Self Care (get on it, mama)

Okay, I’ll admit it: I’ve been in hiding lately.
I haven’t been out to visit anyone; not one friend nor family member (excluding my parents) has been visited since … Christmas, I think.
I haven’t really picked up the phone for anyone, or sent out lots of messages. I haven’t posted a great deal on social media. And most disturbing of all – I stopped writing.

I think I’ve been a little burnt out.

And it’s taken me awhile, but I’ve decided I’m okay with that. I went through the guilt phase and the self-loathing stage, and now I’m decidedly comfortable with the fact that I’ve needed (and still need) my time and space. I have a busy life; at times an especially demanding life. I’m raising three little people – all with varying needs – while growing a fourth. I’m the primary carer and house keeper, which makes me the main organiser and coordinator of my family. I’m also attempting to blast through my Professional Writing and Editing course, while lamenting my apparent inability to commit to a blog writing schedule.

There really aren’t enough hours in the day. Hats off to working parents – I honestly have no idea how you do it!

As much as I’m fine with solitude, I realise I’m not going to be able to stay in hiding forever. So I’ve been thinking about how to better practice self care. Because right now my strategy is to remain caffeinated at all times and numb my brain with trash television every night before bed. Turns out it’s not particularly helpful.

Problem is, all the ideas I’ve been stumbling across really aren’t my kind of thing. Meditation, inhaling candles, walks by the seaside and drinking tea are all examples I’ve seen over and over again. First of all: I can’t meditate. My brain does not slow down, it is the most pointless exercise I have ever undertaken. Second of all, candles are for the dark and that is all. Also, I live very inland and not near any inspiring body of water and don’t get me started on how I feel about tea.

So what to do? Well, according to Reachout.com, self care is: ‘any activity that you do voluntarily which helps you maintain your physical, mental or emotional health’.

So probably not inhaling all of the snacks in the house the second the children are in bed, then.  But at least I don’t have to bathe in a green tea ocean surrounded by unnecessary candles.

That being finally dealt with, here is the quality self care post you’ve been waiting for:

The Being Wifekins Guide to Practicing Self Care When You Really Don’t Like Tea

  1. Drink more water.
    Instead of coffee. I may die here.
    In that case: remember coffee is life, and never trust a tea drinker.
  2. Walk more.
    Walking is so good for the brain. Also, my obstetrician said I have to, so you know. Also, I may have lifted this idea from another self care guide, but it said “take a walk in the countryside” … however, where I’m from, that’s called outside.
  3. Practice more yoga.
    A bendy body is a happy body. And my baby-growing body is feeling particularly unhappy these days.
  4. Make a point of showering.
    This actually sounds ridiculous to say out loud, but there are days I forget to shower. What?! I know, right?! I can see my school mum friends recoiling as they read this. But it’s true. And everyone loves a shower(ed person).
  5. Read more.
    Usually that’s a case of ‘ain’t no one got time for that’ but it really ought to be a priority. Mental stimulation is important for sanity when most days are twelve hours of “why?” and circular conversations that make literally no sense.
  6. Listen to music daily.
    In this house, music seems to make everyone feel good. It’s how my eldest relaxes in the evening, and how my young two get their crazy on in the morning. I often forget how good music is for the grown-up’s soul though. So I’ll probably have Green Day’s latest album ‘Revolution Radio’ on repeat for awhile.
    Also, how good are lounge room dance parties? More of them, please.
  7. Express gratitude.
    Some days it’s hard to feel happy about – let alone thankful for – a day full of lost shoes, piles of laundry and shouty small people. All the good stuff seems to get swallowed up sometime between bowls of Cheerio’s upturned at breakfast, and the glass of wine being chugged the second little heads hit pillows at night. I’ve heard expressing gratitude is good for you (probably from Oprah back in the day or something) so it’s worth a try, right? I’m going to start journaling five things I’m grateful for every day. Is it cheating if you write the list at the start of the day, before everyone is up?!
  8. Just stop.
    Play in the garden. Lie on the trampoline and watch the clouds go by. Take a nap. Cuddle on the couch and watch Sesame Street. Sometimes doing nothing is just as helpful as doing something.

So that’s the small-but-big things I’ll be focusing on to get myself back on track. You know, before I have a newborn in May and throw everything off again.

How are you travelling?  Do you have any fool-proof ways of keeping yourself sane? I hope you’re fighting fit and remembering how fabulous you are. Regardless of where you’re at: go do something for yourself (even if that’s sipping tea).

 

Oh, and may I ask a favour? Please leave book and music recommendations for me in the comments, I’m terrible on branching out and would love to expand my horizons some! xo

 

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3 thoughts on “Self Care (get on it, mama)

  1. Barbara Pitman says:

    Enjoying your writings Jessica. Do you have Pandora radio? I listen to Pandora every day. It is free and you can type in your favourite artists and it will play them and similar music. You can give the numbers played a thumbs up or a thumbs down and it will get to know the music you like and play more of it. Pandora keeps me sane, as the house would be much too quiet without my music.

    Like

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