To take care and look after ourselves as a whole, now that we’re mothers, takes practice. And while people continue to ask ‘how can we do it all?”, the honest answer is that we can’t.
Although rather than put our own priorities on the bottom of our to-do list, there are a few things we can do to enhance our total wellbeing and in turn feel a little more balanced every day. Speaking to Nutritional Biochemist Dr Libby Weaver, she reminds us that “when we talk about self-care, many people think about taking long baths, getting a massage, or spending time in nature, and those things are lovely and delicious, and can cultivate great feelings inside us, but self-care doesn’t always have to look like this.” In fact, if you’re struggling to schedule some time for yourself, Dr Libby says that taking a couple of minutes each day to re-focus and look after your body and mind could do you a world of good; and suggests asking yourself “What are two small things you could do each day, that take less than five minutes, as a way of looking after you?” You see, self-care means different things to different people, however it essentially involves looking after our physical and mental health to ensure our personal energy levels feel (somewhat) balanced.
And as mothers, how often do we run full speed ahead only to later crash into a wall?
Yes, learning to ‘survive’ as a mother seems to be a thing, however, without nourishing ourselves, running through life blindly is incredibly draining and will eventually catch up to us all. So what can we do to make some time for ourselves? Dr Libby says that to feel balanced, our body craves the following essential things; sleep, physical activity, quality food and drink, and time to relax and revive. She also reminds us to “remember that self-care doesn’t have to be something you save up for a special occasion or undertake only once you’re feeling totally depleted.” So whether taking some time out to recharge includes actually heading along to a yoga class, cooking yourself a nourishing meal (instead of eating the kid’s leftovers), popping on your favourite lippie, or a bright highlighter to make you look more awake (we love Benefit’s Watts Up Highlighter– so quick and easy to use!) or even to lessen our compulsive need to say yes to everything. Dr Libby says in order to make time for ourselves we should practice self-care in whatever way we are drawn to.
“Read a book you love, make yourself a nourishing soup, walk with a friend, simply stand outside on the grass with the sun on your face, write in your journal or draw/paint/sew.”
“Your body is your vehicle for life. It has supported you thus far and has helped you carry your children.” Which is why we need to look after it, because a mother needs to take care of herself before she takes care of her loved ones too. Words: Yadira Galarza Cauchi