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If the Cup is Empty there’s Nothing to Pour

As women, most of us have a natural propensity to give and give, focusing more on the needs of others than on the needs of ourselves. When we become mothers it gets even worse. We usually stop thinking about ourselves altogether, as if that is what is expected in order to be a ‘good’ mother. 

 

As women, most of us have a natural propensity to give and give, focusing more on the needs of others than on the needs of ourselves. When we become mothers it gets even worse. We usually stop thinking about ourselves altogether, as if that is what is expected in order to be a ‘good’ mother.

 

Most of us seem to have an in-built programming that gets triggered as soon as we become parents, that tells us that we should now think only of our children. Our families come first and our role as a mother should be all the fulfilment we need.

 

But in reality that couldn’t be further from the truth.

 

A woman who doesn’t feed herself on love and who doesn’t practice self-care, is an exhausted and miserable woman. A woman on a short fuse – stressed out and distracted, a woman who will burn out on a regular basis and have little to give at the end of the day, to herself, her partner or even her kids. Neglecting her own needs so that she can focus on the needs of her children, her job, and her partner and in the process, sacrificing her own happiness so that she can be the ‘good’ mother, wife and employee, just doesn’t work. What works is learning to love yourself and practice self-care. To take that delicious and abundant love that you pour into everyone else and turn it in on yourself too.

 

Because a woman who looks after herself and her needs, who nourishes herself, who takes care of herself and who feeds herself with love, is a woman who is happy. And a woman who is happy, creates a state of balance in all aspects of her life.

 

So how, as busy woman, can we start to create healthy self-care and self-love habits (because let’s face it we really haven’t got a lot of spare time!)?

 

Well, here are 5 simple things to start with:

 

1. Feed yourself well. You know this one, but it can be so easy to get the kids fed and forget about you. So it’s all about doing a bit of pre-planning and learning some smart, easy tricks to keep yourself fueled throughout the day. Keep your eyes open for Nereda’s top nutrition tips.  If you’re really stuck, consider a personalised session with a nutritionist to give you relevant tips that will fit with your lifestyle. The key is to make things easy and manageable.

 

2. Exercise. Never has exercise been more important than when you’re doing the juggle with children. This is not to get the pre-baby body back, but to flood your body with feel-good chemicals and release stress the healthy way. Exercise is one of the best stress relievers available and will tone and protect your body from injury and pain.

 

3. Relax. Make time to relax every day. This may sound indulgent but we all need a little nugget of time to ourselves. The easiest way to do this is to have a soak in the bath and just let yourself go for ten minutes. But even two minutes to sit with a cup of tea in your hands, close your eyes and take three long slow deep breaths will help to bring you back into your body and back into you. Try it now.

 

4. Treat yourself every week. At the start of the week plan something lovely you are going to do for yourself (eg buy yourself a bunch of flowers, go for a manicure, massage or a walk in the park on your own, have an early night and read a book, have a dance party in your living room for half an hour – with or without the kids – etc). Planning and doing loving things for ourselves gives us the message that ‘I matter, I am looked after, I am loved’. Prioritise this and you prioritise you.

 

5. Check in with yourself weekly. Take time at least once a week to check in with yourself and ask yourself how you’re doing and what you need. A great way to do this is to take a blank piece of A4 paper and write about how your last week was – (what worked, what didn’t) and what you have coming up in the week ahead – what you’re looking forward to and what you need to do to feel happy and healthy this week. Avoid being critical and negative, keep the tone and focus positive and uplifting.