Self care is small actions you take to look after yourself, physically, mentally and emotionally. These actions help to improve your general well being, motivation and productivity making you happier and healthier. Who doesn’t want to be happy and healthy!? A morning self care routine is particularly important because it can set the tone for the rest of the day.
“But I don’t have time,” I hear you say, “I have a baby / a toddler / 5 kids….” I get it, I’m in the same boat. The single mummy boat anyway. Most mums do have some time to take care of themselves but we are either so used to putting ourselves last on the list or, we’re too tired to do it. We don’t view ourselves as a priority.
Taking time in the morning to look after yourself can help you be more energised, more motivated, more productive and therefore an even better mum. A self care routine doesn’t have to take up much of your time or energy. 5 minutes a day can make a big difference. But we have to make a start.
As mums, we have to realise ‘we cant run on empty’, ‘you can’t pour from an empty glass’ or any other metaphor you want to throw in there. They all have the same meaning. To take care of everyone else the best way possible, you need to first take care of yourself and do not make apologies for making yourself a priority.
You, like me, may not be a morning person. Ohhhh how I miss the days when 10 am used to be an early start. But, you can learn to start your mornings the right way. To help you feel better, take care of you first thing before kids and life take over.
Don’t get me wrong, there are still times when I get out of bed not by my choosing but by an early rising toddler shouting, “Mummy, mummy, mummy. Get up!” I give him his breakfast, pour myself a large cup of coffee, sit down and I stay there. I get caught up on Facebook, Instagram, the news, my emails, the online shopping I started, the procrastinating, doing absolutely nothing.
Before I know it, it’s 1 pm and I still haven’t showered or got out of my pyjamas for that matter. I’ve answered the door to the postman looking like an extra from the Walking Dead, my mounting to do list hasn’t been looked at and the kids eating Haribos and Jammie Dodgers he pinched out of the cupboard.
I’m not perfect and I’m not naturally a morning person. But what I do know, is the more you do something, the more it becomes habit. So give it a try for a week and see how you feel at the end of it.
The night before
Cleans and moisturise your skin – take the left over make up, dirt and stress of the day off and go to bed while your skin renews itself. No more waking up with panda eyes and mascara smudged all over your nice white pillow case.
Prepare as much as you can for the next day – lay out clothes, pack bags, prepare sacks.
Write a to do list – I used to cringe at my mums to do lists (although she did take them to the next level and write a time schedule for the entire day too) but writing it down gets it out of your head and onto paper so you don’t have to try to remember, to try to remember, everything you have to try to remember to do! Write down everything you have to do the next day; the things you have to buy at Tesco; the phone calls you have to make; the things that need done around the house; places to take the kids etc. There’s also something quite satisfying about scoring off all the things you’ve done. Treat yourself to a proper to do list diary or print the daily planner sheet below.
Tidy up any mess – pick up toys, put away any clothes or stray items around your living room and bedroom. Create a tidy space for the next morning.
In the Morning
Wake up before the kids
Easier said than done, especially if you’ve had a sleepless night with the kids or a late night watching Love Island on catch up… nope, just me? But getting up, even just 15 minutes before them gives you a chance to stretch, relax and waken up properly.
Make your bed
Officially start the day and kick it off with a tidy bedroom space. Open the curtains and windows to let in light and fresh air.
Ideally hot water with lemon, but a glass of room temperature water will do. You’ve gone a long time without a drink so rehydrate with water before you reach for the coffee. Studies show that it can aid digestion too. After this I have a coffee, sorry but that’s not something I’m ready to give up!
Try a gentle stretch or easy yoga routine to waken up your body, especially if you’re like me and tend to wake up stiff and sore. Meditate if that’s your thing.
Have a good breakfast
My usual routine is a slice of toast then after my shower I have eggs (scrambled, omelette or boiled) or a smoothie. If your not a breakfast person smoothies are a great way to get something in your body. Once you start eating breakfast your body will start to crave it again. If you find you run short on time in the mornings, then prepare in advance and make some over night oats.
I used to always be a bath at night girl, but showering in the morning helps me feel refreshed and awake. Not always easy with a child I know but our routine is he sits and plays with toys while mummy showers then when I get out to dry and moisturise he showers then we get dressed. If we’re not going out anywhere I put us in clean, fresh comfy clothes – trackies and a hoodie, it’s like I’m a 14 year old tomboy all over again!
I’m not a make up junkie by any means but I am someone who looks exhausted and ill without any on. The words, ‘Donna, you look like death!’ have been said to me on several occasions. And is it just me, or if you go out not feeling put together does everyone else feel, meh. Just a bit rubbish, more tired, less confident?
I try at the very least to do my eyebrows (I have none. Well I do but you don’t see them. So for me putting on my eyebrows means getting them to the point most people start with but at least you can see they’re there!) I put on some mascara to waken up my eyes, a dab of concealer and if I’m feeling really on the ball a touch of foundation and blush to even out my skin and put some colour on my cheeks. I’m not by any means saying you need make-up to look or feel better, but it can definitely help to boost your mood and help you feel more confident.
Put the washing on as early as you can
Get it washed and hung out first thing and that’s it done. I try to do one or two small loads a day to keep on top of it.
Get fresh air
Have a coffee outside in the garden, go for a 5 minute walk or toddle with the toddler around the block. Just get out. It will energise you.
So there you go, 13 ways that will make your mornings and days ahead better, more productive and most importantly give you a chance to take care of yourself for a change. Why not print off the cheat sheet below, stick it on the fridge and give it a try for a week and see if you feel the benefits.
See more like this in the ‘mummy well-being’ section.
Comment below and tell me what you do for some ‘you time’ and don’t forget to subscribe so you don’t miss posts every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
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