Being a Mum is one of the most wonderful and rewarding joys in the world. You will never know love like it.
But… it is hard work. It is tiring. It is demanding. It is a whole other world to your pre-children life. The juggle of family, work and life can quickly become stressful. Everyone is so busy and we feel we have to achieve so much; everyone wants a small piece of us and it can get on top of you. The important thing to remember is to keep a small piece of you for you!
The old-fashioned saying that ‘you can’t help others without helping yourself’ is still around for a reason. It is true. Being overly stressed interferes with your sleep, your decision-making ability and your happiness leading to you feeling worse. To break this cycle, you have to take some time out for yourself. ‘When do I get time for that?’ I hear you ask? You don’t. You have to make time and so many Mum’s feel like this is putting themselves first, but this is important for your own wellbeing. We look at 10 ways to break this cycle of stress with how you can start finding some way to take some ‘me time’ – even if it just starts with 5 minutes a day. You deserve this!
1. Nourish yourself
Banish that stereotypical reaction of consuming caffeine for sleep deprivation and wine to relax. By eliminating caffeine and alcohol for your daily routine and replacing this with more water, herbal teas and even a nutritious smoothie or juice your body will feel more balanced. These are known stimulants for anxiety so when you are feeling stressed these substances can exasperate the situation.
2. Soak it off
Take 15 more minutes for your shower time and instead have a bath. Having a soak in the bath will help relax you tense body and your mind. Add some essential bath oils like lavender right before bed to help sooth you into a quality sleep.
3. Get Moving
Exercise! Going for a walk outside is ideal as it also allows you to get out in the fresh air and take on some endorphin boosting sunshine. Not only will this keep you feeling fit and healthy, it gives you a mood boost and some clear space to think.
4. Clear Space
Creating a relaxing atmosphere can help with your stress levels. Even if these means first taking 15 minutes to tidy the room you are sitting in, the extra effort will be worth it. An organised space will make you feel more at ease. Go one step further and light some candles scented with natural oils, dim the lighting and listen to some relaxing music. You would be surprised how much this can help, even if you can only take a short time out.
5. Daily Lists
In the rush to get everything done and please everyone, sometimes we can find ourselves running around from place to place feeling very scattered and prehaps not doing any one thing well. Start your day with a list. Take 5 minutes over breakfast in the morning to make a priorities list of what is happening in the day and what you need to achieve. Having clear objectives will help you regain control and not take on too much.
6. Escape through a book
Read a book or listen to a podcast each day. Just a small amount each day can be enough to escape your busy mind and give you a break from reality. This could be your time to laugh or explore something you are passionate about.
7. Try something new
Sometimes pushing yourself out of your comfort zone to try something new can be stressful at first, but to learn something new and invest time in yourself is rewarding and will soon become a stress-buster. Try a new exercise class that might challenge you or get creative with an arts class. This will give you a set amount of time each week to yourself where you can do something for yourself and feel achievement. Think ariel yoga, learn to row, pottery or cooking class.
8. Decline your time
Say NO. We can easily forget this as we don’t want to let others down or we feel we ‘have to’. If your schedule is already maxed out or maybe you have an event that you ‘have to’ attend but feel really exhausted, take a step back and say no. You need some downtime and a chance to recharge your batteries. It’s good to be busy, but going at a pace of 100 KPH is not sustainable and you won’t be able to be the best person you can be.
9. Stay Connected
Stay social and pick up the phone. Having a quick chat with a friend or family member daily can be better than therapy! There are times you feel like you don’t want to talk to anyone as it’s just too much effort, but think about how you will feel after your conversation. Even with a partner’s support, being a Mum can be isolating so be sure to reach out to your support network for advice, to rant or just talk about something non-child related and have a giggle.
10. Night off in
Have a night off, get someone to take care of your kids and go absolutely nowhere! Having a ‘night off-in’ can be just what you need to re-charge your batteries but so many people shy away from this because of the guilt of not having a particular event or reason. A whole evening to yourself can help you re-focus and be an even better person for your kids. So next time you have that guilty feeling that Mum’s can’t put themselves first. Stop and remember that taking some time for your own wellbeing allows you to be the best mother you can be.
This Mother’s Day we are giving 5 lucky Mum’s the chance to win a well-earned Mum’s Day Off experience worth over $1300 each!
To enter, simply fill in your details HERE and give us some advice on getting through the challenges and joys of being a parent by telling us, in 25 words or less: What advice would you give to your new Mum self?