So today I want to share some information about self care – which applies to absolutely everyone but is doubly important for tired parents and those of us going through a difficult time.
As mentioned in Our Story, at my lowest point throughout the ordeal I had to be reminded just to drink a glass of water or take a shower. I really didn’t care about myself at all. Since then it has become obvious to me that in order to function well and take care of my daughter, I must first take care of myself.
Self care comes in all different shapes and forms. You don’t need to book a spa weekend to take care of yourself – although if you have the means then go ahead! For parents (be you co-parents, single parents, foster parents) time is a precious commodity, and “me-time” is as rare as unicorns, so I’d like to share with you the quick and easy ways I take some time out.
A hot bath is definitely my favourite form of self care. I like to invest in nice bath products, so that even if my bath only lasts 15 minutes it still feels luxurious.
I also like to take 20 minutes or so after my daughter has gone to bed, before I get consumed with washing dishes and packing lunches, to just sit. A cup of tea, coffee, a cheeky glass of wine or even a tall glass of water is perfect for this time, just to pause briefly and reflect. At this time of year, putting on some fluffy socks or curling up with a blanket is good too.
Candles help me a lot too, and I love Yankee Candles (who doesn’t?) but they are expensive. I recommend finding an outlet store that sells wax melts, as these last longer in my opinion. Alternatively, simmering a pan of water with a scented oil you like in it (vanilla? Cinnamon?) will have your whole house smelling beautiful in ten minutes!
There are all sorts of things you can do for self care – and everyone is different. For some people a run and a hot shower will help, for some reading or colouring for ten minutes does the trick. The goal is to carve out a tiny bit of “you-time” at regular intervals, so that you can do something that helps you to relax.
It’s easy to feel guilty about doing this, but it’s a very important practice. Taking these little “time outs” can stop you from overdoing it and essentially blowing a fuse. Your kids will thank you for it when they realise that those 10 minute increments are helping you stay calmer and more rational throughout the day.
Let us know in the comments – how do you do self care?