practical self-care tips for busy mums to get you started:
Book a beauty treatment
A busy mum will be very familiar with the constant appointment booking of everyday life, but it’s time to schedule something for yourself. Take an hour for a deep tissue massage, or enjoy a luxurious facial to brighten your skin. You may even prefer to book a cost-effective professional teeth whitening session or another appointment that takes a little longer but has a big impact.
Make your bedroom a device-free area
Not many people have boundaries around their bedroom or work to achieve a higher standard of sleep hygiene. If you go to bed with your devices, you are only going to stare at the screen and send no signals to your eyes and brain that bedtime is on the horizon. By making your bedroom a device-free zone, you will start to unwind in this space and can still enjoy reading a novel and journaling and really anything non-digital.
Incorporate mindful exercise
Mindful exercise has been proven to de-stress individuals who experience anxiety, and the fatigue that comes with it. One of the more common mindful exercises is simply going for a walk. How you do it is that you focus on the walking and not the destination where you have come from. Try and focus on looking at your surroundings, taking in what you can see, what you can hear and how you feel. If you get into the habit of doing this every day or when you feel like you need to step away from your busy life for a short time, mindful exercise might be the ideal reprieve.
It might sound very cliche to suggest journaling to someone looking for self-care advice. It is a common recommendation because it adds so much value to those who invest in journaling. Think of it as a way of dumping everything from your mind onto a page so you can focus on the new day ahead. You do not need to journal about things that are challenging, or making you upset, in fact, you may prefer to have a gratitude journal, writing all the things that you were grateful for the things that are making you happy. Buy yourself a beautiful new journal to encourage you to start this habit.
Don’t rush the important stuff
In our haste to make our children’s life more comfortable and enjoyable, it’s usually our own care that suffers. How many mothers have had lightening quick showers and scoffed lunch that was taken from a fussy toddlers plate after it was refused. There are some things that just should not be rushed, so perhaps your self-care journey starts with you enjoying the very simple pleasures like eating a meal slowly or carving out an hour in the morning for a shower and preparing yourself for the day.
Mum guilt is a very real phenomenon, and it’s pretty impressive how many things a mother can feel guilty about. Something a busy mum should never feel bad about is asking for help, especially if it is going to significantly reduce the work and stress of an already busy mum. You may find support in family members who can do a school drop-off on a couple of days through the week, or you may want to hire a cleaner to come weekly. These supports can make a huge difference and allows busy mums to spend more time looking after themselves or spending quality time with the little ones.
Shared calendars and other organisation tools
There is nothing wrong with being busy if there is a system in place that can track all the appointments, commitments and priorities of a family. The beauty of a shared calendar is that you don’t have to continue to communicate these plans to a partner or other stakeholders, as the information is clear to all. There are also great apps that can act as a digital to-do list, and other tools can be great for habit tracking. Test out a few of these tools and see which ones actually work and schedule your self-care as if it is an appointment.
It’s unlikely that the pressures of a busy mum will change or reduce in the near future, so it’s more effective to engineer time for self-care into your daily life. It will not be easy so implement some trial and error to see what sticks and what can be improved upon.