I hope even the busiest of Mums can make time for one of my 5 minute self-care activities for busy mums! Keeping reading to find out what they are.
It just sometimes feels a bit overwhelming, doesn’t it? You’re juggling all the balls and the one that drops is often yours. But there is something to be said for making the time for your own happiness too.
Happy Mum, Happy Baby?
Well I think so, yes. But it’s taken me five years of motherhood to finally feel comfortable in sometimes putting myself first.
Finding Time for Self-Care: the Juggle is Real
Me: I’m a married mother of two small children, and run two self-employed businesses from home. Thankfully I have support from my parents, daycare and now school. It’s given me the much-needed hours to build my businesses from scratch.
Every minute that I’m not with my children, I’m working. I’m not complaining, I love it.
But the GUILT.
I felt guilty about working too much and not enough.
I felt guilty that I wasn’t seeing my kids enough but I knew the work I was doing was paying our bills.
So I juggled – time for the kids, time for work, a little time for my marriage. But what about self care time for me?
How should you spend your Me Time?
“Me Time” for me became work time. Every free second was spent on my laptop. This worked for a while but by the end of 2017, I was exhausted. I was trying to do too much and paid the price in stress and insomnia. I wasn’t present in much of what I did and my mind felt constantly active.
Related: Managing Insomnia Caused by Stress
Having chatted to the other mums in my Facebook group it seems “Me Time” activities really vary.
For some, it’s more time on a hobby, picking up a book, painting their toenails or simply doing nothing.
And it doesn’t matter – because “Me Time” is your time to do anything you like. To just look after yourself.
Why do we need Me Time?
I think we need Me Time for three main reasons:
- We need to Reset – even a few minutes of whatever hamster wheel we’re racing on can be enough to put life/family/work in perspective. Taking time out and disconnecting from the noise for a few moments (or days ideally!) can be the best therapy.
- We need to Recharge – when you’re constantly on the go or giving to others, your enthusiasm and energy levels will wane. Taking time out for yourself can spark greater productivity too. I love this article on why you should spend more time alone.
- Because we just need it. Without wanting to sound like a L’Oreal TV ad, we all (Mums, Dads, everyone) deserve a bit of time to ourselves. We owe it to ourselves to look after our health and well-being in the same way we do our family’s.
How do I find more time for myself?
For me, I now make a conscious effort to make time for myself. I started quite systematically: every night, after the kids were asleep I would go into my bedroom and lie on my bed for 15 minutes. In that time I might:
- Read something
- Write something
- Watch YouTube
- Reply to texts
- DO NOTHING
Then I’d get up and carry on with all the other stuff that needed doing – making lunches, packing school bags, working some more etc.
I did that every night for a couple of weeks and it had a really positive effect on my mental health. And, I know, it’s only 15 minutes!
Simply by setting the time aside, I gave myself permission to do something, on my own, just for me. I felt productive and I felt happy that I’d had my “me time”. And yes, it’s only 15 minutes, but it’s something.
We don’t all have the luxury of support or the chance to take a holiday. Lack of support, ability and finances plays a part in most families. But I think we can all take a little bit of time to ourselves every now and again and not feel guilty about doing so.
I hope this isn’t coming across as preachy or too simplistic. I’m writing this in response to so many of you telling me you can’t find time for the things you love – and I just want to help you find your own self care plan.
Ending the Mum Guilt
Take five minutes (or longer if you can!) just for you every day and DO NOT feel guilty about it. I don’t. Take care of yourself.
I would love you to join me on my little mission for busy mums to find more time for themselves. Here’s a printable of some of the self care ideas you might like to try when you can grab five minutes every day – plus space to write in your favourites too. Your self care strategies might be totally different to mine.
What are your favourite self care activities for busy mums?