Me Time for mums, or the lack thereof, is something discussed in my circle of mum friends almost daily. Is it the same for you?
Not just mums of course, but for all parents. Our lives are getting busier and fuller by the day – which is great for the whole “live life to the full” thing but not so great for our health. You know what though, as time goes on I realise that I don’t want to “have it all”. I would prefer to have just enough and enjoy what I already have.
Last year for me was amazing and exhausting. I rushed from place to place, person to person, capitalising on every opportunity to do more, see more, achieve more. I’m grateful to be here and I’m told to make “every second count”. Only that came at the expense of my health and I didn’t have the work and life balance I thought I had.
I ended last year happy but oh-so-tired. Then, after a break from work at Christmas, I started this year with different priorities. To keep things Simple. To stop and think before saying Yes to anything or anyone. Which is super hard by the way as I’m a people-pleaser.
Something had to give, particularly at work. For years I’ve measured my success with how much I could achieve, how many plates I could juggle or targets I could thrash.
Becoming a mum changed that in many ways as my priorities shifted. I no longer wanted to work every hour possible, I wanted to be home with my babies. Nights out certainly reduced to a monthly occurrence rather than multiple times per week!
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I’ve struggled in the past with my health and had some wake-up calls for sure.
Yes, life is short and yes, we should make every moment count. BUT – sometimes, having a moment of doing absolutely nothing counts the most. Or a moment laughing, participating in a hobby or watching the waves.
When was the last time you felt truly relaxed?
For me it was six years ago. Just before I jumped on the motherhood treadmill. Then came the cycles of TTC and AF before an eventual, elated BFP. Pregnancy, as amazing as it was at times, certainly wasn’t always.
Then came the babies and, well let’s just say I can’t remember a time in the past six years when I’ve slept for more than two hours straight let alone felt relaxed.
I’m not complaining, I love my life. I’m grateful for every person in it and I wouldn’t change any of it.
But our health is important.
Our family needs us to be strong, healthy and here for them. Plus, as hard as it can be to say, our kids wants shouldn’t always come before our needs. We want quality time with family, but we need time for us too and it doesn’t mean we lose at being mum of the year by doing so.
So, if you’re looking for ideas on how to make time for yourself, here are some of the ways I do. I hope they work for you too.
5 Ways to Take Time Out for Yourself
1. Reduce your busy-ness
Are you the kind of person who hates to say No or feel like you’re letting people down if you do?
It’s just not possible to do everything and to be everywhere. Especially when it comes at the expense of your health.
And sometimes the person you need to say No to is you.
When faced with a request, or a task to complete, ask yourself if it’s essential. Is it essential that you are the one to do it? Can they find someone else? Can it wait?
Or, do you really want to do it?
There are a lot of elements of my job that I love to do – but I’m slowly figuring out that I can’t do everything myself. The time has come for me to outsource work to others to free up time for me to focus on other things. Top of that list is self-care – taking time to myself to read, to relax and to unwind.
2. Prioritise your health
How is your general health and wellbeing right now?
If you have any concerns about your health, even minor, get them checked out. Consider booking in for a check-up with your GP, chiro, dentist, massage therapist, acupuncturist or whoever is right for you and your current needs.
Book the appointment, schedule it in your planner and make it a non-negotiable. Make looking after your health a priority, not a “nice To Do”.
Now that’s out of the way, there are little daily rituals we can perform to help support our general wellbeing. We care for those we love best when we look after ourselves first and one of the smaller things that I do to look after myself is to take Life-Space Double Strength Probiotic.
Let me introduce you to Life-Space, a brand that is passionate about supporting the everyday health and wellbeing of busy mums and their families with its range of specialist probiotics.
In recent years I’ve been learning about the benefits of probiotics and how they can help support my family’s health. Life-Space Double Strength Probiotic can help support a healthy microbiome and immune system health.
I take probiotics daily and to support their general health, I also keep Life-Space Probiotic Powder for Children and Probiotic Powder for Baby in the kitchen cupboard for the kids. There’s no need for them to be refrigerated, so you can even carry them in your bag, which makes life a lot easier, especially when we travel.
You can find out more about Life-Space here.
3. Be less social
I say less social rather than anti-social!
It’s all too easy to be constantly in the presence of others, on- and off-line. Whilst socialising is beneficial, we can have too much of it.
Step away from your devices occasionally and don’t feel obliged to accept every social invite that comes your way.
Schedule in a coffee date just for you, enjoy your own company and have an internal conversation with yourself. Actually, I don’t like coffee but having a glass of wine by myself doesn’t fit the healthy theme I’m going with here!
How are you feeling? What have you been doing lately? What do you love about your life now? What challenges are you facing?
Check in with yourself, acknowledge what is going right and halt what isn’t working. Make changes.
4. Start a hobby
You might already have a hobby that you love but don’t have enough time for. If so, I encourage you to try to make the time – pursuing a hobby can be a proactive way to feel more like you – aside from being a tired mum, a wife or a worker.
If you don’t already have a hobby, think about the things you’re passionate about. Do you lose yourself in books? Are you a DIY and crafting pro? Does volunteering and helping others make you happy?
Could you merrily rewatch the seasons of Outlander on repeat for the rest of your life? That is a legit hobby, let me tell you!
5. Early to bed, early to rise
I’ve only embraced the “early night” quite recently and for a specific reason. I’m not a good sleeper, I wake often in the night and it takes me a long time to fall asleep sometimes. The outcome is that I struggle to get up the next day. I rarely feel well-rested.
Being short of time meant I was also struggling to find any time in my day for me and for self-care. I thought getting up earlier would be a good fix for that and even managed to get to a couple of 6am gym classes. It didn’t stick though.
So, I decided to set myself up for success by just going to bed earlier. I figured it was worth a go to see if I got to sleep sooner and felt better the next day.
A couple of times a week, I’ll go to bed after I put the kids to bed. Sometimes I’ll read for a bit and eventually I’ll fall asleep.
The next day, I wake up before my alarm. I have energy to work out or take my time getting up before the kids wake.
It was a revelation to me that early nights do work – despite being nearly 40 and despite telling my kids every day that they should “go to sleep because you’ll have more energy in the morning”.
It isn’t practical for everyone but if you get the opportunity for an early night, give it a go.
I’m hoping you can find some ways to make more time for yourself too, even just for a few minutes a day. Your health is so important.
Do you have any go-to Me Time for mums activities? Or any tips on balancing work and family as well as your own needs.
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Do you have any Me Time for Mums ideas?