This is a collaborative post.
There is no denying the last 16 months have been like no other. The world has experienced something you normally only see in films and it is fair to say it has taken its toll, on everyone. Every member of society has had their battles to fight during these unprecedented times and everyone has had their hardships and difficulties to face. This is just as true for mums as it is for anyone. Mums have had to take on many roles during the pandemic, be it employee, parent, teacher, caregiver, cook and cleaner. Studies have shown that it was predominantly mums who picked up the lions share of the homeschooling and child care roles during lockdowns, on top of working from home and their usual roles and responsibilities. While it is appreciated that all demographics had their hardships this article is about the battles faced by mum and what they can do to treat themselves now that some form of normality is returning. Here are some ideas to treat yourself after 16 months like no other and how you can focus on looking after mum.
Everyone loves afternoon tea. A few hours out of the house and away from the demands of the home. It is a time that you can dress up, feel good about yourself, be waited on and indulge in cake and champagne. Afternoon tea has grown in popularity over the years and you will not be hard pushed to find a venue to cater for you. So grab a friend, a fellow mum perhaps and book yourself a few hours out of the house to sit and eat cake.
Whether you are used to online shopping or are rushing back to the open shops’ retail therapy can provide a real pick me up. Retail therapy can provide self-achievement by treating yourself to something you have earned or it may be by finding a bargain. Buying something new that you feel good in can boost your confidence and the act of shopping itself is enjoyable and gives a feel-good factor. Whether you are looking for plus size lingerie or a dress to wear to afternoon tea indulge in some retail therapy and make sure you treat yourself.
It is an age-old classic but nothing says self-appreciation quite like a spa day. Spa days are enforced relaxation time. A time to sit, rest and clear your mind. To focus a little more on you than anyone else, for just a day or even an afternoon. If you do decide to treat yourself to a spa day be sure to book in a treatment too. Perhaps lockdown saw you dig out your old running trainers and fall in love with running, treat those hard-worked legs with a full body massage. Perhaps your skin is feeling dull and in need of a refresh, if so book yourself a facial. Whatever it is you need to relax, unwind and treat yourself.
Perhaps a day at the spa is unattainable right now or afternoon tea is just not going to happen. If you can’t get out to treat yourself then set time aside for some self-care from home. Find something you enjoy and be sure to make time for it. Perhaps you love to work out, if you do be sure to give yourself 30-40 minutes each day to exercise. Whether you’re jumping around in front of the latest workout app or going for a run. If exercise is your happy place and your you-time, be sure it happens. It is not selfish. Putting yourself and your well-being first for just 40 minutes a day is one of the best things you can do for yourself and those around you. As the saying goes, you cannot pour from an empty cup. Staceylblogs has so many reasons why self care isn’t selfish!
If exercise isn’t your thing then what about a hot bath or a good book and cup of tea? Perhaps it’s taking time out to give yourself a facial or do your nails. Whatever it is that will provide you with a little pick me up be sure to make time for it and in turn yourself.
A top tip for those who love a lie-in but can’t get one; give yourself a reverse lie in. If you don’t have the luxury of sleeping in in the morning or having a lazy start to the day, then here is what you can do for now. As soon as you are able of an evening, wash your face get your pyjamas on and get yourself to bed, no matter how early it is. It could be five or seven pm, as soon as you can get yourself away. Tuck yourself up in your comfy bed with your latest read or must-see box set, lay back and do not move until morning.
A family holiday or day out
Looking after yourself as a mum isn’t just about getting away and having some time for yourself, although that is important. As a parent, you don’t just want to be nagging to get the homeschool done or to just be cleaning up after everyone. You want to do the fun stuff too. You want to be present and enjoy your time with your family, doing things that make everyone happy. If you can, go on a family holiday. Family holidays are a time where so many of the usual life pressures and stresses don’t exist for a week or two. A time where everyone is relaxed and in the mindset to enjoy themselves. Not to mention a break from the same four walls everyone has been confined to for months will do you all the world of good.
If a holiday is unattainable for the time being then how about a family day out? Sit down together and decide upon somewhere you would all like to go or something you would all like to do then plan a time that it can be done. Use the day to switch off from everything else and just be present with your family and enjoy everyone’s company as best you can.
Find time for friends
When life gets busy people can often fall by the wayside. Schooling, working, driving the children to activities and birthday parties doesn’t always leave a lot of spare time for yourself and seeing the people you love most. When you were younger chances are you were surrounded by friends, your days consisted of what you were all going to do that day, not when. Now, you have to schedule a chance to get together four months in advance to find a time that everyone is free. Catching up with friends is one of the things that gets put off the most but one of the things you can actually benefit most from. Socialising is good for you in so many ways and it is imperative you make time for it. Force yourself to set aside some time in the diary and to make plans with a friend. Drag them on your spa day or for afternoon tea, or just put aside an hour for a Zoom catch up to stay involved in their life. Although it may feel like an effort you cannot be bothered to make you can guarantee it will be worth it and you will leave feeling good about yourself and glad you made the effort.
Last but not least, prioritise sleep. Getting a good nights sleep is so important for your mental and physical wellbeing. The day feels so much harder when you are tired or have had a bad nights sleep. Make an effort to turn off devices, turn off the telly or log off from work and be sure you get some downtime and a good nights sleep.