When was the last time you had “me-time” and how did you spend that time?
5.30am this morning! My alarm goes off at 5.30am every morning, despite the night I’ve had. And after many years of practice, I now push through the ‘oh no, I don’t want to do this today!’ and force myself out of bed because I know that the days I push snooze and sleep until the kids wake me, I just don’t cope as well.
This morning, I had nearly an hour and a half to myself before the kids started waking because we’d all had a shocker of a night (waking, crying, panadol, musical beds) so everyone was exhausted! But that time to myself totally reset my mind and body, even though I was tired. I spent a little while just slowly stretching my body awake with some yoga poses and deep deep breathes, then I listened to a guided meditation. Most mornings I do my own meditation, but on the days when my brain is scattered, I need someone else to walk me through it. I then wrote in my journal – which is by far one of the best things I can do for my headspace on the mornings I’m shattered. I kind of coach myself – remind myself what’s important, reconnect to my strength, reflect on what’s happening in my life. It’s like a letter to my best friend, and that friend is myself. It’s a game changer for me. Then, there was some warm water and lemon, coffee, and a shower.
What are some of your favourite ways to practice self care?
Start my morning right! As I said, I’ve spent ages resisting the importance of that morning ritual, always favouring sleep, but it really doesn’t work for me. But the key to being able to carve the space for yourself out in the mornings is actually going to bed early the night before. I absolutely can not stay awake at night anymore. My body and my mind just won’t let me. I am totally in love with my early nights, and pretty much am always crawling into bed with my night oil on my face, my fav book in my hands, and my heatbag on my toes by 9pm. While I used to worry about the effect this had on my relationship with my husband, he is the first to admit that he loves his own space at night too. We often forget how little self care and me time our men have as well, filling their days with work and then family. So it works really well for us. Of course, on weekends and special nights, we’re up together, but getting really clear on what we both need to fill our cups has been really important in our marriage.
What advice would you give to mamas struggling to create “me-time”? How do you make time in your schedule for yourself?
My advice would be to stop looking for ‘time’, and start focusing on your thoughts. The truth is, time is not our friend. If we wait for the perfect window to open up for us to go to a yoga class, sit in the sun with a warm cup of tea, or run a bubble bath, we’ll be waiting for ever. Self-care has to start within – it’s the only way for mamas with little ones. So if you’re struggling with finding me time and feeling overwhelmed, I would suggest start with looking at your shower as your me time, and consciously focus on positive thoughts, beautiful bath oils, and big deep breathes while you’re in there. Let the water wash over your body and watch it disappear down the drain, along with all your negative emotions. Then, when you hop out, massage an energising oil or cream into your whole body, really focusing on the motions. Use it like a Tai Chi meditation! Long slow sweeping motions. Meditation is simply the focus of one thought in the moment, and as mamas, a moving meditation is often the only type we can get! And one last thing – if you have a little one (like I do) that hates you going into the shower and stands there crying for you while you’re covered in soap, lock the door. Mamas need space, even if we have to be brutal about it. Your little one will be fine, but you will be so much happier, calmer and more present if you can get a little peace each morning.
For more from Amy visit her website http://happymama.com.au. Also if you sign up on her site, you will receive a free meditation to listen to at the end of day to help you wind down, disconnect from the busy-ness, and get ready for sleep.