This is the most common reason for being unable to do self care.
When people come into the Motherhood Rebellion Facebook group, they are asked, what is their biggest challenge with self care? The most common answer I get is the lack of time.
The biggest surprise that I had and I was least aware of before I entered motherhood, was how our time vanishes, it’s pretty much gone overnight.
That time that you had to waste, you know those chill days at home, hours of pottering around, watching a bit of TV, having something to eat, and just being so free and easy with your time, that disappears.
You can’t go and have a nice walk or bath or anything like that. It becomes very tricky when you’re trying to juggle children and anyone else that lives in your home. That does make self care activities really difficult.
Here’s a rebellious idea: self care is not about making the time, it is about understanding that you need this time, you are worth this time and making that priority.
If you can accept and prioritise yourself, that will make a huge difference to your self care journey.
When we accept and value ourselves, it’s so much easier to then take care and find moments that help us feel calm, happier, more adjusted and connected within ourselves to make time for self care activities.
What is the difference between self care and self care activities?
. Self Care is digging deep into your current level of self acceptance and gradually moving towards self love. If you can get to acceptance, you will automatically prioritise your needs and create boundaries within your family to take the time you need.
. Self Care Activities are what we do that create joy and happiness within us, those activities are as individual as people are. They can be taking a walk, doing some yoga, listening to music, or running a bath.
Learn to recognise when self care is needed.
If our cups are not full, how can we give to others and how can we make a difference to the people around us. You may feel tired, overwhelmed, unmotivated, and undesirable.
This is when to find that valuable time, even five minutes to take some deep breaths, reassure yourself and decide in that moment what you need.
How do I know what I need?
- When was the last time you belly laughed?
- What do you do for fun?
- What makes you happy when you are on your own?
- What are the things that help you feel calm, a little more centered, and more connected? When I say centered, it just means that kind of like a wholesome feeling around yourself.
- This is simple stuff, even if it’s just pottering around, tidying something up or sorting through some books, jewellery, clothing or something that you get lost in it, with no idea of time.
Those activities that are just being, not doing, with no outcome.
There are also the bigger more time consuming activities. For example;
. Going out for a coffee or going to the cinema on your own.
(If you haven’t done that, you really should. I’ve done it quite a few times. It’s amazing. No one steals your treats, you can just get lost for a few hours)
. Going out with your friends and having lunch is one of my absolute favorite things to do. Or going out for a coffee, sitting in your garden, going for walk, walking your dogs. what makes you happy?
Find that time
What do I need to put in place, to be able to go and do that?
Whether it’s childcare or doing it during school time or juggling your time around to find it so that you can go and have a coffee. Find the windows of opportunity, book them in (like you would an important meeting) and make it non negotiable.
How much time you are spending on your phone?
We’re all guilty of it, it’s time we live in. It’s what the phones do to our brains, it’s the chemicals that they release.
I challenge you to use and app and figure out how many hours you are spending scrolling because it probably is quite a lot and maybe more than you would expect.
It could be part of your self care to sit and scroll with awareness or a time limit. Fair enough. But if there’s something else that you could do, that maybe would give you more connection, help you feel calmer, then that is going to be much more beneficial.
Another thing for the ‘to-do’ list.
The idea of self care activities can at times create a circle of negativity. If we feel we don’t have the time, it can add to feeling overwhelmed and becomes another thing we have to do. So the alternative is don’t do anything. I truly believe we can do self care all the time by tuning into our inner voice and dialogue checking in with how we feel daily.
In summary your self care comes from self acceptance and valuing yourself enough, then finding small windows of opportunity for self care activities to help you feel more connected and have fun. Try to be consistent and kind to yourself.
Find those windows and make them non-negotiable.
This is about you. If you are not making time for your self care and to appreciate and value who you are, then when do you plan to do that?
When will you do self care Or who will do that for you?