I have to admit, the last few months were quite tough for me- an exhausted mama of four who hasn’t slept well since the birth of my now 18 month old baby- so, it was time to refocus and build myself up again!
I had arrived to this point in motherhood where I woke up excited to see my children, but ten minutes into my morning, I was already feeling annoyed. I was doing the countdown to nap time right after breakfast; and after nap time, I highly anticipated bed time. But, even after the kids were in bed, I found myself on the couch with no desire to do anything productive. This went on for days, which turned into weeks, which turned into months…
Initially, I didn’t know how I got to this place and when I did, but I knew I had to get myself out. I started to think about the last time I did anything just for me, and nothing came to my mind immediately. And that was my problem: I lacked in the department of self love and self care.
So, last month, I gave myself a challenge and let me tell you- the end result was life changing! The challenge was to not only practise self love and self care, but to be conscious of it. To savour it. To make it regular. At the end of the month, I can genuinely say that I often looked forward to the next day, I was more content, and I had more energy overall!
But who has time for self care? Is self love really necessary? I hear you mamas, believe me- I hear ya! My husband works 7 days a week, which means I’m with my kids all the time! This is exactly why I kept this challenge realistic and I took as little as 10 minutes a day for self care and self love. And YES, self love is even more important than self care- so, please don’t ignore this!
There were a number of things I did that were just for me and that didn’t take up much time such as:
- reading a book– I read two books and started a third in just one month
- light exercise– just 10 to 15 minutes a day gives you an energy boost
- de-cluttering the house– I instantly felt less stressed just by organizing certain spaces in my house
- changing out of my pj’s– I took a few minutes out of my day to plan out an outfit to wear that would make me feel good!
- writing– writing brings me joy, so I started doing more of it.
- drinking warm tea– this one is so simple, but is really hard for me to do. I usually drink my morning chai with my kids jumping on me’ or two sips into my chai, I’ll abandon my mug and start helping the kids with something. But I started to drink tea in the evening (decaf, of course), after the kids were in bed, and tried to not think about the stresses of the day, but just the positives- a dream, I tell ya!
- surrounding myself with positivity– I achieved this by talking to friends and family who understand where I’m coming from and who give me unconditional support, this includes my e-friends as well!
- reminding myself that I’m good enough– I had to really sit down and analyze my role as a mother, was I providing my children with the best? Often times, we seek society for our answers, when really our answers are right in front of us- they are our children. I saw that my children were more than content with the care they were receiving from me and that they don’t care if their sandwiches are in the shape of a bear (thank goodness, because I don’t have time for that) or anything else silly that society tells us our kids “need.” At the end of the day, my children are happy, healthy, and safe – that’s all that matters.
- getting spiritual– focusing on my faith and connecting with God reminds me that any hardship comes with ease and the rewards are always sweeter than the pain- so, I must be patient.
- recognizing my accomplishments– It’s really easy to get hung up on our weaknesses and lose sight of all that we have accomplished; however doing this has a negative impact on how we feel about ourselves. Think about it mama’s, we accomplish a lot and think nothing of it, but it is a big deal!
- setting realistic goals– To love yourself means to allow yourself to reach a place of contentment and happiness, but this won’t happen if you set unrealistic goals. The key is to not look at other mothers and try to reach their destinations, but to strive to arrive at your own destination. You know what you are capable of achieving under your own unique situation, so don’t push yourself by striving for unattainable goals. As mothers, the last thing we need is unnecessary pressure, but we what we do need more of is living in the moment and savoring it.
Each day, I chose something positive to focus on and to look forward to, this by no means, took any of my struggles away, but it did make feel lighter and put me in a better mood. Moreover, without self love (#7-#11), I don’t think any self care attempt would have made a significant impact on how I felt overall.
I’m challenging all you beautiful mamas to do one thing for yourselves every day, it could be anything that makes you happy! Don’t wait for a certain date to do this, do it today!