Here are 16 simple self-care tips for mums (which don't include an expensive trip to a spa)
Self-care is a term you hear a lot at the moment, but what does it mean and how can it help you as a parent?
Magazine articles would have you believe self-care is centred around indulgence and pampering, often with pricey and time-consuming treats - a spa day, a long soak in luxurious bath oil, a trip out to get your hair done. Which are all lovely, but often difficult to logistically arrange when you do the main bulk of looking after the baby and are stringing out your maternity pay.
But self care doesn't have to be complicated, or expensive.
At a very basic level, self-care means taking actions to protect, develop or maintain your health, well-being and wellness.
When you're a parent, you're often last on the long list of priorities. When the demands of looking after your baby are urgent and need to be done right away, it's easy to neglect yourself. So instead, we're looking at simple self-care tips for mums, which are quick and easy and will make you feel a lot better.
Here are 16 simple self-care tips for mums:
- Drink a glass of water. When was the last time you had one? Dehydration can make you feel terrible, so make sure you stay hydrated. Buy your own reusable bottle and drink it every time you encourage your children to have some of theirs.
- Eat something warm that's not just toast, like soup or simple pasta.
- Eat some fruit or vegetables. We bet you're great at giving these to your children, but what about you? Serve some for yourself too.
- Or make a healthy smoothie first thing in the morning, and drink it throughout the day (read our list of healthy smoothies for the whole family).
- Make a hot cup of tea, put your baby in the bouncer, and drink the tea while it's still hot.
- Develop a shower strategy! Put the baby on a play mat by the bathroom door, shower while they nap, or have one before your partner leaves for the day, if you're able to. You will feel a lot better.
- Sleep when the baby sleeps. We know, we know. Everyone says it, no-one does it as nap time is the only time you have to do everything else. But try and use the time to get some rest as you'll feel much better for it.
- Or at the very least, rest when the baby sleeps.
- Go to bed at the same time as your baby at least once a week. If you're being woken up several times a night, get some seep when you're able to.
- Leave the house once a day, even if it's only to go to the shop. Fresh air is soothing and will make even a bad day feel better. Plus, it feels like you've achieved something.
- But have a day at home if you need it. It's OK not to go out. Pyjama days are good for the soul, too.
- Say no to too many activities. It's easy to have FOMO when you're used to full-time work and want to be out making friends, but if you overload your day you might end up feeling stressed.
- Put the radio on for some background noise and adult voices when it's just you in the house with the children.
- Or listen to your favourite parenting podcast.
- Let your children watch TV to give you some headspace and don't feel guilty about it.
- And last in the list of our self-care tips for mums? Never be afraid to ask for help.