As a mama with children to care for, it is so easy to get caught up in the busyness of the everyday. I’ve found that in order for us to ensure that we self care we really need to build it into our days rhythm.
So what is self care?
Self care is nourishing yourself from the inside out, rather than from the outside in. It can be a daily practice, something you commit to (just like you may commit to watching your favourite television series). Your self care is to “checkin” with you, to drop out of our mind/ ego and into a quieter more authentic place.
In this place you gain perspective, you are able to see what has to give and what has to be reshuffled. It’s a place to go to gain strength, presence and gratitude. It’s an opportunity to re-centre.
Why is it so vitally important for busy mamas?
Well in case you aren’t yet convinced, the simple essence is that we hold so much for our families – both physically and energetically.
Our self care is vitally important to our happiness, fulfilment, empowerment. As a result our self care directly impacts our ability to mother with calm presence and the well being of our children and family life. I believe this to be true even if you are a working mother, with a stay at home partner. I also feel it important to note that self care is really something important to everyone (women and men) living in our face paced modern day life.
Is self care the same as meditation?
Yes and No. My daily meditation is usually a part of my self care practice but it doesn’t form my complete practice. Some days my daily meditation may slip and on these days I ensure that I include some other form of self care – perhaps it is a warm bath, or taking 10 minutes before I go to bed to light my candle and write in my journal.
So how do you get started?
To form a habit it is essential that we get our conscious minds on board. This is why I think intentions are a wonderful starting place. Getting clear on how you want to feel and reading this daily. Then adding in whatever else is calling you – follow your intution on this. You may like to read about my journey to self care over here.
The key is to beginning one step at a time, but be consistent.
Self Care Practices to Begin:
- Scent and Smell – can be the perfect, gentle way to begin with self care. Smell transports us to another place in time and can instantly change our energy, I’m sure you’ve all experienced it. For thousands of years we have known of the benefit of smell, however more recently research has proved that smells can affect the way you feel emotionally and can affect your energy level. Some of my favourites little bottles of potions are: Spagni Lavendar or Spagni Rose, Do-terra Essential Oils, Beeswax candles – my favourites are from Queen Bee and Sage smudge sticks. You can read here about I use scent and smell to clear energy.
- Daily Intentions and Affirmations – Say an intention or affirmation you have created. Words that bring you in the present moment and remind you of your intentions.
- Daily journal writing – a wonderfully reflective process that I find can easily fit into most days. Rather than writing about what you did, why not write about what emotions are coming up for you. Where you are feeling stretched? Where are you feeling grateful?
- Yoga is a great way connect in with your breath and inner world. Maybe you know some poses that you can do at home to calm your mind. Traditionally yoga was used as a precursor to meditation to begin to slow and still the mind. My favourite is ‘child’s pose’ and whenever I’m feeling overwhelmed or just super stretched I sit in this pose for as long as my girls will let me!
- Oracle cards are a wonderful way to access your intuition, when you may be needing some uplifting words to move you out of negative thoughts. I always begin by doing something to call myself present – into the moment, out of the rushing – usually lighting a candle, smudging or using essential oils.
- A warm bath by candle light to digest your day. There really is something so rejuvenating and cleansing about water, coupled with the simplicity of candle light. Resist the temptation to take your phone with you – allow yourself this time to simply be in the moment.
- Setting up an alter (somewhere little fingers can’t reach) is something that I’ve really enjoyed over the years and is a reminder of how I am taking care of myself. Placing things such a inspiring quotes, animal totems, collected nature, candles, fresh flowers, whatever really speaks to you. Notice that when your alter gets a little messy with various bits & pieces accumulating that don’t belong, how you are feeling about yourself and whether you have been self caring. This is a wonderful visual representation for your inner world and may prompt you to action!
If you would like a little help getting started or perhaps are feeling overwhelmed with how to make changes in daily life as a mama to find breathing space, I would love to help.
I’d love to know whether you a self care routine? What is your biggest struggle with self care?
Hi I’m Natalie,
I teach Mums mothering arts + homemaking, so that they can create a home life that deeply nourishes their children while re-igniting their JOY in the monotony of motherhood.