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10 ways to nurture ourselves

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We are navigating our way through completely unchartered waters right now and there are times when the stress really takes its toll on us.

There is a huge amount of evidence to show that stress depletes the immune system and we all need strong immune systems at the moment so it is vital to try to focus on looking after ourselves.

What parents typically do – especially us mothers – is put ourselves to the bottom of the pile. We run around looking after everyone else, trying to do too much, trying to keep everyone else happy, fed, washed, clothed, keeping the house clean and the laundry done and the result is so often we crack.

Is this familiar to you? You try to juggle so many balls at once– home schooling, work calls, cooking, food shopping, cleaning, keeping the peace between squabbling children, managing everyone else’s emotions and then someone spills some milk or says ‘YUK’ to the food you gave them and you COMPLETELY LOSE IT. When this happens it is a sign that something has to change.

I want to really encourage you to take this on board because let's face it, if we mothers crack up, the whole family suffers.

So here are my 10 top tips for self-care:

  1. Before you go to sleep listen to soothing music, an ap with a meditation or just spend a few minutes in silence
  2. Do a simple breathing exercise count to 4 as you breathe in, hold for 4, count to four as you breathe out then hold for 4. Do it for five minutes each day.
  3. Write a daily list of 10 things you are grateful for – tiny little things like ‘I sat down with a cup of coffee’, ‘I watched a video clip that made me laugh’. It is hard to get to 10 but the more you do it, the easier it gets
  4. Let some things go – if you are a neat-freak then practice shutting the door on a messy room or train yourself to look away when you spot mess.
  5. Take part in an online exercise class at least twice a week. I really like ‘Daily Burn’ but there are so many out there now and lots of them are free.
  6. Food – try to make sure you sit down to eat and have as much fresh vegetables and fruit as you can every day.
  7. Make sure you stay connected with friends – could you have a ‘facetime coffee’ with a friend? Share your ups and downs, have a moan but make sure you also have a laugh.
  8. Sleep -now I’m terrible for going to bed too late BUT I know that I am SO much better when I get 7.5 or 8 hours sleep. Make it a priority as it does make a difference. If your child wakes you in the night I really sympathise – could you take a nap in the afternoon to catch up on sleep?
  9. Make a list of things you need to get done and tick them off – maybe you do this already but if you don’t it is very satisfying
  10. What can you delegate – even if others don’t do things quite to your standard, could you hand over jobs? My kids are cooking some meals (They are teenagers and they don’t do it nearly as well as me but lockdown has been a good chance for them to learn). Even little children can help – matching socks, putting clothes in the washing machine, laying the table?

I hope this helps. Let me know how you are doing and what things you do to look after yourselves