Counsellor Sarah Barr looks at the important steps busy mammies must take to take care of themselves.
Being a mum is one of the most important jobs in any community. We provide food, safety, warmth, clothing, connection, love, and a sense of personal importance to our children. We also have the important job of shaping their sense of self-esteem and belonging.
No pressure then!
As a result our own needs are often secondary as a mum.
We half eat our dinner whilst standing at the kitchen sink, finish off our cold cup of coffee two hours after we made it and spend more time crawling on the floor picking up toys than standing upright.
We make sure they are number 1, they are our world after all and we would not change it.
However sometimes we can feel the pressure of being a mum; the anxiety, the stresses, the guilt and worry. The comparisons then creep in leading to self-doubt. Which usually results in feeling exhausted and a bit crap.
We feel guilty if we prioritise ourselves and our needs.
BUT it is okay to put yourself first too. It is okay to take a break, meet other mums and have a chat. Looking after our own needs both mentally and emotionally will have a positive impact on our child.
Self-care is not selfish.
Self-care includes things like:
Gentle walking on a daily basis can make a huge difference to your mood. If walking is not your thing, how about yoga or swimming.
2. Eating Nutritious Food
It is important to keep your energy levels up. In a busy life the mom’s health may be missed. Food is how you fuel up for the busy job of being a mother. The brain needs fuel and nutrients to think and manage emotion.
3. Getting Enough Sleep
It is believed that your brain needs at least 4-5 hours of sleep to regulate your mood. Sleep deprivation over time can cause symptoms of depression and anxiety. Now this is not always possible, however is there anyone in your life who could support and help you?
Below are a few tips that may help you sleep:
• Try to reduce consuming caffeine during the day.
• Avoid alcohol at bedtime as it can appear to relax you, but will actually disrupt your sleep during the night.
• Eat a small snack but not a large meal before bed.
• Take it easy at bedtime – nothing too active.
• Try a warm bath using an essential oil such as lavender whilst listening to relaxing music.
• Try sleeping in the same place every night (same time every night-body clock).
• Make any to-do lists early in the evening and then try not to think about problems that need solving or things that need doing.
• Try to use positive images where you picture yourself relaxing and sleeping well.
4. Adult Time
Sometimes being a mum can be very lonely and isolating. We can miss adult interaction and conversation, so making time for you is so important. By organising some self-care (pampering, cinema, bath, walking etc) or re-connecting with friends over lunch or a coffee, organising a date night or joining a meet-up group will all give you time to recharge and feel like you again.
Minding Mammy’s Hopes
- To create an open and accepting atmosphere for discussing the role of mothering.
- To normalise the experience and expectations of mothering.
- To promote positive mental well-being.
- To help provide information about mothers’ mental health.
- To connect the wellness of a mother to the wellness of her children and family.
- To promote wellness around self-care.
- To meet with other mothers and enhance social support opportunities for mothers.
- To encourage seeking help for mental health complaints and illnesses.
- To encourage positive self-talk, alternative thinking patterns and develop new coping strategies that lower distress and improve decision making.
- To reduce the negative stigma attached to mental health.
- For all mothers to finish the Minding Mammy Workshop with a ‘Toolkit’ of new tips and techniques that will help improve and support their role as a mother and their mental wellness.
The 3 week programme begins this Friday 14th at the Mount Errigal Hotel. For any further information or to book a place just send a message on my Facebook page CLICK HERE