I don’t know if it’s a new year thing or that it’s got fashionable, but I’ve been seeing a lot of things about self-care recently. I talked to Bea Marshall about it for a recent blog post and I’ve been wanting to talk about my experience.
For me the idea of taking care of myself first felt like an odd one. Having thought about it more I see that I am best able to look after everyone else when I am taking good care of myself. So what does self-care look like for me? Here is my list of self-care:
- I get up early, allowing myself time to get dressed and have breakfast before the children need me.
- I eat well, I eat breakfast and make sure I have lunch with me if I’m going out.
- I avoid foods that make me ill, I’m still working out what these are, but already I feel so much better.
- I go to bed early and try to be asleep by 10.30pm.
- I pick up my phone less often and read more.
- I take a couple of hours out each week when my husband is home, to go for a coffee without the children (except the baby).
- Time outdoors.
It’s all simple things, but since starting this I feel so much more able to cope. I have more energy since doing the Whole30 diet to try and find out what foods affect me, it seems that long term dairy, sugar and yeast are best avoided for me and I really don’t mind. It seems a small sacrifice to feel so much better.
Any weekend that I fail to get a couple of hours on my own ends up with me being a grumpy mother to my boys for the rest of the week. I love that I get to stay at home with them and I have no doubts that we’re doing the right thing by home educating them. However it is full on and exhausting. Not only is there this I am still feeding a baby night and day, plus Arthur will often be awake and upset in the night. At the moment Gareth looks after Arthur when he wakes, but it’s still an extra disturbance to my sleep. Recognising that I have a lot on my plate means that I can congratulate myself for how well I am doing. We all got up and dressed and left the house today? Well, that’s pretty damn good considering everything.
The other change I’ve made was sorting the house using the Konmari method, this has made a huge difference, tidying the house takes no time at all and I do not feel overwhelmed by stuff any more. Our home gives us pleasure, it is a joy to be in it and this is a lovely feeling.
It’s not always easy, I am not always a calm and relaxed mum, but mostly I’d say I’ve started the year on a positive note. I plan to keep it up.