Struggling to fit in self-care? 

looking after yourself

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.   

At the moment our mental and physical health is something that we are all concerned about and there is a lot more talk of looking after our mental health in particular as we move through the pandemic.

Most of ideas I see about self care 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) I write in my journal, although it’s not as regular as I’d like it to be. Writing down whatever is in my head helps me to find clarity and it’s amazing how something so simple can be so effective.

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’d like help and support, particularly at the moment, come and join me in my free facebook group. It’s been described by parents as one of the most supportive groups out there. Www.facebook.com/groups/connectiveparentingusingnvr