Getting real about self-care

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Getting real about self-care

Let’s be honest here – at the start of the year, I bet you made some big promises to yourself about 2014. Exercise more? Learn how to meditate? Start the day with a green juice?

All great intentions. But as a busy Mama, how realistic is this? One month into the year, how are you going?

I love the start of a new year. The air is filled with new beginnings and fresh starts. It’s the time of year I grab my journal, dream big, and write a wish list for the coming twelve months.

This year, however, my wish list was a little different.

Rather than filling the page with lofty ideals of yoga three times a week, I was realistic. As a Mama of three (including a three month old), I’ve learnt my lesson.

Setting big intentions doesn’t work.

Promising myself to do one thing for ME every single day does.

You know what it’s like – some days, the best you can do is a quick shower and a sip of coffee before it turns cold. Finding time to do anything on your wish list is impossible, and so by the end of the day, you feel resentful. And possibly like a failure.

So why set ourselves up for disappointment?

Instead, start small. Self-care as a Mama is all about doing one small thing for yourself every day, and repeating it until it becomes a habit. This is the key to feeling connected with yourself even while focusing on your family. This is the key to being a Happy Mama.

Where do we start? Here’s some of the things that are on my daily self-care list this year –

  • Start the morning with a hot water and lemon. This is not only brilliant for your digestion, skin and overall vitality, but it’s a great way to begin your morning if you close your eyes while sipping and focus on how you are feeling.
  • Put mascara on! This is so simple, but we so often rush around not taking a moment to make ourselves feel good. The same goes for choosing something other than the same jeans and black top to wear. Or putting on your favourite earrings for your mother’s group catch up.
  • In the shower, try repeating some positive affirmations. Affirmations are sentences that help you focus on the good in your life, like “I am calm, confident and relaxed,” or “No matter what happens today, I am calm,” or “I am the perfect mother for my children.” Finish the day by either writing down or listing in your mind five things you are grateful for that day. It’s always easy to choose the obvious ones, such as “I am grateful for my children”, but once you start practicing this on a regular basis, you’ll find yourself having to really search your day for the golden moments – which in turn helps you create more and more of those moments.
  •  Finish the day by either writing down or listing in your mind five things you are grateful for that day. It’s always easy to choose the obvious ones, such as “I am grateful for my children”, but once you start practicing this on a regular basis, you’ll find yourself having to really search your day for the golden moments – which in turn helps you create more and more of those moments.

Sure, I’d love to get to yoga more than once a week. And I’d certainly love to have a pedicure and an uninterrupted lunch with my girlfriend! But right now, my life is about my family. As I’m sure yours is. And that’s OK.

We can still make time for our own happiness and health even while being an amazing Mama. We just need to get real about what’s possible – and celebrate that.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz is the creator of the popular website for Mums ‘Seek Act Love’ (www.seekactlove.com), and author of ‘Happy Mama: A Spiritual Survival Guide to the Early Years of Motherhood’ (www.seekactlove.com/happymama) You can follow her daily inspiration and join the growing tribe of Mamas putting their self-care first at her facebook page www.facebook.com/seekactlove

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