top of page

Realistic self-care ideas for busy mums

The idea of this post is to show you some quick and easy ways to pay attention to your well-being and encourage you to let go of the all-or-nothing mentality we so often have: “If I don’t have time to go for a 5/10k run it’s not worth going at all.” or “That little time I have would be better spent doing something productive or with my child than on selfish acts…” Could you have said any of those things? Listen, mummy, you can’t pour from an empty cup! If you burn out, it won’t help any aspect of your life: not your family, not your relationship and not your career. Sometimes less is more in those aspects. Self-care might not look any more like it used to back in the child-free days, but those small acts of care and kindness towards yourself can go a long way to prevent stress and cope with acute stress.

Ask for what you need

I get it, it’s really tough to ask for help or what you need. You might fear rejection or being a burden. Realistically though, unfortunately, chances are if you don’t ask for what you need you won’t get it because no one can read your mind. Your partner might be oblivious to all you’re doing or your boss might not be aware of everything you have on your plate. By telling them and making a direct, actionable request, we can not only get support but also create an emotional connection. According to research, people frequently underestimate others' willingness to help and how good it makes them feel. And remember, asking for less than you truly want - from yourself, from others and from life - doesn’t benefit anyone. It's your turn - go ahead and ask for what you really want... it might just happen! If you need support to overcome the barrier of asking or figuring out what it really is you want, I am happy to support you, just reach out!

Take deep belly breaths

Breathing is something we just do all the time naturally to stay alive so we might not be particularly aware of how we are doing it. It might take a little practice to become aware of our breath and utilise its superpower. Deep, conscious breathing enables more air to flow into the body and can help calm the nerves, reducing stress and anxiety. One way to get started is to set 3 daily reminders on your phone to focus on your breath. Notice if your breath is slow, steady, fast or shallow and whether you feel the movement in your belly or your chest. Now consciously focus on taking slower, deeper belly breaths. Can you feel the difference? Once you get used to it you will be able to use breathing as a relief tool in stressful situations. Below is a useful breathing technique that can help you get started:

Put yourself first

Putting yourself first is easily confused with being selfish, but it is actually the opposite. It simply means that you are mindful of your own needs before caring for others. See it like this: You’re putting your oxygen mask on first before helping others. If you didn’t do that you would not be able to support the people you care about calmly. How you treat yourself and your needs will ultimately affect your loved ones through your energy levels, your mood and your (mental) health. Ultimately, when you feel fulfilled and take care of yourself first, you can better meet the needs of your loved ones.

Get outside every day

Sunny Disposition is not just a saying: sunlight and fresh air stimulate your ‘happy hormone’ serotonin and actually make you happier! Serotonin is associated with boosting your mood and helping you feel calmer and more focused. Research has also linked time spent outside with greater vitality, reduced stress levels and improved sleep quality. Time spent outside often goes hand in hand with increased physical activity, so you can kill two birds with one stone. Swipe left to see some ideas to incorporate more outdoor time into everyday life.

Set boundaries

Healthy boundaries are such an important component of self-care and can prevent anger, burnout and resentment. Boundaries apply in every area of your life: the work environment, friendships, romantic relationships and also the mother-child relationship. Setting boundaries doesn’t come easy to a lot of us though. That might be because we don’t know what we actually need or because we don’t feel we have the right to enforce our limits. We live in a society that celebrates mothers’ self-sacrifice for everyone else and makes us believe if it’s not hard we are not doing enough. This is something that is so deeply instilled in us and something I work on with many of my clients. Swipe left to see the basics on how to set and enforce boundaries, and I am happy to work with you through your personal case step by step.

Practice Gratitude

The practice of Gratitude appears to benefit just about every aspect of our lives, according to a growing body of evidence. Overall health and well-being appear to be significantly enhanced. It can be as simple as writing down 3 good things that happened today before going to bed. According to a study, doing that increases happiness, makes it easier to see the good things in life in general and builds resilience. As if that wasn’t enough already, research further suggests that gratitude helps us build deeper social connections, encourages us to make healthier life choices and calms our nervous system. That’s crazy, isn’t it? Are you already practising gratitude or will you start now?

Eat Nutritious meals

Besides the physical benefits, which are generally quite well-known, good nutrition can also boost your overall mental well-being. Research has found that a healthy, balanced diet can help you experience fewer mood swings, improve focus and have a more optimistic perspective, helping us cope better with busy everyday life. I am not a nutritionist though, so I’ll encourage you to get qualified help or make use of the available online resources teaching you some basics and how to create quick, easy, affordable meals.

Move your body

Similar to nutrition, the focus of exercise is often on the physical benefits but let’s speak about the psychological ones! When it comes to exercise anything is better than nothing! A short walk or as little as 10 min of aerobic exercise can already improve your overall mood, reduce stress, enhance self-esteem, increase energy levels and improve your confidence. Those are just some pretty immediate effects, but additionally, there is a lot of amazing neuroscience on the long-term cognitive effects of exercise. If you have the energy and can allocate more time to exercise, perfect! If not, just keep in mind that any minute you manage to invest in yourself and your body counts and is a win! If you would like to prioritise exercise more but just don’t seem to be able to, I can help you find a way!

Parenting Struggles, Mom Guilt, Motherhood Realities, Mom Life Balance, Mom Community, Supportive Motherhood, Moms Supporting Moms, Parenting Challenges, Self Compassion, Mental Health Matters, Working Mom Life, Parenting Journey, Moms Empowerment, Family Wellness, Mom Life Hack, Parenthood Unplugged, Parenting Advice, Healthy Mom Life, Mindful Motherhood, Mom Self Care, Embracing Motherhood, Raising Kids, Guilt Free Parenting, Mom Truths, Mom Tribe, Motherhood Journey, Real Moms, Moms Supporting Each Other, Normalize Parenting Struggles, Empowered Motherhood

1 Comment

Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating
Apr 26
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

That's so helpful!

bottom of page