The past couple of weeks have been an incredibly difficult time in my personal life. Bereavement is hard. My initial reaction was to throw myself into arrangements, blogging, cleaning even – anything was a distraction.
Thing is, whilst at times I’ve been grateful of the distraction, and incredibly grateful that I have two little people who depend on me so ensuring that I don’t sink into a pool of misery, distraction isn’t helping anymore. I’m exhausted – emotionally and physically drained – and I need to start taking better care of myself.
It’s not just bereavement that prompts us to look more closely at self-care. I think generally as women we tend to be nurturing and caring. This is a good thing. A good trait to have. We just need to capitalise on it and make time to look after ourselves as well as we do our children, partners, best friends and families.
As a busy full-time working single mum, I find Sundays tend to be the day that I slow down and take the time to look after myself. So here are my top 7 self-care Sunday tips:
I know at busy times this is easier said than done but even science proves that we really are what we eat as our body is comprised of the nutrients we ingest. That makes it even more important to eat well. Who wants their cells made of cakes and chips?
I have more time to make nutritious meals on a Sunday as frankly, I don’t tend to go out. So I start with a smoothie and overnight oats for breakfast as well as take my daily supplements. See my previous post on my weekend breakfast for the smoothie ingredients
Sleep is so important. I wish my kids did it better. And more importantly in their own beds. I can but dream – pun intended. I tend to naturally, be a low sleep needs person and function most days on very little. One thing I do try to keep to, is a regular bedtime and waking up time so that I get used to a routine. Although resting isn’t just about sleeping. Take it easy when you can, don’t rush about from place to place. Occasionally only do what you absolutely have to. Spend your time on you and less on errands.
Wear something amazing
If I’m feeling rundown or tired, I make sure to wear a red lip, my rings and an item of clothing that I love. Knowing that I’m wearing my favourite things instantly boosts my mood and when you look good you feel good. (And that theory does work both ways!) So don’t always slob around at home in pjs or if you do, make sure they’re your best pjs so that you feel good! Also, on a similar note, buy clothes that fit you now. Not things to slim into. Make sure you feel good today not plan to feel good about yourself for the tomorrow in the distance.
I’m very new to the idea of exercise boosting your mood but it really does. I always feel exhausted but great after exercising as it feels good to have completed a challenge. Exercise means looking after your body and showing it respect. This is important as when you feel lethargic, you just don’t feel good about yourself.
Exercise doesn’t have to be an hour in the gym, I’m trying to walk as much as possible when I can – putting my 90s RnB on my Spotify playlist and off I go.
Do something you love to do
Unsurprisingly for me, that’s reading and blogging or anything remotely to do with make up. Finding time to spend on my hobbies makes me happy, relaxed and instantly improves my mood and makes me feel good. Find what you love to do and do it every day.
Spending time with people you love
I think this is crucial. The people that you surround yourself with should be positive and understand you so that if and when you’re not feeling yourself, you feel able to talk to them.
Time on your own is important too. As a single mum, I rarely get alone time so when I do, I cherish it and do important things like eat alone and watch proper tv. However, I equally cherish quality time with the people I love and after a much needed evening with my friends always leave feeling positive.
One thing that bereavement has shown me is that not only is life precious, it can be woefully short. For a while, I’ve been using my Happiness Journal to document the things that I am grateful for and now this is even more important. Being grateful shows us that we have lots of good things in our lives and even though on some days we may only be grateful for the fact that we have woken up – it’s a start.
What are you grateful for? How do you take care of yourself?