Simple self-care for mums & the magic of journaling
As mums taking care of ourselves can often feel like the last thing on our never-ending to do list. The task that we keep meaning to get to, though never quite tick off because something else gets in the way. This can often leave us feeling depleted, our energy levels low or even exhausted from not having time to support ourselves.
Self care has become a buzz word, a word which so many of us might not engage with, simply because it often comes with connotations of Spa Days, holidays, a day out without the children and other activities which for some of us are unachievable with the business of everyday life and motherhood. Sometimes we can find it difficult to take the time and know that it will have the impact we want it to have.
I’d like to re-frame this idea of self care into one of taking care of ourselves in small acts of kindness which support us to show up as the best version of ourselves for ourselves, for our children and our loved ones. These small acts of kindness can be anything from sitting outside to eat your lunch, a walk in the fresh air, reading a book before bed, meditation, journaling, listening to your favourite song; simply anything that makes YOU feel good and that you can fit around your daily life.
When talking with clients about small acts of self care, I am often met with “I don’t have time for anything else”, perhaps the question we should be asking ourselves is “how can I make this work for me?”. What works for one mum, won’t necessarily work for another and it’s important to remember that the endless suggestions of self care activities might feel completely overwhelming – how do you know what to choose, how do you know what will work for you?
Well, the thing is, just like lots of other things in life, is that you don’t have to have the answer, and what works for you one day might not work the next. Allow yourself to be curious about what activities might fit around your daily life and the schedule you may already work to, and what activities might bring you joy and a burst of energy. Curiosity is key to exploring what might support you and what might also support your family too, as there is no reason why you can’t include your children in some of these activities too, perhaps making them even more achievable for your lifestyle, especially over the School holidays.
Trust is key to Self Care practices, trusting in that the activity you decide to do with the time you have will lift your mood, help you be more patient and trusting that is it the right activity for you. Trust that Self Care take practices and that the more you take time for yourself, the easier it will become and the more you will notice the difference. If you plan in 5/10 minutes a day where you can take this time, this will help it feel more achievable – remember it’s not the quantity of the Self Care practice, it is the quality and what is right for you.
One of the practices I use most with clients in relation to Self Care is journaling, whether this through simple questions as a guide for the writing and exploring our unconscious thoughts and bringing them to the surface, or through a Card Pull.
There are many different Decks of Cards out there, including the one which I use called the Practical Magic Activation Deck created by Kate Taylor, and amongst many different ways of using these cards Journaling is one which is the perfect small act of Self Care which can work in so many different ways.
I believe that Journaling is the perfect small act of Self Care, not only because it allows us time to just be present, it also allows us to get any thoughts/issues out of our head and on to paper, which can help to free up our capacity to show up as the best version of ourselves, without having to focus on the million open tabs in our brain.
So I’d like to invite you to spend five minutes now with a notebook and pen and journal on the following questions. Trust the process and write down the first words/thoughts/sensations/feelings that come up, don’t try and create sentences if this isn’t working for you, just let the words flow.
Focus on the intention; ‘What do I need right now?’
- What do I need to let go of doing right now?
- What do I need to continue doing right now?
- What do I need to bring in right now?
You can keep coming back to these prompts each week or even each day as a guide to support you, listen to your body and what it is telling you, really listen in. You have all the answers for what you can do to support yourself, so trust them.
Emma Cottam is the Founder of Isabella and Us. and the Positive Wellbeing Zine for Mums. She is a licensed Practical Magic™ Coach and Facilitator, Certified mBIT Coach, writer and creative. She is on a mission to help mums thrive, get creative, re-awaken their magic, tune in to their intuition to live the life they want. Emma hosts workshops, Group coaching Programmes and 1-1 coaching sessions for Mums.