Self-care? I know what you are thinking… “I don’t have any time for me!” – believe me, I understand. As an expat without any family here, a mum with a toddler and running my own business I totally get that there isn’t much time for ‘me time’ in the day. But I also know that as a mum, partner, daughter, sister, colleague, and friend everyone wants a piece of me and, if I don’t take a moment for myself first, I can quickly feel exhausted and burnt out.
Self-care is essential for our physical and emotional health. Without self-care we get run down and sick, we don’t sleep or eat properly and pick up all the bugs that are going around. We become less patient, more emotional and feel overwhelmed. Mentally we become forgetful, distracted and stressed. And if it continues, it can lead to depression and anxiety. Remember, in the words of Elenor Brownn, “self-care is not selfish. You cannot serve from an empty vessel”.
How to pamper yourself
So, here are some tips on how to create time for self-care & make yourself a priority:
- Breathe! Take a minute to pause and breathe. Breathe deeply in through your nose and blow out through your mouth like you are blowing through a straw. Do this 3 times and then breathe normally in and out, always through your nose. Repeat during the day as required! This technique is an instant calmer.
- Say NO! It can be hard to say no to requests and demands but choose what you want and can do and say no to the rest. You are entitled to decline invitations and requests if you feel you need some downtime or you have other priorities lined up. Don’t feel guilty!
- Say YES! You might be tired, busy or lacking in confidence but say yes to a date night, coffee with girlfriends or signing up for an LMBB event. Like Helen, you will be glad you did.
- Smell a scent you love. Burn essential oils or add them to your bath. They are an easy way to improve your mood and wellbeing. Just 10 minutes of smelling something you love will leave you calm and relaxed.
- Use your special products. Don’t save your best face cream, perfume or coffee for a special occasion. Use them ALL THE TIME, pamper yourself and smell beautiful.
- Prioritise sleep. Some of us haven’t had a good nights sleep in years! Prioritise sleep and get to bed. Your body needs it! Recruit your partner and get some extra hours under the covers in the morning. At night, unplug, grab a book and cozy up in bed as soon as you can manage.
- Treat yourself. Book a mobile massage therapist to come to your house saving you time and relax in the comfort of your own home. Or join groupon.de and grab some pampering vouchers or spa day treats. Again, let go of the guilt. ‘Me time’ makes you a better mom, partner & professional.
- Spend money to save time. Get your shopping delivered, hire a cleaner, book a babysitter… and then use that time for you. Don’t spend it organizing the closet!
- Relax doing something you enjoy. Find a box set on Netflix, curl up with a good book, knit, sew, bake… Be creative and start that new hobby you’ve thought about. The important thing is to do it for you.
- Wear your good clothes. Don’t save your favorite jeans or top for a future you. Wear your best underwear every day – it’ll help you feel fabulous even if you are in your comfy house trousers spattered with food!
- Exercise. Find a gym with a creche, go out for a walk, try an exercise class or just dance around your apartment to your favorite songs.
- Get some sunshine. Make the most of the good sunny days. Get out on your balcony, take a walk or go to the Spielplatz with your kids and absorb some much needed VitD.
- Eat well. Eat the right foods for energy and health. Don’t rely on Nusschnecke and coffee to get you through the day. Need support? Monika Bock is an English Speaking Nutritionist who can help with meal plans, recipes, and shopping, Find her here.
- Take in some culture. Research tells us that people who go to museums, galleries, theatre, and concerts report higher levels of happiness. Take an hour or two to yourself to check out all that Munich has to offer or book tickets for the theatre or concert.
- Enhance your natural beauty. Wear a lick of mascara or your favorite lipstick to instantly feel better. Want to learn how to apply the right makeup for you and feel more beautiful? Book a coaching session with Makeup Artist Noleen Sliney and find out!
- Change your mindset. As women, we often put our needs last or feel guilty for doing something nice for ourselves. Know that self-care is important and put it on your calendar. Don’t just try to squeeze something in! Plan it and give it priority.
Self-care is more than just a bit of ‘me time’. It is essential for our long-term physical and emotional health. It supports us to feel happy and it gives us the energy and resources to be the best women, mothers, partners, sisters, friends, and colleagues we can be. So whatever it is that makes you feel relaxed, recharged and stronger… pick one of these self-care techniques & start today! Take up the challenge and share the results in the comments.
Julie Leonard is a life coach and aromatherapist with over 25 years of psychology, health and coaching experience. Her passion is happiness and supporting women to live to their potential. LMBB members receive a 10% discount on all life coaching sessions. More info at http://www.potentiacentre.com/
Photo credits: feature photo by Alex Geerts on Unsplash / Fitness photo by Marion Michele on Unsplash / Collage photos by Samuel Zeller on Unsplash, Jannis Brandt on Unsplash & Noah Buscher on Unsplash