*This is a collaborative post. I was kindly sent an item to try*
As a busy working mum, finding moments of calm can be a little tricky. I often find that my needs are last in a long queue. Some of that is normal, but my rule is “if I am not ok, and I don’t look after me, then I can’t look after everyone else” so I try to find the time, for me, even if it’s just small moments. I need to reset, unwind, relax, and breathe. Sometimes I get it right and come away at the end of the day or a week and feel like I have had time to find me, and look after me, and sometimes it’s a not so perfect work in progress, but that is life, really isn’t it?
I get up very early – earlier than my kids, to have time alone. I read, catch up on emails and try and meditate or at least sit and relax. This happens most days, other than at the weekends. When I say early, I mean early. 5am. This sounds grim but actually it works now my kids are bigger and sleeping ok, I am not up half the night with a baby or a non-sleeping child. It does take getting used to, and if you really can’t face an early morning then try and slot another time in. If you are still at the toddler nap time stage, take some of that time, to just do something for you. Watch a show, read a book, do some exercise, or sit and do nothing. It’s actually good for you, I promise.
Self-care – I also make sure I do the basics of self-care. So I wash my face, do skincare, brush my hair, make sure my room is tidy, and even if I don’t dress up, I put on clothes that are comfortable and work for my day’s plans are. I don’t find lounging around in pj’s is good for my mental health, so I tend to avoid that unless I am unwell.
Checking in with friends – I do this, daily. It may just be a silly link that’s amused me from social media, or a mini-rant about motherhood, or me checking to see how someone else is. Sometimes being a mum can be very lonely and isolating, particularly if you are at home. Human contact is important, and it helps me to feel less like I am alone, and it’s also good for me to connect and support other people.
Vitamins and minerals – I take several supplements every day, some are medically required and some are just to keep me going. I am a bit retentive about this and have them all set out so I don’t forget. I take iron, Vitamin D, a folic acid supplement, vegan collagen, and medication for inflammation.
Exercise – even if it’s just a walk or a gentle run, or a swim. I try to do this 2-3 times a week. It’s harder as a homeschool mum, to find the time, but I have been known to be leaving the house and waving the husband goodbye with dinner instructions as he arrives home, just to get myself out to get some fresh air and exercise.
A meal with the husband, and no kids – we try to do date nights, where we go out, but if we can’t we at least make an effort to eat together, alone, banish the kids to bed and have some time to catch up. This does wonders for our marriage and also for my mental health.
A weekly bathroom alone time session – for some reason my lovely family thinks that mum going in the bathroom means it’s time to invade. If it’s not a child desperate for the loo as I try to rinse the soap off in the shower, it’s a cat with a burning need to either use the litter tray or sit on the bath edge and judge me for how I wash my hair. So now I have rules. I have bathroom time undisturbed every week. I wash my hair, I do a facial, I take my book, and I relax in a bath. I lock the door and the husband is on guard duty and he knows it’s better for the whole house if he takes that job seriously.
I love adding candles to this bathroom time, and this gorgeous candle from Han London is now one of my favourite additions to make my bathroom time feel more relaxing. Amist the bath toys and laundry that needs sorting, I can pretend I am in a spa. They smell divine, are beautifully made and are made from pure soy wax and essential oils. They also make a lovely gift for someone who needs a treat.
Real mum life is busy, and hard work, but looking after myself helps me to feel like I can manage.
Ps I also drink coffee and eat a piece of good quality chocolate every day. Mum has to do what works to keep going, doesn’t she?
How do you go about finding moments of calm for you? Any tips or tricks that work to share?