One of the most common things I hear from women, especially mums is that they have no time for themselves or they don’t take care of themselves. I had an atrocious year last year with paralysis and a cancer scare, had I taken better care of myself and prioritised myself, it wouldn’t have gotten to that point.
After experiencing that, and previously domestic violence and homelessness with my two daughters in tow, I decided at the end of last year to focus on creating the life I want and how to help others to do the same. I wrote about how to create the life you want in January because with a lot of effort, I have managed to create a life I love. One of the big changes – I started putting myself first. I can’t help anyone, I am not a good mum and can’t do all the things we want to do if I am not taking care of myself.
How do you take care of yourself?
Redefine what success means to you!
In this post I wrote about how often we view success only in terms of finances or career. Because of this we put so much pressure on ourselves to have everything, be perfect, achieve everything and live a life that we think others expect or is the ideal in society. What is success to you?
Learn to manage your time
We are all given the same amount of time each day. How we manage it determines how much time we can spend doing things we enjoy, travelling with the family, starting a new business or whatever it is we want to do. Last year I went to a conference and listened to Kate of Time Stylers. She gave great tips on how to manage our time better which I wrote about here. You do not need to be the one doing everything everywhere. It is ok to outsource cleaning, ironing, whatever you want. It is your time and up to you how you spend it. Also read how to stop feeling overwhelmed – lessons from when my body gave up.
Balance or blend your life
Work can overtake our lives if we let it. Too many of us are working longer than we should be or are taking work home with us. I wrote about blending aspects of your life including learning to say no and getting rid of toxicity and knowing your values to enable you to have the balance we all desire here. Also, here are 7 habits to create work life balance from Our Urban Box which we do here as well.
Do things for yourself
What relaxes you and helps you recuperate? Being constantly on the go will wear you down and reduces your quality of life. Whether it be a bath, a walk or meditation, make sure you take time to schedule it in. Check out 10 tips to turn from crazy to sane this week from Live it Do it. Both of these posts have great ideas to look after yourself.
Drop the guilt
It’s ok to take time for yourself, do things you want and put yourself first. We don’t enjoy it as much and it isn’t worth it if we are constantly feeling guilty about it. Here is how to have “Me time without the guilt” thanks to The Multitasking Woman.
Get help when you need it
I let myself get totally overwhelmed and pushed through until I broke down and simply could not go on before asking for help. This is the worst thing we can do. People offer to help because they genuinely want to. When I finally reached out the response was amazing. Here are my tips about asking for help thanks to that experience.
Along with asking for practical help, seek out professional help. I have been to counselling at different points in my life and it amazes me how much stigmatism there still is around seeking help like this. Happy Healthy Souls wrote a great post about it here.
Realise your worth
Having your own time, your own interests and taking care of yourself are as much about time management as they are about self worth. Often we devalue ourselves, don’t see ourselves the way others see us or struggle to love ourselves. You are worth it. Take care of yourself!
How do I take care of myself?
Wonder Woman Diary
See the Wonder Woman diary in the photo? They is a diary where I write down compliments I receive. An activity like this helps you to see your talents, things people appreciate about you and can reveal some of your passions without you realising it. It is not about being vain. It is about helping you see your self worth.
Use products I love
I do most of my beauty routine myself including cutting and colouring my hair, manicures, pedicures, facials, even making some beauty products. I love a good body lotion or body oil, body wash or body scrub. I also have a few preferred make-up items like BB cream, mascara and red lipstick.
I know when I dress in the style I love, I feel better about myself, more confident, happier and I am more productive. To me, dressing in a style I love is a way of telling myself and everyone else I am worth it.
Use a vision board
I have found with a vision board I have more of a focus, take better care of myself and know where I am heading. My vision board focuses on my goals and every area of my life. It’s easy to create one for yourself. Seeing everything I am working for helps me schedule my time better and see when I am not taking care of myself and keeping my life in balance.
Simple self care
Some of the simple things I like are:
– Total body care including a full body scrub, body lotion, manicure, pedicure and facial
– Working out
– Going for a walk or run
– Meditation, especially at sunset
– My favourite dessert or treat
Self care doesn’t need to be a full day at a salon or day spa. You do need to make time to do the things that make you feel better, drop the guilt, learn to ask for help and make yourself a priority.
What do you like to do to take care of yourself?