Struggling to fit in self-care? 

Self-care is one of the central aspects of NVR. It’s crucial that as parents we look after ourselves but so often when I speak to parents they are tired and exhausted. Self-care is not on the to do list. 

I know that the term self-care can get a bit of a bad rap.  It tends to be associated with long gym sessions, spa days and weekends away.   

Come January the papers will be full of the best ways to look after yourself in 2019.  It’s the same every year, and every year I look at them and feel a mix of jealously and amusement.   

Most of the ideas are totally unrealistic for me, either in terms of time (no I am not getting up at 5am to do an hours yoga and go for a run!) or financially.  It can put you off doing anything at all. 

I, like many, have good intentions about my self-care. I go through phases where I’m consistent – I do something for me every day and other times I just forget.  Those are often the times when I need it most.  When I’m getting stressed and tired and need to be focusing on me a little. 

My mantra is little and often with self-care.  You won’t find me in the gym for an hour every day.  You might find me going for the occasional, very occasional, run (read jog 🙂 ), but most of my self-care is about having fun and doing simple things that I can easily build into my day.   

Here are some of the things that I do: 

1) Spend a few minutes focusing on my breathing.  It really does work wonders for calming my mind and body. 

2) Use my favourite shower gel.  I’ve stopped saving it for ‘best’ as I realised I had no idea when that would be! 

3) Go for a walk.  20 minutes round the block works wonders. 

4) Dance around the kitchen to whatever song is on the radio. 

5) Listen to my favourite music. 

6) Chat to a friend. 

7) Have fun with my son – laughing and playing with him is great self-care for both of us. 

8) Do something that’s on my to do list – it feels so good taking action and crossing something off. 

9) Play with our cats – they always make me laugh with their silly antics. 

10) Remember the positives.  Every morning and evening I write down three things I’m grateful for.  It helps me to focus on the positive, even when things are tricky. 

These are just some of the small things that I do for self-care. I find by doing different things regularly I can keep myself sane.  It’s not perfect but it works for me.   

The most important thing is that you are doing something, and doing it consistently.  As with everything, what works for one may not work for another, so create a list of things that work for you and do something daily.  You’ll start to feel the difference quite quickly.   

If you’re setting new year’s resolutions please make sure one of them is to look after yourself.  In fact, don’t wait until the New Year.  Do it now!  After all Christmas can be a stressful time so the more we top up our reserves now the better. 

We’ve been sharing lots of self-care tips and suggestions over on my Facebook group. Come and join us – Www.facebook.com/groups/connectiveparentingusingnvr 

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