This week is child's mental health awareness week.
The Duchess of Cambridge delivered this message ' to be the best versions of ourselves for the children in our care '
My own personal journey through parenting has highlighted the need and importance for self-care. I know what you might be thinking.
Child's mental health week is about the children or Why is my self-care important for my children!
That's what I used to think. I remember a dear friend of mine years ago saying If you don't look after yourself, how can you look after others'. I was young just had my first child and was juggling a job and a new baby. So, my friend who was going out partying with lots of free time I heard myself thinking ‘What do you know? Verbalising in my head you don’t have a new baby, a job, a partner, juggling housework, dinner finding the energy to spend time with friends. You’re still going out partying with loads of free time! How on earth do you think I can find the time!
Little did I know that 6 years later I took the best step for myself and joined a dance class just for me. By this time, I now had 3 children and I know it took me 6 years but when I did, I remember what my friend said, I apologised of course; although she was not aware of those thoughts at the time.
In that moment I recognised the importance of self-care and began my journey to find ways to love the inner me. That lovely little inner child within me, like I did for my other children.
I found ways to fit my own self care into my daily life from 5 mins to 1 hour rituals and decided to give myself a break from time to time with my girlfriends by going to a spa or a day out.
It was a revelation! I really started to understand my friend’s suggestion and noticed how much more present I was, I had better coping skills, I spent more quality time enjoying the children and just felt calmer to manage life’s ever-changing journey.
So let me ask you this:
Imagine your child not receiving love and none of their needs being met. How do they respond and react when this is happening?
What would be the benefits for spending just 10 mins a day on YOU?
How do you respond with your children when you are well rested, have energy and feel calm and relaxed?
What happens to YOU when you don't spend any time on YOU?
How do you respond to your children when you are tired, under nourished of love for yourself?
Curious questions that can evoke some interesting answers. This self-awareness of how your way of being and showing up in the world all starts with your inner self. When you are feeling good from within, it causes a ripple effect all around you. I know you know this, and I also know there are some deep-rooted hidden beliefs that may be imprinted within your mind and body. You might hear yourself saying I don’t have enough time, I don’t deserve to spend money or time on me, there is too much to do, its selfish of me.
I hear you but I also know it is possible to fit something into your daily life in as little as 5/10 minutes a day that can totally change your world, because when you do and make it a non-negotiable habit you will find your children will greatly benefit.
Next time you hear yourself with these excuses challenge the thought
1. How am I really feeling?
2. What is it that I need right now?
3. Where else have I heard these words?
4. How did I come to believe this, is it a fact, is it true?
5. Where was I taught to believe this thought?
6. Why don’t I love myself enough?
7. What would you say to dear friend?
I invite you to think about introducing your own self care rituals everyday and you will enhance your well being, have better coping skills, boost your immune system and have better relationships with everyone around you.
How will you choose to sparkle and glow from the inside and out?
Love the inner you
Here are some of my favourite resources and tools:
Heart coherence breathing – https://youtu.be/6oMCOF3g98I
Write down your intention for the day for example ‘ My intention for today is to be aware and acknowledge my emotions. Take care of myself and love myself ‘ or ‘My intention of today is to create the space to have more time in the evenings with the children’
Get outside and walk around first thing in the morning. This has incredible benefits for your immune system and can even get you set up for a good night’s sleep.
Set yourself up to have day each week you will be having a bath. Let your family know to not disturb you.
And if you have more time, I highly recommend moving your body.
My wonderful sister in law is a dance movement therapist check out her online class:
Your Peak Yoga is currently delivering online classes to strengthen the mind, body and soul
This is my favourite book by Dr Shefali – The Conscious Parent