It’s Ground Hog Day! When?! Every bloody day! Day after day we put our kids, our chores, our routines, our household maintenance, our jobs and our errands before any kind of me time! It can often get to a point where we’ve forgotten exactly who we are as a person rather other than just “Mum”.
As we mentioned the other day with the jug analogy, it’s all well and good to keep pouring and pouring and pouring because lets face it, we are the mums, it’s our job to fill the cups… but… it’s not OK to let the jug get empty!. It’s not OK to let the jug run dry! Recharging ones batteries is 100% necessary if we are to continue to feel our best, perform at our best and in turn, help those around us feel their best too.
And look, we know that taking a holiday, having a weekend away child free or getting a two hour massage just isn’t possible for many of us right now due to a combination of things, mainly being time, resources and money! But that doesn’t mean you can’t incorporate some little moments into your busy parent life which will help you to stop, breathe and fill.
Here are some little ideas that will hopefully help you incorporate some May is for Me moments into your days over the next few weeks, perhaps you can only do one thing once a week but that’s ok! As long as you are replenishing the jug, and the best thing is, the majority of these tips do not cost a thing!
1. GET UP EARLIER – Get up an hour before the kids. Boil the kettle, make a cup of tea and sip in silence. Take a shower, do your makeup, moisturize your entire body. Pop the dishwasher on, finish the school lunches… Anything! It’s amazing how good getting 3-4 small tasks done before the kids wake up can make you feel! It will set your mood for the day.
2. BREAK THE ROUTINE – Do not drive straight home after school drop off! Visit a local cafe, the library, the beach…. buy yourself a coffee and enjoy it before going home to start your housework or emails etc… If you go to work after drop off, detour through a drive through for a cuppa, take the stairs instead of the lift, smile and say good morning to some strangers. Stop the routine and the isolation. Look up. Feel happy to be alive.
3. GET SOME RETAIL THERAPY – Get some retail therapy or window shop. Before you head straight into the supermarket to buy the groceries, take a stroll around the shops by yourself, pick things up! Feel them in your hand, touch a soft blanket or cushion. Smell a candle, try on some new clothes, smile and chat to the shop assistant. You don’t have to buy anything! Just get yourself out and about. Treat yourself to a little chocolate bar and eat it in the car on the way home from groceries (before the kids see it!).
4. BUY SOME FLOWERS – Do you have $10 in your wallet? I do. But I’m usually one of those mums that will have $10 in my wallet and I’ll be walking through Kmart and think “Oh Hazel would look so cute in that” yes, yes she would. But does she really need it? No she doesn’t. Instead, find your local fresh produce supplier or florist. Buy a bunch of natives with your $10, not only going to brighten your mood for the week, but they will also make my house look pretty and every time you walk past them it will be a great reminder to yourself of what a bloody good mum you are and that you deserve those flowers after changing your 4th pooey nappy for the day! Pick a bunch if you don’t have $10 – just as good!
5. LEARN TO SAY YES – Say yes to dinner out with the girls or instigate the catch up yourself. Say yes to that coffee with a work colleague. Say yes and put it straight into your diary! Its all too easy to find an excuse. I have nothing to wear. I can’t get a babysitter. I’m happy watching Netflix. Stop! Stop the excuses. A night out with your girlfriends will rejuvenate your soul! You will smile and laugh and possibly cry! But it will feel good! And wine… say yes to the wine!
6. LEARN TO SAY NO – A direct contradiction we know but learning to say no is actually a really hard thing to do, once you do it though, it feels amazing. I said yes to the kinder committee at the start of this year. I should have said no. I just don’t have the time to commit to it. So, I turned around and was truthful. And I said sorry, but I can’t actually do this anymore. And it was fine! I was so worried about what people would think of me for being a “quitter” but my health and time is what matters! Babysitting next doors kids too much? Say no! (note to my neighbours, please don’t say no…ha!) Kids being invited to a million birthday parties every weekend?! Say no! Say yes to what really matters and no to things that don’t.
7. WRITE IN A JOURNAL – Even if it’s just a couple of sentences. Journal writing can be very therapeutic and they are great to look back on and cry/laugh at what you have written in a few years time. Mama loves to share was started from diary entries and text messages to one another… writing is a great creative outlet and if you can’t be bothered writing then just do some doodling! It’s funny how strange it can feel to hold a pen after typing all day! Free the pen!
8. DOWNLOAD SOME WELLNESS APPS – There’s just something about popping in some headphones and switching off from the world. Some of our fave apps (aside Instagram, Facebook and Snap Chat of course!) are Smiling Minds, Lumosity, Gratitude Journal, Start Stretching, Happify and Lantern. All of these apps have been designed to help boost your mental and emotional health, help you to feel less stressed, improve your mood and generally feel happier.
9. BUY THE NEWSPAPER – Read it. Front to back. Read it while your eating your breakfast, read it instead of watching TV, read it while you sit in the car waiting for school pick up. Fill your mind, read about your community, update your knowledge of current affairs. Do the crossword and the suduko! This might sound so silly but honestly, once you start to connect with your community by making it your business to know what’s going on, you will stop feeling so isolated and your “mum brain” will become stronger and you will just feel better! It’s a hard one to explain but personally, the more I read
10. MAKE A PLAY LIST – Whether it’s an old school CD, Spotify or iTunes. Get your song on. It’s amazing how good listening to songs you love can make you feel. My personal fave singing CD is Alanis Morrissette’s, Jagged Little Pill, it always puts a fire in our bellies! I know every word to every single song and boy do I belt it out! Turn it up… loud! Play it while you’re doing your housework, play it in the car, play it at your desk! What songs did you love in 1982? 1997? 2012? Sing until your throat hurts.
No matter how much we have to do around the house, how many errands we have to run or how much we have going on at work, most of these “me” moments are things that can be done and they should be done. We can’t be expected to keep the motor running day in day out without refueling every now and again.
We owe it to ourselves to take a little break every once and a while and, honestly, the kids and the partners will thank us for it in the end because they will see a new refreshed Mama come back fighting stronger, happier and saner after every little “me” moment we take. After all a happy wife is a happy life!
Don’t forget to tag us and #mayisforme in your pics when you take some much needed time out so that we can share with others and stay tuned for out next 10 tips coming soon.
Helen & Lisa xo