Look after yourself: Self-care tips and tricks for mums.
Emma Cottam, founder of Isabella and Us and editor and creator of the Positive Wellbeing Zine for Mums, has kindly shared her advice for self-nourishment ahead of the winter months.
Hey! How is it Friday already?
I hope going back to nursery, preschool or school went smoothly over the last couple of weeks? My family has really enjoyed being in our new 'normal' routine. Let's hope it continues!
This week, I'm handing the Popsy and Mama blog over to the wonderful Emma Cottam who founded Isabella and Us, a positive wellbeing source for mums. Emma has kindly shared her top tips and tricks for making sure us mummies invest in our own self-care as we hit the autumn and winter months.
Emma's advice has hit home with me. I admit my own self-care isn't at the top of my list. Something I'm sure is very common with most of us parents! So, I'll leave you now with Emma, while I go and plan some 'me time' into my working week.
Self-care tips and tricks for busy mums
Here's how to take time out to invest in yourself with these small steps from Emma Cottam, founder of Isabella and Us
Self-care during the winter months and beyond...
As the nights draw in and it gets darker and colder, it’s important to take time to create a routine that helps us to take care of ourselves.
Being a mum is tough, and often so much of what we do is for our little ones and those around us. How often do we put ourselves at the bottom of the pile? It’s all well and good talking about keeping our glasses full, but what we actually need is a nourishing self-care routine which fits into family life.
Why it's important to make time for self-care
When I talk about self-care, so many people respond with “I don’t have time”, “I’m too busy”, “it’s selfish for me to do things for myself”. But let’s think about it from a different perspective. What could happen if we don’t look after our bodies and our minds? I’ve been there, and the result isn’t pretty. Burnout has a huge impact, not only on yourself but also on those around you.
In September last year I hit burnout, and then again in February this year. I ended up being incredibly poorly, unable to do anything as I was too exhausted. If I had taken simple steps to support myself during this time, it’s likely I wouldn’t have found myself at this point, or at least not to the extent I did.
The past few months in lockdown have been different to anything we have ever experienced, working from home, around our children, in a new routine. Many said use this time wisely, learn a new language or a new skill, but adding anything extra to the list of never-ending jobs can feel so overwhelming and ultimately not achievable.
Having said all of this, I can’t express just how important it is to nourish our bodies and our minds and take time to rest. I’m not talking about spa days, nights out or weekends away, I’m talking about five minutes to sit in peace, enjoying your favourite film, a coffee with a friend, a yoga class, journaling, a walk in the fresh air: a small moment of time just for you. Just to be.
So, how can we make time for ourselves? What small steps can we take to look after ourselves?
1. Plan it in.
Schedule your me-time. Can you grab five minutes before the school run, can you take ten minutes before bedtime? Put it in the diary and stick to it.
2. What is it you need right now?
Self-care is so different for each and every person – what works for me might not work for you. Reflect on what it is that you need and make some time for that.
3. It doesn’t have to be ‘alone time’.
When I talk about self-care, I often say that it doesn’t just have to be time on your own. It might be time with friends, family, your children or your partner. The important thing is that it is quality time, away from distractions.
4. Say No.
Saying no can feel like a huge deal but remember that you are only one person, you can’t be everything to everyone all of the time. It took me a long time to say no but understanding what supports me and my family is important, and anything that doesn’t, I don’t prioritise.
5. This is for you.
This time, whatever that looks like, is for you! Remember that your needs are important; it isn’t selfish, you deserve it.