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Sustainable Self Care:

How to create sustainable self care practices as a Mum
By Linda Anderson
Date: September 20 2015
Editor Rating:
Self care week for mums(1)
For the first few years as a mother my experiences of practicing self-care were very hot and cold. I was either really committed to it or it was totally absent. The result being I always felt like I was on a rollercoaster desperately wanting to find a more even keel. The more children I had (I am the mother of three) the longer the phases of ‘absent’ self-care became.
 
 
When self-care is absent in my life I feel overwhelmed, exhausted and unappreciated by my family. What I have learned over the years if this regular, small pockets of time for my self-care is far better for me than occasional big actions such as a massage or even a weekend away. I look at this as ‘Sustainable Self Care’.
 
 
What are the core elements of Sustainable Self Care in my house?
 
  1. It is scheduled – we have a weekly planner on our fridge that marks out self-care time for my husband and I. It also maps out regular weekly sporting commitments for the kids. For example on Tuesday and Thursday night my husband paddles, Wednesday night I go to Yoga and on Wednesday and Sunday mornings I run. I love this free weekly planner download as it has some lovely self-care prompts included just for Mums.

  2. It can be short but sweet.  I used to get caught up in wanting the perfect version of ‘me time’. A weekly yoga class for example – it was three years after the birth of my third child before I actually managed that. When that felt too hard to achieve I thought that I couldn’t have ‘me time’. In reality I had to adjust how I perceived ‘me time’ and appreciate that 5 minutes to myself often was in fact more beneficial than an hour to myself once a month. With 5 minutes totally for myself I can … meditate, take a short walk, drink a cup of tea that is still hot when I finish it or read a chapter of my book in the garden. All of those things nourish my soul.

  3. Commitment. It is so easy to let the madness of motherhood get the better of me. There are always so many things to juggle and it is so easy to let my self-care be the first ball that gets dropped. Self-care is a constant work in progress. It is rarely “perfect” but as long as I honour my commitment to regular, sustainable action I am a much happier woman.

 

 
 
Self-Care is NOT a luxury. It is an essential part of your being. Self-care helps give us the energy to give and give and give to our children. It helps preserve our patience and sanity.  It helps us feel valued in the world and creates a deeper sense of connection and joy within our family unit.
 
 
What is one self-care action you could take today?
 
 
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
 
Linda Anderson is Mum to three beautiful daughters, a Life Coach and creator of the online program 5 Minutes 4 Mum. If you want to kick start your own self care practices join Linda in the Self Care Week for Mums starting October 11th 2015.
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