Every morning I wake up, get my girl to school, get myself dressed in whatever I can find that is clean, grab a bite to eat as I run out of the door to work. I work all day with a quick break at lunchtime when I grab a sandwich on the run, trying to find some new shoes for my daughter because she's grown out of the old ones. I finish work at 3pm in time to collect the kids from school and we go food shopping. We get home and I start to make the dinner, then it's bath and bed for the kids. I finally sit down in front of the TV at 8pm with a glass of wine to relax. I'm so exhausted I crawl into bed at around 10pm. I don't have time for self care, are you crazy? My glass of wine in front of the TV is all the self care I need thank you.
Does this sound like you? I used to live like this although I didn't have kids at the time and so I worked much longer hours. I understand how it feels to not have time for yourself, it's exhausting, depressing, surviving with constant anxiety and brain fog. You don't know what's wrong with you because everyone else seems to be coping but in actual fact they are suffering as much as you are.
I wanted to share with you a few changes that I made which helped me to get some more time for myself.
Change your attitude about your own self care. You matter. Without you your family won't function. Your self care is essential to the wellbeing of your family.
A glass of wine in front of the TV at night is not enough, wine depletes your energy and the TV can fill your head with all sorts of nonsense. Much better to take a long bath with some Epsom Salts in it and read a book.
Choose a supermarket that do home delivery. I know it costs money but think about the cost to you of going to the supermarket with your kids. What could you be doing instead of that?
Take a proper lunch break and time to eat.
Choose your food. Unhealthy options such as fast food takeaways only serve to deplete your energy. Bring a packed lunch, include fresh fruit and veggies or choose a salad or soup.
Get your kids to help around the house. Even the smallest ones love to have little jobs to do, putting their clothes into the washing basket, laying the table, tidying up their toys. You are not their slave!
Get your partner to help. Take it in turns to do bath and bedtime that way you will have some more time for yourself.
Find something that you enjoy doing and do it. Reading, writing, listening to music, drawing, yoga, singing, there are so many options. Choose one night a week to indulge in your passion.
Employ a cleaner. Your house doesn't need to be clean all the time at the expense of your own health. What is it costing you to not employ one? The time you save can go on spending quality time with yourself or your children.
Throughout the day take a breath break. Wherever you are pause and make a conscious effort to inhale to the count of 4 and exhale to the count of 6. Exhaling longer than the inhale calms your body and mind and allows you to think more clearly.
I hope you find one or two ideas that you can start to incorporate into your day to increase your own self care. Make sure you aren't that empty jug trying to fill up the cups for your family.