This year, I’ve really begun to understand the importance of self-care. I’d always thought of it being a bit of a hippy – dippy concept, coined to be just another one of those things mums are supposed to try and fit in with an already packed day. It’s not like that at all though. It’s something that is pretty much an essential to keep you healthy, both physically and empty. As the saying goes, ‘you can’t pour from an empty cup’. I know when I’m feeling stressed out, knackered and run down I become impatient, snappy and not the best parent in the world. That’s not good for anyone. The better state I am in mentally and physically, the better parent I can be to my kids.
It can be incredibly difficult to get in moments of self-care. I can go weeks without taking time for myself because the daily grind of working for myself and being a parent means it’s hard to fit the time in. By the time the kids are asleep, I’m ready for bed or have a pile of work to do. When I can, I escape for a walk on the beach to clear my head, or go to bed a couple of hours early to watch a movie, but sometimes, you need a few quick fixes that you can integrate into everyday life.
I’d never heard of ashwagandha up until very recently, but it’s brilliant for helping your body to keep it’s response to stress and frustration in check. When I get stressed out, my IBS flares up horrendously, meaning I spend half of my day in the bathroom and the other half of my day curled up in a ball dealing with tummy cramps. I also have a huge break out of spots and my hair comes out in clumps. This obviously makes me feel pretty rubbish about myself, which in turn gets me even more stressed out, and well, it’s a vicious circle that’s hard to break. Ashwagandha can help to fight these responses. It’s a type of herb, which is part of the nightshade family (tomatoes, peppers etc). You can buy supplements which contain the herb which is easy to take, you can find ashwagandha tea bags (any excuse for a cuppa!) or you can add it to turmeric milk, which has plenty of other health benefits.
I’ve written about essential oils before, and how I use them in my everyday life. Essential oils are extracts from herbs, flowers, fruit and other plants. You can use them in perfumes, massages, aromatherapy and a whole other range of ways to support your general well being. As I type this, I have a lavender oil burning away, making my room smell lovely and making me feel gently sleepy ready for a restful nights sleep. I also know that when I’m having an IBS flare up, peppermint oil helps to settle my tummy, and I am prescribed peppermint oil capsules.
I know when many of us think about collagen, we think about botox and lip plumpers but actually, it does so much more than this. Drinkable collagen supplements and tablets are available and they can help our skin, muscles, nails and lots more. It can help to give us a glow that when we are tired and run down is often the first thing to go. It’s a really simple thing to build into your diet and everyday life and a way of giving yourself a boost without having to think too much about it.
What are your tried and tested ways of sneaking a bit of self-care into your everyday life?