Who else finds life gets busy? Who else ends up putting themselves at the bottom of the pile and struggles to know how to fit self care in?
Even without children life gets busy- but there is something so specific about life with children that means we can spend our days giving and giving and doing not much more than the bare minimum for ourselves. Some days it’s an achievement to get a shower! Whether we have long days with the children or our days are bookended with ferrying people from place to place after a long day of work, or somewhere in between, we can all admit to the challenges of taking time for self care, and the difficulties with guilt and justifying it to ourselves. There are so many reasons that self care is about more than just self- that it benefits others.
So if self care is important, how can we make time for it? Once you’ve established the things that you need- whether rest, play or your physical needs that need more intention, we have to find out a way of getting them included in our lives that can already feel full.
Choose a time
Committing to taking time for yourself is perhaps the hardest part, as we can always think of something ‘more important’ or convince ourselves that we can put it off until later.
If you can find a time to fit it into your day or week as a regular occurance and make a habit, it will take a lot of the hard work out of prioritising it later, as it will be naturally a part of your daily life.
Write it down
Get it in your diary, phone, planner, calendar- somewhere that you will notice ahead of time and make sure you are prepared for. Even if it is something as simple as reading a book in the bath (or are you worried about dropping it in, too!?) or moving your phone out fo reach, if you set up reminders for yourself then you hopefully will have fewer opportunities to forget.
Tell someone else
Or even better, find someone to do it with you. Join a group together, have a date night, the more people are involved the less likely it is that you’ll decide it’s okay just to skip when the sofa and the tv sounds like an easier option.
Turn it into a habit
Self care isn’t so hard when it’s something your brain and body are already expecting. You expect to spend time making food so that you can eat- and we need to expect to spend time on other things that fill us up too. If it’s part of the ‘norm’ then so many mental hurdles are overcome and you can focus your energy on enjoying things that help you to feel human and whole instead of working out how to do them in the first place.
A walk every evening (or morning), a five minute slot to read something, a sit down with a cup of tea once the toys are moved out of sight after bedtime. Find some nice slot that you can look forward to through the rest of the day that’s not a mental battle to work out when to do it.
I hope you’re feeling inspired to find a bit more time and intention to fit self care in and make it into a habit so that you’re never left running dry. I definitely need to work on some of these areas myself- just remember to give yourself grace and be kind to yourself as you love those around you. If you want to read more about self care, you can find more posts here-self care for winter, self care as a mother, and work, rest and play in motherhood.