by Heather Broderick – Life Coach
Certified Transformational Mindset Coach, NLP practitioner and Hypnotherapist
Find your Vitality by avoiding exhaustion
Finding time for yourself amidst a family can be extremely difficult, sometimes verging on rare. Working a full time job, finding time to exercise and stay healthy, meet friends to stay social and look after your children can leave us feeling as though we are not being a good parent, as no one ever gets the share of us that they want.
So many mums around the world focus so much on raising their children and giving them the best life they can that they put themselves to the bottom of the list and forget to look after themselves. Add elderly parents to the mix and finding 5 minutes of peace is almost unheard of. Lack of sleep, coupled with no ‘down time’ can be extremely detrimental to our physical and mental health.
Why we need to prioritise ourselves
When we are stressed for a prolonged period of time, and the ‘fight or flight’ hormone is consistently active, it has physiological effects on the body such as insomnia, high blood pressure, weight gain, infertility, feeling anxious and mood swings. If we do not take time for ourselves these symptoms persist and can cause ill health and when we are not well, we cannot look after anyone. So, it is important to put ourselves first, and to prioritise this time for our own sakes. Even 30 minutes each day of doing something you love, can have a positive impact on our outlook and mentality. Take that time to relax and unwind without thinking of anyone else and you will feel the difference almost immediately.
Find activities you love
Identify what you love to do and what your body needs. That could be a nap, some exercise, a walk, reading a book, painting, clearing out, meditation or having a coffee or treat. You decide what works for you and make it a non-negociable in your life. Pull in help from husbands, family members or friends, creches or play groups to allow yourself to do this and do not be afraid to ask!
Self-care is typically divided into 6 categories:
Spiritual, social, emotional, practical and physical.
1- Spiritual – journaling, meditation, prayer, breathing techniques
2- Social – spending time with others, calling someone, texting a friend, networking
3- Emotional – saying no to things, having a bath, treating yourself to something, having your favourite treat
4- Practical – the day-to-day running of your life, for example, tidying your bedroom or workspace, taking a nap, work/life balance, saving money, sorting your finances, having a clear-out
5- Physical – any form of physical activity or nourishing your body with food and drink
What about me?
As I am currently changing career, I have spent this year working a full time teaching job, studying to finish my coaching qualification, tutoring every day to save money for when I leave teaching, setting up the business, training for a marathon and trying to spend some time with my son. So for me, it has been been the opposite- I have hardly seen my son! It is hard to feel like I have been a good mum when every holiday I had to send him to nursery so I could study rather than take him on day trips and play with him. There is always the guilt!
However, I had to tell myself that this is all temporary and that, if I cannot spend lots of time with him this year, it is so that I can in future years by setting up my own business. I will soon be able to collect him from school, take him to clubs and activities and have so many more afternoons with him to do nice things.
There are mums out there working all hours of the day to make their lives the best they can and with that, there is always some sacrifice, but what it all comes down to is our WHY. And at the end of the day, all of us want to give our children the best we possibly can. So, we need to remember that to do that, we must look after ourselves. We must give ourselves a break from being the carer and remember we are more than a mum. We must remember that all things are temporary and we should never feel guilty for doing what we can. And finally, we should give ourselves some time out in every day to focus on us and only us, by doing something we love. For this act of self-care could be the difference between exhaustion and vitality, and our kids need vitality because they are full of it!
Read on how you can manage your time better as mum and still feel the joy.
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