Sitting in a hot bubble bath or doing yoga is not everyone’s cup of tea when it comes to self-care. While I do love a long hot bubble bath, yoga is just too slow for me. The term self-care wasn’t something I was familiar with before trying to become a parent. Before that, it was just part of what I did anyway. But going through IVF, an importance was placed on looking after my mental health.
Now self-care means taking the time to do things that I enjoy and being a little bit selfish with my time to make sure that I get that time to recharge. Being a parent often means putting yourself last. But sometimes you need to make time for yourself so that you can be the best version of yourself, for the other people in your life.
Uncommon ways to practice self care
I’m a bit late to the party, but I discovered podcasts around April of 2017. I don’t know why I never opened the app on my phone earlier, but here I am.
I like to do things “the right way” too. So I downloaded all of the back episodes of Happier with Gretchen Rubin, which had about 200 episodes by the time I discovered it. Two hundred episodes, each approximately 30 minutes long, kept me going for quite a while.
Back to why listening to podcasts is something I consider to be self-care. I really notice the difference in how I feel and how I think when I don’t get the chance to listen to podcasts. I’ve replaced listening to the radio while driving to listening to podcasts. Occasionally I will hear my daughter from the backseat request to listen to Baby Shark or Fruit Salad.
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Lisa – Mama Loves to Share
Nothing beats walking around a local craft market childfree. I buy a coffee then take my time at each stall looking at the products and chatting to the stall holder. Especially great in summer with the sun on my back, it allows me to feel careless, with no responsibility, even if it’s just for an hour or so. I love buying myself a little treat whether it be a piece of jewellery or something for my home. I also love having a good stretch when I’m feeling a little uptight. It’s amazing what simply pausing and consciously stretching can do for the body. It literally takes away any tension and you feel like you can reset and start afresh.
Helen – Mama Loves to Share
There is nothing like a good sing along in the car (child-free!) I pop on some Alanis Morissette “Jagged Little Pill”, turn it up super loud and have an almighty sing! Great stress reliever! I also love going to Zumba classes at the gym. There is something about the upbeat music, smiles on everyone’s faces, silly moves and the sense of belonging to a group which makes me feel so happy. It literally warms my heart and I leave with the biggest smile on my face.
Tamara – Empowered Single Moms
Journaling is a great way for me to get back in touch with myself when I am feeling scattered or confused about what to do next.
Ellen – If It Brings You Joy
I have a playlist of positive, uplifting songs and I start my day dancing a song by myself. Sounds goofy, but it’s an amazing mood lifter!
Lena – What Mommy Does
I like to plan and daydream about vacations I might take one day. I’ll even go online and research different things like accommodations and sights to see. I even have a 3-ring binder with pages from magazines of destinations or experiences I’d love to see or do one day Even if we never go on the trip, it’s nice to think about it and every few years we DO go on one of them! I think the anticipation is half the enjoyment.
Kirsty – That Noise Is Mine
I see a psychologist to make sure my mental health is looked after and whenever my kids are with their father I always make sure I get out of the house for a walk to clear my mind and refresh myself for when they return.
Charlotte – Teens Got Cents
I invite my friends out for a ‘mom’s date’. I pick them up and we run errands for the afternoon – all those things we’ve been meaning to do but haven’t made time or the things we have to get done that day. After we get all of our stuff done while enjoying each others company we head somewhere to have a nice dinner. It’s such a blessing to me. We are getting things done but also being purposeful to keep and grow friendships.
Shailaja – Shailaja V
Tea is my saviour on days when I feel like things are hurtling at breakneck speed. Every time I feel like my mind is about to crack from the strain, I take a break and make myself a cup of soothing tea. Green, black, Earl Grey- it doesn’t matter. For me, the act of watching the tea being brewed and then sipping on it, savouring the taste as it tantalises my taste buds is all the self-care I need to get me relaxed.
Here are some other ways to take some time out for yourself:
- get a haircut
- look through old photos
- go for a walk in nature
- watch the sunrise or sunset
- watch a re-run of a classic sitcom (friedsn and How I Met Your Mother are my favourites!
- paint your nails, or take off the chipped nail polish