A lot of parents across the world are currently grappling with doing far too much. Parenting involves shopping for endless lists, desperately trying to schedule ballet classes and football practice for the kids, as well as balancing the packed lunches and the evening dinner. However, there is a way to make it all more bearable: Consider factoring in ‘me time’ to each day over the next few weeks.
Once you decide to set aside 10 minutes for yourself in the morning and perhaps 20 minutes last thing at night to read in the bath, pamper yourself or simply catch up on your favourite TV show, you’ll notice you’re better able to cope with the daily grind, says life coach Lucretia Hill.
“Taking time for yourself is something that most parents feel is not a priority when in fact it should be at the top of the to-do lists,” Lucretia tells Lumity. “It’s not being selfish, it’s self-care.”
And, it doesn’t have to cut into that back-to-school shopping budget either: “What’s key here is stress management and creating pockets of time in your day which are about you and you alone and feeling happy,” explains Lucretia.
“Stress makes life unbearable – it also sends your hormones crazy too, and unfortunately, shopping for school supplies and going back to the daily grind of doing the school run is stressful.”
It doesn’t have to be expensive focusing on self-care: “You don’t have to spend lots of money,” Lucretia insists.
“You can have a lovely, long luxurious bubble bath with scented candles before you go to bed, or in the morning set aside 10 minutes to do a face mask and apply a gorgeous smelling facial oil, or make a point of doing your nails once a week.
I have a client who paints her nails bright colours which instantly give her a lift when she looks at them when she’s down.”
Meditation can make a huge difference to your day and you only need to set aside ten minutes for this: “You can get up ten minutes earlier and meditate, which is really a beneficial way to start the day,” Lucretia suggests.
“You could do a ten minute workout at home, it can be yoga, or something where you are listening to your favourite music” and jumping around – once the kids are safely at school.”
As we get older, we often forget to try new things when this is a fantastic time of year to get into the habit of working out regularly, you could learn a language, try out that hot yoga barre class or think about working out with that personal trainer you’ve heard gets fantastic results, or even learn a musical instrument.
Lucretia explains: “And, when you’re signing the kids up to after school classes, think about signing yourself up to something new.”
A little meal prep can go a long way: “Planning the week’s meals and doing the shopping on a Sunday for them will make life much easier, and you’ll be less likely to spend money on take-away food that way because you’ll know already what you’re going to have each evening,” Lucretia explains.
Get lots of sleep as it’s essential to cope so try not to stay up late watching TV, and consider signing up for a quality nutritional supplement so you’re glowing, not frazzled.
“You’ll thank yourself and start to really look forward to the times which you have set aside that are just for you.”
If you have some spare money, maybe you can hit the sales and buy a fabulous new outfit so you feel great, and if the daily school run is starting to get you down, plan lots of little things to look forward to in the coming months. Lunch with a friend, a Saturday afternoon spent somewhere new or a fantastic haircut (you can go to training days for a great cut if your budget is tight) will all lift your spirits.
Lucretia continues: “Ultimately, kids aren’t little for very long so developing coping mechanisms to enjoy it all is really beneficial to everyone in the family. If the parent is happy and feeling fulfilled, then the kids take their emotional cues from that and they will be happier too.
“So don’t feel selfish taking that me time: It’s essential!”.
Well, if that’s not a reason to do some online shopping this evening, we don’t know what is!
Did you enjoy this? Read why Kirsti says becoming a mum brought out the rebel in her. Here TV presenter Olivia Wayne gives us her advice on how to cope for new mums, and here a best selling author reveals her expert parenting hacks for a stress-free summer. And, if you’re at home on maternity leave, here’s how two mums had coffee one morning with their newborns and had an idea which grew into a thriving business. Also, Olympian Rebecca Adlington tells us how becoming a mum helped her battle the demons she had with her body image – and win.