Welcome to the How to Create a Family Life You Love series! This five-part series is going to help you reduce the overwhelm and eliminate the unessential. It’s going to help you to take back control and create a life you don’t want to take a vacation from. I’m going to share with you lots of small and easy-to-follow steps you can take right now to make your family life a little bit less stressful and a whole lot more enjoyable. Follow the steps and you’ll be well on your way to living a family life you love before you know it!
The series lays the foundation for every other blog post that follows so it’s a great place to start if you’re new to the A Simple and Contented Life blog. In the last post I talked about ways to turn your house into a home and love it that little bit more (read it here). This post is part five. It’s the last post in the series and is all about how to take better care of yourself. So, are you ready to start making your wellbeing a priority?! Are you ready to take the last step towards creating a life you love? Let’s get started!
How to Take Better Care of Yourself
As mums we can feel like everything starts and ends with us. That we’re the wheel that keeps our family turning. That things don’t happen unless we make them happen. We’re pulled in one hundred different directions and there’s always something that needs our attention. We know self-care is important and we should be taking better care of ourselves. But that’s easier said than done right?! With so much to do, it can be hard to find the time to make our own wellbeing a priority.
Thing is, if we don’t look after ourselves properly we become frazzled, exhausted and stressed out. And that’s no good for anyone, least of all ourselves! So how do we find the balance? Just how can you take better care of yourself and still get everything else done? I’m going to share with you the five changes you can make right now to make your wellbeing a priority:
1. Stop feeling guilty about putting yourself first
This is a tough one but we all do it. Actually finding the time to take time for ourselves in the first place is hard enough. But then when we do, we feel guilty that we’ve done it. Why is that?! Why do we make ourselves feel guilty about doing something we know is important for both our body and our sanity? Because we care. We care about our families and we care about our homes. Spending time on ourselves means we are spending less time on everyone else and so we feel guilty because we feel like we are neglecting our responsibilities. But we need to give ourselves grace. We need to let that guilt go and start caring about ourselves too.
It’s hard to relax when your to do list never gets any smaller. Finding five minutes in your busy schedule can be tricky – especially if you have little ones running about. But if you don’t take time for yourself your batteries will run low and you will become burnt out. Think about your mobile phone and your car – your phone won’t keep going without a charge and eventually your car will run out of fuel unless you fill it up. The same applies to you! So next time you have the chance to take five minutes for yourself, do it – and don’t feel guilty!
2. Take care of yourself outside and in
Practising self-care and making time for you isn’t just about taking yourself off for a spa day. Although that would be nice! Prioritising your own wellbeing means making the effort to take care of yourself every single day. It’s about looking after your mind, body and soul. It’s about taking care of yourself outside and in. This means getting enough sleep, eating well, staying hydrated, getting exercise, doing things that make you smile and taking the time to relax.
No matter how busy things are, it’s relatively easy to incorporate a little bit of self-care into your daily routine. Why not give it a go? Try looking after yourself outside and in over the next couple of week and see how much better you feel. Try:
- Getting up an hour earlier to journal or read
- Walking instead of taking the car or bus
- Doing something to relax – listening to music, taking a bath etc
- Unplugging and spending a little less time on social media
- Going to bed an hour earlier
- Choosing fresh foods, fruit and veg over processed and fast foods
- Getting your daily water intake by carrying a refillable water bottle with you
3. Clear some of the mental and physical clutter
When our minds are constantly buzzing it can be difficult to relax. Mental clutter can be incredibly distracting and all that noise can make it hard to switch off. Doing a mind dump is a great way to offload all your thoughts and free up your mind. All those things you are worrying about, the things you’re trying to remember you need to do, make, organise and buy? Write them down! Next time your mind is buzzing empty it of the mental clutter by doing a mind dump and see how much freer you feel.
Mental clutter isn’t the only type of clutter we need to pay attention to though. Physical clutter can weigh us down too. In part four of this series (read it here). I talked about how good it can feel once you’ve rid your space of the things you no longer need. Try clearing some of your physical clutter by purging some of the ‘stuff’ around your home. Take a look and see if there’s anything you no longer need and donate, recycle or sell it. You will feel SO much better!
4. Find time for you everyday
As well as practising self-care and clearing the mental and physical clutter, making the effort to find time for you every day is another great way to ramp up taking care of yourself. It doesn’t matter how you do it as long as what you do brings a smile to your face and makes you feel good about yourself. Things like going for a walk, having a bath or chilling out to music all count. Make a list of the things you love to do. Pick one thing each day for a week and see how much happier you feel. Here are a few from my own list to get you started:
- Get up early and read
- Go for a swim
- Go for a coffee
- Get lost in a bookstore
- Go for a walk whilst listening to podcasts
- Dance when no one is watching
5. Learn to recognise when you’re feeling stressed or burnt out
The whole point of making your wellbeing a priority is to take care of yourself and avoid burnout. It’s important to recognise the signs that you’re stressed or tired so you can jump on them before it’s too late. When I’m tired I get headaches, I start to have less patience and unfortunately for my family, I get a little crabby! I know these are my warning signs, so when they happen I drink less coffee, more water and get a few early nights. Whatever your warning signs are, learn to recognise them. They’re your body’s way of telling you to slow down and that you need to rest. So listen to your body and take the time to recharge your batteries. I promise you’ll thank yourself for doing so.
Take better care of yourself
Hopefully this post has given you a few ideas on how to start taking better care of yourself. I know it can be hard to find the time to put yourself first. But if you make the effort to do just that, to not feel guilty about it and to do a little of what makes you happy, you will feel calmer, refreshed and ready to take on the world. So remember to:
- Not feel guilty about taking better care of yourself
- Take care of yourself outside and in
- Clear some of the mental and physical clutter
- Find time for you every day
- Learn to recognise when you are feeling stressed out or tired
This is just the beginning…
This might be the last post in the How to Create a Family Life You Love series, but your journey to creating a life less stressful and more enjoyable is only just beginning. The blog posts that follow this series explore the four pillars (Love Your Family, Love Your Home, Love Yourself, Love Your Life) in much more detail. So if you like what you’ve read so far, be sure to subscribe so you never miss a post.
If you missed any of the earlier posts in the series or want to read them again, click on the links below. And if you haven’t yet downloaded the FREE workbook that accompany this series don’t forget to do so. Let’s kick-start creating a family life you love right now!
- Part One: How to Love Your Life
- Part Two: Three Questions to Ask Yourself BEFORE Making Changes to Your Life
- Part Three – Four Tips for Living a Happy Family Life
- Part Four – Five Ways to Love the Home You Live In
- Part Five – How to Take Better Care of Yourself
That’s it for this series! I hope you’ve enjoyed it and have found it useful. I’d love to know what your biggest takeaway is and which post has helped you the most. Let me know in the comments below!
Until next time…