Congratulations to Deanna – check you inbox!
deanna September 07, 2012 at 11:44 am
As a mum of 8 i do not get a lot of sparetime just for me that does not involve my partner or kiddies. Recently i thought that i might start reading a little every day. I forgot how much i had enjoyed this. In turn i have now come to the decision that everyday i am going to write a little bit about the reflections of my days. Call it a type of journal i suppose. I think this would be great instead of my brain going into overdrive having to deal with a lot of other peoples needs. Maybe my new motto will be what is kind for myself will benefit others
Today’s post is from Kirri White. Kirri is a qualified life coach, counsellor and co-creator of the highly successful 30 Day Self-Care Blueprint, an online programme that helps women improve the quality of their lives and celebrate their worth. Kirri also provides inspiration and encouragement on her blog Happy Mums At Home and on facebook.
Often when we hear the term ‘self-care,’ we envisage freshly manicured nails, deep-tissue massages or a day at the spa.
The term ‘self-care’ might even sound like a bit of a joke – something we used to indulge in ‘pre-kids’, but don’t have time for anymore.
There are things we would love to do for ourselves on a regular basis – books we would like to read, courses we would like to take, activities we were once so passionate about, that have now been buried under a pile of laundry and obligation.
We might think that paying attention to our personal needs is selfish. That taking care of everyone else first and continually putting ourselves last, is the measure of a ‘good mum’.
A lot of us have learnt to ‘soldier-on’ with daily responsibilities for extended periods of time without any kind of physical or mental break, only to find ourselves a short time later – depleted, exhausted and effectively swimming in a pool of overwhelm.
When we continually put ourselves last, our wellbeing suffers, and ironically we may then find ourselves in a position where we are unable to take the best possible care of our families.
Use your values as a compass for self care activities
Knowing your values can provide a great starting point as to what types of self-care practices you are best suited for.
Your values provide insight into who you are, what motivates you and what deters you. An effective self-care plan is one that draws on these individual priorities and passions, and finds ways to honour them:
- Are you craving more fun, or more downtime in your life?
- Are you an introvert with a high need for alone time, or someone who enjoys being surrounded by people?
- If you were to find yourself completely lost in the moment, what activity would you be doing?
With our values in hand, we can quickly identify what’s most important and in what order of priority. This provides clarity to decision-making and confidence as to why they are the right decisions for you.
- If being sociable is high on your list, then you need to ensure that connecting with friends and family is prioritized on a regular basis.
- If you are someone who places high value on adventure, you may not want to settle for a dinner or movie every date night, but enjoy exploring more creative options!
Scheduling time for your activities
Sometimes we get so caught up in the seriousness and responsibilities of life and work and parenthood; we forget that there is a little kid inside of ourselves that also needs to unleash, play and explore.
We may even take the step of planning a weekend get-away or a coffee date with a friend, but end up shelving these plans, week after week, due to more urgent demands on our time. In these instances, it can be helpful to question whether what comes up is actually more important? Can it wait? Can someone else do it? Can you simplify the second demand on your time and go ahead with your original plan?
Most of us are conscious of the fact that if we don’t schedule it, it doesn’t happen and yet we fail to extend this level of planning and prioritizing to fun, restorative activities.
When we actively schedule self-care into our lives in a similar fashion to meal planning, it eventually becomes a habitual, intuitive process, that soon requires little thought, just action.
How an intentional 5-10 minutes can make all the difference
Following on from the idea of scheduling self-care, is the limiting belief that self-care practices need to be elaborate or time-consuming.
We keep holding out for the occasional day where we are completely kid-free, and then attempt to cram in trips to the gym, the hairdressers and a lunchtime meeting or seminar. By the end of the day, we end up feeling resentful that our ‘free-time’ was not at all relaxing or particularly enjoyable.
With a little foresight, we can draw on a huge list of self-care activities that range from 5 minutes to 30 minutes or an hour. We can then easily slot in a couple of these activities, every day and enjoy the cumulative benefits of consistent self-care practice.
When you sit down to plan the week, or month ahead, look at the days where you can intentionally schedule in time for your needs, thanks to support or extra gaps in your schedule. It might be something as simple as choosing to read a chapter of your book or meditate for 5 minutes in the car, while waiting for school pick up.
Also, look at days where you might need to practice extra self-care by cancelling an appointment or simplifying dinner plans, with pre-made frozen meals, or Take-Away. Learning to say ‘No’ or cutting back on extracurricular activities in order to create some breathing space for yourself, and your family, are also aspects of positive self-care.
Check in with yourself
A successful self-care plan will have you reconnecting with goals you may have put on hold since becoming a parent. It involves evaluating exactly where you are in your life and a possible meshing of our developing identities as mums and as individuals.
The underlying premise of planning self-care into our lives is simple: When we take exceptional care of ourselves, we are far more capable of taking exceptional care of others.
30 Day Self-Care Blueprint Give Away
Kirri is offering readers of Planning With Kids the chance to win a registration to the 30 Day Self-Care Blueprint. Course registration has started at early bird price of $60 until 6pm September 15th after which it goes up to $97. If you want to register now and save, you can still enter the give away and Kirri will refunded the amount paid if you win! The 30 Day Self Care Blueprint runs for the entire month of October.
To enter the giveaway simply answer the following question in the comments:
What is the one activity you plan to do on a regular basis, to enhance your well-being?
The following conditions apply to this give away:
- The giveaway is open worldwide.
- You may only enter once.
- Entries close at 5pm Tue 11th Sept and will be announced on the blog later that day.
- Winners will be notified by email and if a response isn’t received within 24 hours, another winner will be chosen.
- Good luck!