You may have noticed that I often use my social media accounts to share or link to a post, using the hashtag #selfcaresunday. If you follow many baby or mental health blogs, you might find a lot of them do the same. I’d like to explain why I think it is important to get that weekly reminder to look after yourself; and what ‘self care’ means anyway!
When we become parents, we go through a change. Suddenly, you are responsible for this tiny human. They are completely incapable of doing anything for themselves. It can be very easy to fall into the way of putting all of your energy and time into looking after your baby, and forgetting about yourself. Over time, however, if this continues, you will become depleted, and you can’t look after a baby if you are running on empty yourself. Although we should practice self care EVERY day, I hope my weekly nudge reminds you in case you have forgotten in the daily rush that is life with small children.
There is an industry built on ‘self-care’ – things like bath bombs, candles, face masks – and if that’s what makes you feel better about yourself, or helps you relax, that’s great. However, I think it overlooks the small acts of self care that we all need to do to stay afloat. For me, that is things like having a shower, trying to maintain a tidy space (difficult with a toddler), and remembering to eat and drink on busy days! My personal exercise and yoga practice is also important to me – and as I have been struggling to make classes recently, I booked a one to one session with a yoga teacher friend recently, so she could put together an at-home personal practice to help me ‘move on’ in my yoga practice.
It’s all about remembering to fit in time for yourself – which is something I incorporate into every baby and toddler yoga session I teach. The simple fact you choose a class for both you and your child is a great start. In addition teaching you to share your yoga practice with your child, I ensure you get a chance to relax at the end of every session. The more you practice relaxing, both in class and at home, the more your child becomes accustomed to you taking the time to look after yourself. Modelling self care like this is an excellent lesson to be teaching your little ones!
I’d love to hear from you on how you fit in self care for yourself – both the boring ‘brushing your teeth’ sort, and the fitting in a yoga class/massage sort too!