It doesn’t matter how old our children are, parenting can be tough going at times – it could be sleep deprivation, an unsettled baby, a tantruming toddler or just meeting the demands of a baby/toddler/child/teenager.
Mums often put themselves at the bottom of the list when it comes to being looked after. It can be just the way it happens – we love our kids, we look after them and their needs, we can be juggling work, we remember appointments, we can plan ahead, we can be dealing with guilt and wanting to get it right. We can be happy and fulfilled and we can be truly exhausted from mumming.
All of this stuff still needs doing but what do you do for you?
It doesn’t have to be anything big or expensive but every mum deserves a bit of headspace and a chance to relax and be off duty.
taking a bath (on your own), reading a book, going for a walk, meeting friends, going for a run or to the gym, going to a class, going for a swim, having a massage, going to the movies, being left on your own to just potter about the house.
Some time for you can help you feel refreshed, it can make you feel valued and happy, it can give you some calm among the times of chaos, it reduces stress, it can give you the energy to juggle some more and it stops you from getting burnt out.
It could be anything you enjoy but the important thing is that you have some time and some space to put you first – even if it’s for half an hour at a time.
Stress, feeling overwhelmed, headaches, tiredness, being unable to focus, not sleeping well, digestion issues and low mood can be something we all experience and something we carry on living with because we are busy, juggling and rushing.
Sometimes we need to slow down, these are all signs that maybe we need to listen and give ourselves a break. And sometimes we just need to stop and breathe because we need to get rid of stress, we need to be calm and we need to take a bit of control when we feel so overwhelmed.
And it’s pretty simple to do because you know how to breathe – you just need to truly focus on it!
Keep it simple…
- you can sit or stand
- put your hands on your stomach and breathe in as deeply and as comfortably as possible.
- and then have a long, gentle outbreath – imagine you are breathing out a long stream of bubbles
- as you breathe out, relax your body – let go 0f any tension in your face, in your jaw, in your shoulders. Uncurl your fingers and allow your legs and feet to be still, with no fidgety movements
- do this for several minutes, until you feel calmer and more relaxed
Focusing on your breathing can be something you do in reaction to stress or headaches or feeling anxious but you can also build it into your day – start and end your day by focusing on your breathing for a few minutes.
Don’t complicate it – just slow your breathing and relax your muscles.
Janine | Birth, Baby & Family
A specialist in pregnancy, birth and parent support