When was the last time you had “me-time” and how did you spend that time?
I can remember the exact time and place … what a disaster! I tried to have some “me-time” for the first time when my first little girl Mia was around 4 weeks old. I was desperate to have my hair coloured (I had not realised how much time and focus babies need in those first few weeks and my hair was out of control with grey. I also blamed her for the grey – lol). My husband Brent took care of Mia while I visited my local hairdresser. About 30 minutes into the colour being on my head Brent showed up with Mia screaming. She wouldn’t take the bottle and needed to be fed – immediately. I then proceeded to breastfeed Mia in the back room of the hairdresser with the colour still processing in my hair and me praying that it wouldn’t turn out bright red!!! Not quite the experience I had hoped for. By the time I had Ava (my second little girl) I had finally figured out that a beautiful walk alone on the beach was the “me-time” I really needed to fill my bucket – nothing to do with my hair.
What are some of your favourite ways to practice self care?
For me self-care are those tiny moments and very small things I can do on a regular basis to fill my bucket. Over the years I have found it hard and often disappointing when trying to fit larger chunks of time in to dedicate to self-care and so I focus on the 5% things which make me happier each day. By tuning into these and implementing them into my day, I am able to re-charge and rejuvenate in order to show up the way I intend to more often than not.
The 5% things for me include a range of the following:
· Answering the question – what would make me 5% happier today (I have this on a sticky note at my front door so that it serves as a reminder every time I leave the house)
· Making a cup of tea for a friend
· Listening to an inspiring pod cast on the way to work
· Texting a message of gratitude to a friend or family member
· Walking in nature
· Picking flowers and having them in my house
· Smelling a candle
· Asking someone at the shop how they are and truly connecting with them
· Taking 5 minutes to colour or meditate
· Driving along the beach road on the way home from work
What advice would you give to mamas struggling to create “me-time”? How do you make time in your schedule for yourself?
The 5% things are so powerful for me (above). This approach has really changed my life and helped me ensure that I make “me-time” on a daily basis – for just 5 minutes. I have found that implementing large/dramatic changes have been difficult and often I have not been able to follow through on them consistently so the 5% feels more achievable for me and allows me to take small action everyday – no excuses.
I have also struggled with asking for the “me-time” if you need to rely on others for support in looking after children, businesses or commitments. In order to overcome this I set up time once a month for me at the start of the year so that it is “locked in” to the calendar. My husband and anyone else who plays a role in supporting this know from the outset of the year. They then hold me accountable for taking this time and I do the same for them. This approach alleviates the need to “ask” each time.