I was reading a blog post about self-care suggestions for Mom burnout the other day. It gave some good suggestions, such as exercise, meditation and massage. These are all great ideas and I totally support moms doing these activities. However, as much as we all know we should do these activities they are only helpful IF we did them. The bottom line is…if we don't do these activities on a regular basis they won't be helpful. I know many moms find it challenging to have the time to do these activities regularly.
Having goals of going to the gym 5x/week or meditating for 20-30 minutes PER day or even a weekly massage, may not be happening for a lot of moms. Granted, if we analyzed our days- I’m sure we could find 30 minutes of TV watching or Facebook time that could be devoted to a walk or meditation, etc. But really, what is the likelihood that we will swap our usual activity for something else…not everyone is going to do this.
Instead, do something that will fit with what you are doing right now. If you have a nightly TV routine…meditate during the commercials. Mute the TV, and cue up the YouTube video to relaxation music or a guided visualization. Close your eyes and play it during the commercials. Or just close your eyes and take slow deep breaths while picturing a calming, peaceful scene.
Or if you want to incorporate some physical movement – then (again during the commercials) stretch your arms and legs or massage your shoulders and neck. You may eventually expand what you do if you keep at it, but don’t aim for the increase, just aim to do something during the commercials.
I’ve used the example of TV watching and commercials but this same idea works anywhere else you may have a few minutes. If you are waiting in the car to pick up the kids from after school, or even if you are sitting in a doctor or dentist waiting room for your child’s appointment. Take some deep breaths. Breathing works well in these public situations as breathing is something we all do, so no one will be looking at you wondering why you are breathing!! Also use mindfulness – pay attention to the details in the physical setting around you. Describe the paint colour or the details of a painting. This keeps you present in the moment instead of the mind whirling off to the “to do” lists, or a worry or a “what if”.
These are just a few examples of ways to take a few self-care moments. The idea is to do something regularly. The ideas of exercise, meditation and massage all are great relaxation and coping strategies; but if they are only done sporadically they are not going to be consistently helpful. So, aiming for a simpler, smaller way to build in self-care as in the end this is more effective.
The most beneficial self-care activities are ones that are actually done regularly!
If you would like to chat about more doable ideas for self-care or ways to incorporate self-care into your life, call Heather at 604-375-3010 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org