It is the school holidays, and self care doesn’t even make your to-do list. You are wearing your shoulders as a hat, your jaw is clenched, your eyes are doing that weird twitchy thing and it is only 10am!
Well done! Consider it a massive win that it is 10am and you are all still alive.
On every television programme, in every magazine, articles on self-care leap from the page to taunt you – scented baths, a chocolate treat, meditation and massage.
- The bath is full of Paw Patrol toys from last night’s bath that you daren’t move because ‘I’m half way through making a story with them’
- Any chocolate entering the house is set upon by a pack of wolf children, eaten by your other half because ‘they thought it was for everyone’ or is a catalyst for World War 3 and so never enters the house in the first place.
- Meditation – we know we can’t go for a wee without screaming hordes banging on the door or setting fire to the garden, let alone find a the quiet to retreat to a ‘happy place’. And the only massage I do is to massage my temples when the migraine begins!
We all know that self care is vital to us parents of the more ‘intense’ children. Joking apart, we cannot give all the energy we need to keep our ships afloat unless we look after ourselves.
We cannot keep others calm if we are in compassion fatigue and we cannot be mentally well without a degree of balance in our lives away from our duties as carers.
You probably already know and do these things but sometimes a reminder is useful that self-care can be simple, free and short and be just as effective.
Self care 101
Breathe – yes, I know – but simple ratio breathing of in for 3 and out for 6 can regulate. Another method is to breathe in for 3 hold for 4 out for 5 – you can find what works for you – just make sure the out breath is the longest. There are also some really cool free apps should you need a little encouragement.
Drink – no, not that type – make sure you are hydrated. Treat yourself to your favourite brew and sit down while you drink it all, instead of rushing around and leaving on the side to go cold. Take those few moments just to sit and be in the present. Let thoughts come and go but don’t ‘think’. Enjoy the moment.
Go outside. Garden, balcony, park – anywhere. Stand still and listen. Enjoy the sounds. Find 5 things you can see, 4 you can hear, 3 you can feel, 2 you can touch and one you can taste.
Phone a friend. A quick text with a buddy can lift your day. Share a joke or have a rant – or both in the case of Evie and I!
Daydream – create a world where you can drift off to and be whatever you want.
All of these take just minutes but can change the entire feeling of your day, and make the holidays just a little more doable.
Take care of yourself as much as the other in your family and enjoy the Easter break.