As mums we often find it hard to make time for ourselves, which can leave us feeling like all that we do is care for our children. This can often lead to depression and is in fact one symptoms of PND, before my diagnosis of PND I was guilty of not taking any time for myself. I have come up with 8 tips that might start helping you give yourself some time.
1. Take a walk two or three times a week, either on your own or with the kids as well. I just love putting my two children in the pram and getting out of the house even if it is only to walk around the block, they are normally quiet on the walk and it gives me time to think and clear my head.
2. Start a bullet journal, this will help you organise all of those tasks you have to get done and it can also help you to plan some time for you. I use my bullet journal every day, I usually take 10 minutes out with a cup of coffee in the kitchen (so I can hear the kids and stick my head around the door) to go through what needs doing and when I can then think about when I can get some ‘me time’ in the week.
3. Take a bath or shower. Now if like me you have 2 under 2 this is a daily struggle, I cannot leave my 1 year old on his own for very long as he gets up to mischief! But a 10/20 minute bath or shower can make you feel so much better, it relaxes all those achy muscles and during those minutes you can just think about nothing but the hot water. Even better if your other half can entertain the kids for an hour so you can shave and moisturise as well as enjoy the hot water
4. Learn to say no. I’m not talking about saying no to your kids… I mean saying no when the grandparents want to visit but you’ve had one hell of a week and just want to stay in and chill with your other half and the kids. Saying no is ok if you have had one of those weeks believe me that time you spend just chilling and getting over the stresses of the week is precious, besides grandparents, friends and other relatives can see them any other time right?
5. Ask for help, this is normally what the grandparents are there for. The other day I had to ask my other half’s parents to come over and entertain the kids for a couple of hours simply because I could no longer cope with them both screaming. I was able to have a shower, get my housework done and even put my feet up for half an hour with a lovely cup of coffee. I often go to see them too just for some adult company, my mum friends are great listeners too and we offload on each other.
6. Find a good book to read or listen to your favourite album. I try to read a chapter of my book before bed, usually when my little girl is having her last feed before I go to sleep (or try and get some sleep anyway). Its a great way of getting away without going away! You can escape into another world with a good book or music… even if its only for a short while it really makes a difference to your mood.
7. Have at least two good meals a day. This is so hard to do I know, you spend your whole day making sure your little ones are well fed and somehow (even being around all that food) you forget about your stomach. I am still guilty of this most days, but I have started to eat a proper lunch with my son, great for me as he loves it when we are eating when he is. I am currently working on a way to incorporate a breakfast! I will let you know how that goes in a future post.
8. Finally take 10 minutes twice a day… for your sanity… grab a coffee sit somewhere quiet at the beginning and end of the day to clear you head or go through your bullet journal. At the end of the day I sit with the news on with a cup of coffee usually around 7.30pm when my eldest is in bed, I look through my bullet journal and cross off the things that got done and plan for the next day, I also like to write a couple of sentences about how the day went, I try and make this as positive as possible.
If anyone else has some self-care tips for mums please comment below and I will do a future updated post mentioning the best self-care tips from other mums.
For information on bullet journals please see my post Bullet Journal for a busy mum.