Me-time bestie 

Me-time bestie 

Self care is about prioritizing your own health and wellbeing through consistent action. 

As we start a new year there is no better time to change your thinking around self care and act to make it a regular part of your life. 

As mamas we have no difficulty caring for and nurturing others but we often struggle to do the same for ourselves. This got me thinking – while self care is a personal responsibility – there is no reason why it can’t be a collective goal for mamas that we support one another in realising. 

With that in mind, I had an idea that might help in our journey to take action to prioritise self care – a “me-time bestie”. 

Here are 6 ways having a me-time bestie could support you and hold you accountable for your self care goals:

1. Suggesting ways you could spend me-time together – something as simple as a regular child free coffee date or as elaborate as a spa day.

2. Taking turns minding each other’s children, even if only for an hour, to give the other time for me-time. 

3. Brainstorming ways to schedule regular me-time and ideas of how to spend the time and check in to see it has happened and how it went. 

4. Encouraging and cheering each other on when you take time for yourself. 

5. Sharing ideas, articles and gifts (like second hand magazines or books) which promote self care.

6. Texting one another with inspiring quotes or tagging each other in relevant material on social media including giveaways of self care related products or events. 

I know for me, having a social media presence for Mama’s me-time has helped me enormously on my own journey by making me accountable on a daily basis – I continue to strive to walk the walk. Tag someone who could be your new #metimebestie. I’d love to hear from you if you try on the idea.  

Rebalancing your body

Rebalancing your body

What? Musculoskeletal therapy 

Where? Health biz massage therapy clinic, Adelaide

Why? Musculoskeletal therapy is designed to treat the muscles and skeletal system using various soft tissue and mobilisation techniques. It can assist with back pain, neck pain, joint pain, and injuries. 

Harry Bruce came recommended by a family member, who had given him the nickname “Harry Houdini” after he fixed a back injury that had her bed ridden. On my last visit to Adelaide I tried to make a last minute appointment only to be told he was booked a month in advance. This year I got lucky. 

Harry is as skilled as he is enthusiastic. He shared with me, while I’m completing a patient questionnaire, that many of his patients (like me) are from interstate and overseas. Once completed he has a cursory glance at my paperwork and tells me he knows the answer to all my problems. 

I can’t wait for him to begin. Through what I can only describe as oh so subtle pressure being applied to various areas of my body, he works from feet, to my pelvis (where he tells me all my problems began) to my shoulders, to resolve the imbalances, providing thorough explanations along the way. 
Like magic – the results of his work are immediately apparent. I feel flatter and more grounded on my feet. I am effortlessly straighter in my back and less tense in my shoulders. I have seen many practitioners over the years for neck and back problems associated with my scoliosis and none have produced results as impressive. My only regret – I didn’t see him sooner. 

How much? $70.00 per session.  

Two minutes with … Terry Won, mama to Matthew, aged 8 months 

Two minutes with … Terry Won, mama to Matthew, aged 8 months 

When was the last time you had “me-time” and how did you spend that time?

Last week. Spent 2 hours in a surfing lesson as we are travelling at the moment (currently in Bali). It’s nice not having to focus on my baby or husband and just do something for myself in that short few hours. 

What are some of your favourite ways to practice self care?

Eating well and staying healthy is important to me. It keeps my energy up. Daily, I take my Ayurvedic energy ball, supplements, green juice and turmeric tonic. This is my idea of a morning coffee. 
I love body oils and scrubs so every evening once I put my baby to sleep, I take a little moment to enjoy applying my favourite body oil all over my body and scrubbing it off in the shower. 

Once a month, I try my best to have a 2 hour body massage or facial. I love thai massage or chinese massage. The stretching and firm acupressure helps loosen my muscles and open up my body when it’s tight from carrying my baby and working. I’m an Integrative Cosmetic & Skin Doctor by profession so it’s important for me to have good skin and a good medical facial is a must. A treatment to properly extract and clear skin congestion (from living in a city) and an anti-aging light treatment to counteract the premature ageing effects of being a mum (the more effective in the shortest period of time possible the better). 

