Ever heard the expression that "you can't pour from an empty cup?"
Well, it's true.
Life is busy, and even busier if you are a mom – as we all know. Not only do many of us also have jobs outside of the home and outside of being a mom, but we are also, for the absolute most part, the main keeper of what is known as the 'mental load' when it comes to family life.
The mental load, if you are unsure, is everything we have to keep in our head at all times – a task that more often than not fall on women. I am talking schedules and to-do lists, and dentist appointments and Christmas cards and when was that bake sale again and did we remember to pay the voluntary contribution the school was looking for? Everything that has to be remembered and ticked off and kept organized when it comes to family life – keeping all the balls in the air at all times.
And it's exhausting.
Which is why no-one deserves a little self-care more than moms. And yes, we know you are busy, but guys, overlooking our physical and mental health in order to get everything done can really come back and bite us. And while few of can afford the money and time to take off on a spa break or book a week somewhere far flung, there are lots of little things we can all do to refuel our energy and refresh our minds.
Sometimes even the smallest of self-care acts can have a huge impact on how we feel, and it that is you today, mama, if you are feeling a little overwhelmed right now, do try one (or all) of the following:
- Indulge in a spa afternoon
Engage the kids with something, send them out with your hubby, drop them off at granny's – the point is; just take some time where you can just focus on yourself and not have to worry about having to jump to attention should someone scream you name.
Fill the bathtub, dig out your loofa or a body scrub, put bath salts in the water and put on (DIY one if you must) a face mask. Light some candles, bring a book, stream a relaxing play list; whatever it is that makes you feel like you are checking out from the world a little and in with yourself.
The thing is; self-care isn't selfish – it is actually one of the most important things you can do for yourself in order to function in every other aspect of your life as well. It is 100% ok to listen to your body when it's telling you it needs a little tlc. Also, modelling how important it is to look after yourself is also important to your children, who are growing up in a world that is more and more hectic and demanding.
- Pick up some green plants
Plants are everywhere these days – as in; everyone is obsessed with filling their homes with greenery – and for good reason. The obvious reason being that they are great for decor –and they truly are. Plants will instantly make you house feel more like a home – but did you know they are also really good for your health?
It's true. Plants are, in fact, a powerhouse of wellness for your home, and will actually provide you with a host of benefits – the most important one being that they purify the air in your home. Most of us know that plants convert carbon dioxide into oxygen; and the plants in your home are no exception. And because oxygen affects every part of your body and mind, making sure you get quality air is essential to your wellbeing.
- Make contact with an old friend
Talking to people we care about and that care about us can have a hugely positive impact on our happiness and wellbeing, so try to reach out to a friend you haven’t talked to in a while – you won't regret it. Organize a glass of wine out at that new wine bar you have been dying to try, set up a bookclub where you meet up at least once a fortnight, go to the gym with a friend or even arrange to go into work early, so that you can have a coffee outing with your favourite co-worker before you work-day starts.
- Go for a walk with your headphones on
Brisk walking is a great and gentle form of exercise we should all do more of. Not only does the walking instead of running bit ensure that we get time to listen to music or a podcast or whatever, it also feels like you are being a little gentler on yourself, while still getting both the exercise and fresh air you need.
If you need a proper pick-me-up, play a song that really makes you feel empowered and re-charged, you'll find it is amazing the effect music can have on your mood and energy.
- Eat well
Good food fuels your body, so make sure you eat and drink things that are good for your and make you feel vibrant and healthy. It’s easy to be obsessed with what our children are eating, and forget ourselves in the midst of it. But by making sure you nourish yourself with good food, you are doing your entire family a favour. Start planning your meals, go explore your local farmer’s market, make an effort to eat more plant-based and cut back on sugar and alcohol – you’ll be feeling the effects pretty darn soon.