The Importance Of Self Care

Self care is a big buzz word at the moment. Wherever you look there's blog posts and articles about taking care of yourself. The focus is always on giving yourself time, making sure you look after you as well as your family and allowing yourself to refresh. But when you're a stay-at-home mum with children at home all day every day getting any time to yourself is the work of a miracle.

On a normal day, when there was no Coronavirus pandemic, my boys would leave for school at 8am. The Hubby would leave for work around then too and I'd be left alone in the house for the rest of the day until the boys arrived home at roughly 4pm. I would spend my days writing my book, blog posts, and doing research, as well as having time to think by myself. Sometimes I'd take time out to have a shower, or to read a book, or even to just sit in the quiet. 

Since the start of the pandemic things have changed drastically. I did say that things hadn't changed much for me at all but what I failed to realise is that despite me still being at home my days have changed a lot. In 14 weeks I haven't had one day alone in my office. Homeschooling my boys means having them in the room with me at all times, and while I can do a little writing it's in short bursts. With everyone home all the time the house is more untidy, which means more cleaning. And the cooking... oh boy!

In all those weeks how much time do you think I took time out for me? Not a lot I can tell you. I do get a little time to play games at the end of the day but most of my time is dedicated to other people. I end up feeling like if I take time out for me I'm taking it away from someone else and that's not necessarily true. I just need to prioritise. As a result I end up feeling run down, tired, overwhelmed, overworked. So it's time to focus on me at least a little every day.

If you feel "burnout" setting in, if you feel demoralised and exhausted, it is best, for the sake of everyone, to withdraw and restore yourself.

Dalai Lama

Benefits of Self Care

Better productivity - When you take care of yourself you end up more motivated and therefore get more done. Taking time out energises you.

Enhanced self-esteem - Giving yourself a little time will help build your self-esteem. This is something I struggle with and even a simple thing like taking a shower can make me feel better. Taking time out to do my hair, or dress in my favourite clothes, puts me in a better mood and I feel better about myself.

Increased self knowledge - When you ignore your own needs you forget who you are, but when you care for yourself you learn about YOU. You learn about the things you love, maybe it's a new hobby or a renewed love of an old hobby, or it could be realising the kind of activities that keep you motivated. Self care is a way for you to learn more about yourself, why wouldn't you want to do that?


More to give - It may sound counterproductive but when you take time for yourself you feel like you have more to give to others. The reason for this is you are more motivated, you smile more, you're more confident, and so you're more willing to dedicate time to others.

Break from stress - You may not think you're stressed but even every day chores can become a stress. I have a fairly easy life and don't have lots of worries but even I stress out about silly things. Stepping back from the daily stress and reading a chapter of my book or sitting in a quiet room can help so much. Take a break from your stress and set aside some time for yourself.

Time alone - Everyone needs time alone. It gives you time to recharge, to energise yourself, to re-centre. Whether it's reading a book, going for a walk, or taking a shower, make sure you get some time alone - even during a pandemic!

When you ignore your needs you forget who you are... self care is a way to learn about yourself.

Self Care Ideas

Figuring out how to take care of yourself can be easy for some, they simply decide what they like to do and do it. For others however it's a more difficult thing. Coming up with ideas of how to spend time alone or something to do for themselves is too overwhelming and just increases the stress. That's why I've put together a list of 8 things you can do today to take care of YOU.

1.   Spend 15 minutes in the sunshine. It's amazing the difference a sunny day can make to your mood. The Hubby and I have noticed it recently when we've been going out for walks. On sunny days we're motivated and smiling, enjoy the walk and usually walk fast. On the not-so-sunny days we're less motivated, the walk seems to take a long time, and we enjoy it less. When the sun is out, get outside and get some rays!


2.   Laugh. Whether it's watching a funny movie, telling jokes with your kids, or just laughing with your partner it can make the world of difference to your mood. 

3.   Start a journal. Writing things down, taking time out to be you, can help you process the daily stresses and the process of writing something down helps get it out of your head. Ideas, stresses, thoughts, they're all valid and even if you just use a notebook to jot down one word sentences it's something.

4.   Take a long shower. I highly recommend this one, nothing makes me feel more motivated, or lifts my mood more than taking a long shower. Spending time washing my hair and taking care of myself makes me feel so much better. 

5.   Read a chapter of your favourite book or current read. I love reading and do it almost every day before going to sleep at night. It's a chance to escape into a fictional world, or to learn how to take care of myself, or even to learn a new skill. You could enjoy romance novels, crime-fiction, or non-fiction books but whatever it is take some time out to read and recharge your batteries.

6.   Do your hair and make-up. I'm not the kind of person that wears make up every day, I rarely wear it at all, but I do like my hair to be nice. When I take time out to do my hair I feel much better. Sometimes I'll decide to put on a little make up and even that can help. 

7.   Dress in your best clothes, just because. What you're wearing can make a huge difference to your mood so why not pull out your best dress or your favourite outfit and put it on. It could be a gorgeous sparkly dress that you would normally wear out to a club, or it could be your work clothes, but whatever your best is - wear it. You'll feel amazing!

8.   Go for a walk. Getting outdoors, even when the weather isn't great, can help brighten your mood. Fresh air, nature, and a brisk walk helps lift your spirits and make you smile. The Hubby and I go for a walk daily, and it's always a good chance to chat.

Taking care of your family is important, yes, but so is taking care of yourself. Make self care a priority and you may your stresses reducing.

What self care activities do you do?

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