Updated: Dec 9, 2021
Self-care is about looking after yourself physically, mentally and emotionally. It sounds simple yet many of us find it hard to achieve. Emma Bunting explains why it's so important (especially for mums) and how we can easily fit it into our lives.
You may be asking: "What is self-care?" In a nutshell, self-care is about looking after yourself physically, mentally and emotionally. It sounds simple yet many of us find it hard to achieve. We need to take a step back and recognise that we need to be aware of our wellbeing before we can achieve self-care.Don't over think it: self-care can start from simple things like having a coffee break without the kids, not checking your phone or emails in the evening or arranging something with friends like getting your hair or nails done, or having a massage. The top 5 reasons why I think self-care is an absolute must: 1. It increases energy levels Looking after ourselves means we will have more energy to give to other things in life like exercise, relationships, kids and work. I know that if I take time out from my boys, I can be a better mum with the extra energy levels that I have from feeling rejuvenated. 2. It manages stress levels When I go to the gym or get my my hair done, this leaves me feeling relaxed and less stressed. Do the things that you personally enjoy – that means you’re releasing those feel-good hormones like endorphins, serotonin and dopamine. It’s hard for mums to treat themselves without feeling guilty. Some may think self-care is selfish but it’s far from that!Drop that guilt and allow yourself to feel relaxed which will help manage stress. 3. It increases physical, mental and emotional health Self-care encourages you to maintain a healthy relationship with yourself so that you can transmit good feelings to others. You cannot give others what you don't have yourself. When you pay enough attention to yourself you’re not only considering your feelings, you’re also trying to be the best version of yourself for the people around you. Go for a walk or run, meditate or have a chat and a laugh with friends; laughter is the best medicine. 4. It encourages self-esteem Making time for yourself and meeting your own needs before others' will send positive messages to the brain. Treat yourself well and tell yourself that you matter; decrease that negative talk and increase the positive talk and tell yourself you have intrinsic value. 5. It enables you to enjoy and appreciate family life (more) Time out away from the kids and your partner will make you appreciate the time you have together. It will create space for you to think and reflect. It will also make you excited and look forward to spending quality time together.My top 5 self-care suggestions: 1. Work out regularly when you can. 2. Sleep well (if possible), and try not to consume caffeine or alcohol before bed. 3. Find time to meet friends, arrange a coffee date or a visit to the pub. 4. Meditate – mobile phone apps are available to help. 5. Treat yourself regularly whether that is getting your hair done, having a massage, or getting your nails done.