As we continue through the winter months, darker nights and colder days and after the business of the Christmas and New Year period, self care might be the last thing on your mind as a Mum. We hear the word ‘self care’ so much – “make time for yourself, its important” and it can often leave us feeling guilty that we just haven’t found the time to fit it in and how can we when we are already feeling stretched and exhausted?
So what exactly is self care?
I believe that self care is a fundamental practice to supporting our mental wealth, our resilience and our ability to parent from the very best version of ourselves as mums. I don’t believe that it has to cost money, or that it can just be spa days or breaks away, it can simply be taking the time to sit with a coffee in silence for five minutes in a morning, focusing on your intentions for the day.
Simply put, self care can be anything that makes you feel like you, that gives you time for you. Whether than be five minutes, five hours or five days to allow yourself to be your main priority. It can be whatever practice or activity that really brings you joy, calmness and a smile to your face.
Nourishing ourselves can support us massively in being able to show up as the very best version of us and as mums. Being able to parent from a place of awareness of how we are feeling and our needs can really allow us to not only model this behaviour for our little ones and to also really focus on what we can do to best support ourselves. Being able to understand our needs and meet them means that we can operate from a place of balance and coherency in all aspects of our life.
So as you move through these winter months and want to find time for yourself, remember that any time you can gift yourself will make a difference. Any time to focus on your own needs and work out what they are, will help to support you in all aspects of your life and will really allow you to thrive in 2023.
Here are my simple tips for self-care in these winter months:
Schedule in some time when you can take five minutes to yourself – to just sit in silence, focus on your breathing, or drink some water.
Get out for a walk, either on your own, as a family or with a friend – take this time to enjoy being outdoors, breathing in the fresh air and moving your body.
Move your body – dance, walk, yoga, Pilates – whatever you need
Read – your favourite book, a magazine, a book with your kids.
Journal – use journaling prompts or even writing three things you are grateful for each day will have an impact on your mind-set.
Talk to your family and friends – arrange a video call, a phone call, or even send voice notes on WhatsApp.
Set some boundaries – especially with so many of us working from home or juggling our kids being a home. Create boundaries for those activities, for example, putting your work laptop away once you have finished for the day.
Use essential oils – this is a big one for me, and has made such a difference to our house as a whole.
What brings you joy? – your favourite film, a song, dancing, singing, drawing – make a list of these things and aim to tick off one per week.
Over the next few weeks try and add a couple of these ideas into your day, I promise you, it will make a huge difference, and the more you do these practices, the more they will become a habit and they will just happen naturally throughout your week.
Enjoy spending some time nourishing yourself!
About the author:
Emma Cottam is the Founder of Isabella and Us. and the Positive Wellbeing Zine for Mums.
She is a Practical Magic™, NLP and 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.