As the summer break begins to fade into memory, and with your children now back at school, it’s the perfect time for busy mums to use the new school routine as an invaluable opportunity to refocus on their self care, health and wellbeing. Because with the Christmas holiday season soon approaching (and it’ll be here much faster than you think!), now is the perfect time to make your self care a priority before the whirlwind of Christmas preparations begins.
So, why is this time of year ideal for busy mums to invest in themselves? Well, the back-to-school transition symbolises a return to a more structured routine in the home after the more relaxed pace of summer. And while it can also be a hectic time, it offers busy mums the gift of time. When your children (and that includes teenagers!) are occupied during school hours, you could seize this opportunity to focus on your own needs, health and fitness goals, and overall wellbeing. Here are some compelling reasons why prioritising this kind of self care during this period is essential:
1. More Me Time — School hours give mums some precious time to engage in activities that they might have postponed due to the demands of parenting. This could be anything from pursuing a hobby, going for a walk or to the gym, reading a book, or simply enjoying a quiet cup of tea. Plus, if you also have a job, then it can be extra challenging trying to juggle work and family life during the holidays, which can lead to feeling overwhelmed and burned out. In fact, in a recent survey, it was found that mums over 40 have a tendency to put themselves last, which means making time for self care is all that more important, especially when you add menopause into the mix!
2. Better Health — The back-to-school season also gives mums the time to concentrate on their physical health. Regular exercise, healthy meal planning, and stress management will become more attainable when there is more structure to the day.
3. Mental Wellbeing — Your mental health and wellbeing is also crucial, especially for busy mums during these challenging times. Your free time during school hours can be devoted to meditation, therapy, or any other mental health practices that promote your emotional stability.
4. The Gift Of Self — Continuously giving without replenishing can lead to burnout. This is why prioritising your self care can help you to avoid exhaustion and maintain your energy levels throughout the upcoming busy Christmas holiday season.
Self Care Strategies For Busy Mums
So, now that we understand the importance of prioritising self care during this time, let’s look at some practical tips and strategies for busy mums to incorporate self care into their daily routines. The first, time management, is key. Creating a daily or weekly schedule that allocates specific time slots for your self care activities can be highly effective. Whether it’s dedicating 30 minutes to a workout, setting aside an hour for meditation, a PT/nutrition session or planning a midday walk, having a schedule in place helps ensure that you prioritise your self care amidst the rest of your busy day.
Also, you can incorporate short breaks throughout the day to recharge. For example, even a brief 10-minute break can be used to stretch tired muscles, practice deep breathing or simply clear your mind, which brings us to meditation. Exploring mindfulness and meditation can also be incredibly beneficial for managing stress and enhancing your overall mental health. Consider enrolling in a mindfulness course or using a meditation app to get started. These practices can help you stay centred and calm amidst the chaos of daily life. And if you have an interest or hobby that you want to reignite, such as painting, gardening, knitting, dancing, writing or any other creative endeavour, then put some time aside to get started again, because hobbies can be incredibly fulfilling and will provide you with a much-needed break from your daily responsibilities.
It’s also important to set realistic goals when embarking on a self care journey. For instance, you should avoid overwhelming yourself with unrealistic expectations that will have you beating yourself up for not completing. Start small and gradually increase your self care activities as you become more accustomed to the routine. Prioritising your nutrition is a fundamental aspect of this strategy. Make meal planning a priority by focusing on nutritious choices that benefit your physical health. Preparing healthy meals not only nourishes your body, but also sets a positive example for your children, promoting a culture of wellbeing in the family. Have a look a this week’s delicious and healthy recipe for Roasted Broccoli With Quinoa to get you started — my godchildren (6, 8 and 9) love it!
Incorporating regular exercise into your routine is also essential for physical health and mental wellbeing. Whether it’s participating in a fitness class, a PT session, a home workout, or simply going for a brisk walk, physical activity will boost your energy levels and improve your mood. And if you find exercising alone challenging, then connecting with like-minded individuals can significantly boost your self care journey as well. Find a local support group for mums who are also focusing on the wellbeing and can provide you with the encouragement, accountability and sense of community you need to stay on track. If you can’t find a local group, then you could start your own. You will also greatly benefit by getting the encouragement and support from a good local experienced PT and nutrition coach, like yours truly. In fact, you may want to take advantage of the FREE TRIAL I have on offer this month. There’s ONE spot left for a lucky lady to work with me on a one-to-one basis to get you back on course of your health, fitness, wellbeing and self care journey. CLICK HERE or give me a call/text on 07748 298 728 to find out more — it could be YOU!
Finally, taking a few moments to practice gratitude each day will go a long way in helping you on your self care journey. It may sound insignificant, but taking a few moments to reflect on what you’re grateful for each day will reduce your stress levels and help you keep a more positive mindset by shifting your focus to the blessings in your life. This will especially be of benefit amidst the Christmas holiday chaos.
Also, make sure that you set clear boundaries and communicate your self care priorities to your family by letting them know when you need uninterrupted time for yourself. Establishing these boundaries will ensure that you can continue to prioritise self care when the hustle and bustle of the Christmas holiday season arrives. And don’t hesitate to delegate tasks and share responsibilities with your partner or older children. You don’t have to do everything yourself. Sharing the load with your family members (or even enlisting the assistance of close friends and relatives) will not only free up more time for your self care, but it will also instigate a sense of teamwork within the family, making it a win-win situation where everyone benefits.
The return of children to school signals one of the precious opportunities that busy mums have to prioritise their self care, health, and wellbeing. By creating a structured routine and setting realistic goals now, you can make the most of this time to invest in yourself. And as the Christmas holiday season approaches, it’s essential to keep up with these self care practices in order to resist the distractions as they arise. These practices will help you to stay grounded, maintain your mental wellbeing and sustain your healthy eating habits during the often hectic holiday period.
Remember that self care is not selfish. It’s a vital component of being the best version of yourself for both you and your family. So, seize this back-to-school moment and embrace the journey towards a healthier and more balanced life. Your future self will thank you for it, plus your kids will benefit from a healthier and happier mum — I should know!
Love, Gaynor x