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Nurturing You: A Guide to Self-Care Strategies for Mums

Updated: 3 days ago

Mummy care, baby gains
The benefits of self-care extend beyond just you. It affects everyone in your life, too.

Becoming a mother is undoubtedly one of life's most rewarding experiences, but the constant demands of motherhood can leave even the most resilient mums feeling drained. Amidst the chaos of diapers, school runs, and bedtime stories, it's crucial for mums to prioritise self-care. And the challenges persist as your children grow — from exam stress and romantic entanglements to concerns for their future. Add a full-time job into the mix, and you find yourself juggling the demands of both work and home. 

As a mother and an educator, I've witnessed firsthand the repercussions of these ever-expanding demands. The internal dialogues we engage in, constantly critiquing and questioning ourselves, only worsen the situation. The result? We lose sight of our identities and well-being. 

While a Mother’s Day spa treat or a nice meal with friends might feel like self-care, it might not be enough. So, I created this guide to share practical and achievable self-care strategies tailored to your dynamic life as a mum and woman. 

1. Short-Burst Activities: Life as a mum is a whirlwind, leaving little time for extended self-care routines. However, short bursts of self-care can make a significant difference. I try to start my day with music fast (I dance) or slow (I pause to sit with myself). To spice things up, I may take a walk, or do a quick write in my journal. These help me be present, create calm amidst the chaos, nurturing my mental well-being in just a few minutes.

2. Prioritising Sleep: Whether you’re a new mum nursing a baby or staying up late to ensure your kids come home before the curfew, quality sleep is a cornerstone of well-being. Yet it often takes a backseat because our worry-list is too long. Simple changes, such as creating a calming bedtime routine (yup, just like you did for bubs), slapping on that Mother's Day lotion from your teen and ensuring a comfortable sleep environment, can contribute to better sleep quality. What do I can when I can't sleep? Sometimes, some relaxing meditation music or reading a few pages of a book helps.

3. Creating Realistic Routines: The idea of a perfectly structured routine might seem elusive to you, but creating realistic and manageable routines is essential for self-care. Creating new routines can be tricky but the more you do it, the better your brain gets at accepting that it's what you want.  You can start by incorporating self-care into daily or weekly routines. 5 minutes of meditation in the morning, a workout after the kids are at school, or a 10-minute call with a loved one at the end of the day. I always believe that small steps, small goals help create longer lasting changes, so you feel more in control.

4. Mindfulness Practices: Introducing mindfulness can be a powerful tool for managing stress and enhancing mental well-being. Busy moms like you can benefit from simple mindfulness exercises that can be practised amid daily activities. From mindful breathing to mindful walking, these practices offer moments of peace and presence, allowing you to navigate challenges with greater clarity and composure. When I start to feel myself become increasing manic and stressed because of work, I literally stop what I'm doing and pause - focusing on my breathing, repeating affirmations and feeling my body relax.

5. Seeking Support: Newsflash, Supermum! You don’t have to do it alone. Seeking support is a strength, not a weakness. And don't I know it! It is essential to build a support network, whether it’s your partners, friends, family, or mum communities. Don’t be shy; asking for help and sharing the load is a crucial aspect of self-care. After all, you would do it for your community. 

6. Integrating Moments of Joy: In the chaos of daily life, finding joy can be a transformative act of self-care. When I find that I'm getting lost in my work or my own mind, I try to infuse joy into everyday moments through simple pleasures, hobbies, or shared activities with my daughter. I meet someone for coffee or look back at my success journal entries. Embracing joy is a vital component of maintaining a positive and resilient mindset. Nothing brings a rush of dopamine and serotonin like success, achievements and making small steps towards goals.

7. Setting Boundaries: Some coaches do not like the word boundaries - call it your force field, your shield, etc, establishing a start and stop line is your secret weapon for a healthy work-life balance. Learn the art of setting clear boundaries with family, work, and, most importantly, yourself. You are your worst critic, so don’t feel afraid to push back. Also remember, boundaries may not always be set in stone, so if the force field doesn't hold today, be kind to yourself and reset it.

8. Addressing Mum Guilt: Mom guilt, that familiar companion on the parenting journey, is a universal experience we all know too well. It's time to acknowledge it, embrace it, and then show it the exit door. (By the way, dads experience it too, but different things matter to them.) Recognising that mum guilt and self-care can’t go hand in hand is crucial; you deserve moments of respite without the guilt trip. Remember, you are not parenting the world, just your children, so what the neighbours or others say, don't matter. Own the fact that you're doing an incredible job, and let go of the guilt that holds you back from embracing the self-care you deserve. 

9. Join Events for Mums: Motherhood can seem like a lonely journey. Am I the only one that feels like they’re constantly messing up? The answer is no - everyone is going through their challenges. By sharing and learning from other mothers through dedicated events, you can gain insights and build a sense of community. This is why I host regular Mums Meet Ups, where we have experts coming into a chat with a group of women, providing insights into parenting, professional growth and personal development. Check out the next event here. 

10. Ask for Professional Help: Sometimes, self-care extends beyond daily practices. And it’s okay to feel like you can’t handle it all. It is okay to ask for help, and would even be beneficial for your kids, partner and work in the longer term. Consider professional help, whether through mental health counselling or finding a coach. I have specifically designed a coaching programme to help guide women on their journey of self-empowerment, helping them become the best versions of themselves. My focus revolves around assisting women in overcoming self-doubt, navigating the intricate nuances of womanhood and motherhood, and emerging as resilient, capable, and self-aware individuals. You can find more information here! 

In the beautiful, crazy ride that is motherhood, self-care is not a luxury but a necessity. I hope that these practical and tailored strategies help you navigate the challenges of parenting with resilience, finding moments of peace and joy amidst the busyness. During moments when time feels elusive or guilt creeps in, remind yourself that a well-rested, nurtured mother is undeniably better equipped to provide the care her family deserves. Prioritising self-care isn't just a gift to yourself but a foundation for creating a thriving and harmonious family environment.

Want a helping hand? Book a complimentary call with me.

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1 Comment

Such a great post - I particularly love the idea of incorporating Short-Burst Activities into your day: pockets of time that are dedicated to your well-being. Thank you Vannessa!

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