What advice would you give to mamas struggling to create “me-time”? How do you make time in your schedule for yourself?

Plan for it. Prepare for it. Have a “me-time” team around you on speed dial :). 

My husband is also part of my “me-time” team as he helps look after the baby when I am in one of my self-care moments/ sessions. I also prepare my baby’s food well in advance in the morning (plus my husband’s food) so both my husband and baby are fed and happy (and I don’t need to worry of my husband calling me saying the baby is restless). When I go for my massage, my husband has one first and then I go afterwards as my husband is all relaxed now and happy to look after the baby 🙂 
I also have my favourite body oils and scrubs in sight so I have fun choosing each evening which one to use. Make self-care fun and easy.

Two minutes with … Stacie Diamantides, mama to Jaxon, aged 2.5 years and Phoenix, aged 1 year

Two minutes with … Stacie Diamantides, mama to Jaxon, aged 2.5 years and Phoenix, aged 1 year

When was the last time you had “me-time” and how did you spend that time?

I try to have some “me-time” once a week and that usually involves having some hot (not reheated) coffee and a little pampering or conversation with someone other than my toddler. Today, my husband got up with the boys so I could not only sleep in and take a shower, alone, but also blow dry my hair after – it was much needed and appreciated time to myself. Feeling put together is an instant mood booster.

What are some of your favourite ways to practice self care?

I actually really enjoy doing little projects around the house. Since becoming a mom, it’s a lot harder to finish tasks I’ve started, so finding the time to cross them off my to-do list is very rewarding. I’m also a bit of a shopaholic so a quick trip to the mall always proves to be therapeutic.

What advice would you give to mamas struggling to create “me-time”? How do you make time in your schedule for yourself?

I honestly believe “me-time” is essential in any form and helps you to be a happier, healthier and more patient parent. My husband and I try to have a “date night” once a week to reconnect but if you aren’t able to get out of the house – using your time wisely is key. When the kids are napping or after they have gone bed, that’s the time to let the laundry wait and instead do something for yourself – even if that means just sitting in silence and catching your breath. Being a mom is the most amazing job in the world, but it’s also one of the hardest and I think it’s absolutely ok to admit that.

Two minutes with … Cathy Spooner, mama to Jacob, aged 4 years, Harry, aged 2 years and Ruby aged 4 weeks

Two minutes with … Cathy Spooner, mama to Jacob, aged 4 years, Harry, aged 2 years and Ruby aged 4 weeks

When was the last time you had “me-time” and how did you spend that time?

With our precious little daughter arriving only 4 weeks ago I haven’t had much “me time”. So it was probably when I was pregnant waiting impatiently for her arrival. The boys were at daycare, I ignored the messy house, my to dos and laundry and I sat on the lounge and enjoyed a girly movie. I couldn’t remember the last time I had done something like that… and it felt indulgent but so good!

What are some of your favourite ways to practice self care? 

Self care is so crucial for mums and yet it’s usually the last thing on our list. Like every other mum I’ve learnt the hard way when forgetting to take care of me. So now self care for me is about treating myself with kindness. Being accepting of those days when things are hard and I buy in to the ‘mum guilt’ or judgement. The best way to take care of me is to acknowledge this is a tough job and at the end of each day I know I have done the best I can that day. And if I can squeeze in 20 minutes with my book that’s a bonus!!

What advice would you give to mamas struggling to create “me-time”? How do you make time in your schedule for yourself? 

Don’t make excuses. That’s hard to hear I know, but at times we can be our own worst enemy because we always put everyone before ourselves. It’s such an admirable quality but it doesn’t serve us or our loved ones. So be okay with making YOU number one sometimes, when you stop feeling guilty that’s half the battle won. I have three goals: 10 minutes each day, 1 solid hour a week and 1 full day a month. It may be 10 minutes of stretching or a massage/walk or a date day with hubby. And I remind myself when it seems all too hard that there are 96 ten minute slots in my waking day… when I frame it that way I feel like my perception of my time constrained day isn’t daunting at all. I’m more likely to make my 10 minutes work if I’m not stressed about finding that time.