One of the simplest steps for busy Mums to take control of our well being is to stop being so hard on ourselves.
I’ve posted previously on being more supportive and less judgmental of others. Often people who judge others harshly are also their own harshest critics.
What if today you told yourself I am enough? What if you are the best you can be? What if constantly striving for the next holiday/promotion/house/car is detrimental to your well being? And all the angst over those aspirations is waste of energy and focus?
If you constantly push yourself to attain unobtainable standards, you’ll end up feeling burned out and washed up. When children are babies, many women experience the absolute sheer physical exhaustion that comes with being physically available 24/7. I can recall lying in bed with every bone in my body aching, completely knackered yet scared to go to sleep because the thought of being woken up a couple of hours later made my feel physically ill.
It’s a phase that passes but when you do start to find spaces in the months, then weeks, then days when there’s a lull in the physical demands, it’s important to give yourself permission to relax.
That takes different forms for different people. It might be a cup of tea in the sun or a freshly brewed coffee and a magazine, a chat over the garden fence or a walk around the block. Or you might chill by doing – by writing, gardening, baking or nattering on the phone.
The trick is to grab those moments with both hands and not feel guilty. Because the demands are pretty constant these days. The pace is frantic, the expectations high and often the support networks scant.
As well as periods of productivity we all need downtime for well being. These opportunities might not be handed to you on plate, they might be few and far between, they might sneak up on you and take you by surprise but when they do, make the most of them. Permission granted.