SELF CARE

  • SELF CARE
  • The importance of ‘self care’ has been in the press a lot recently and.      As a working mum we all know the feeling of utter exhaustion and burn out trying to put everyone first so that we end up bottom of the list. I wouldn’t have this any other way as my children come above anything, however, after an extremely busy year last year, the demands of work and trying to be the best mum possible left me neglecting my own health, fitness and well being. The last few weeks leading up to the Christmas break left me feeling very drained with no energy and I knew that 2020 had to be different and, to continue to be a good mum and to give my work 100% I have to start thinking about my own health and fitness this year and also putting a little bit of time aside each week for me. In the past this always felt like a selfish concept and still does to a certain extent as my kids needs will always come before my own. But when you’re left with no energy and start feeling irritable then you can’t give your best to anyone else. It’s like they always tell us in the safety talk on an aeroplane, put your own mask on first so you’re in the best position to help others. And so, I sat down one day during the Christmas holidays and made a plan for 2020. My job will always be busy as I run my own dance school and my work hours are definitely not 9-5, but I have allowed it to completely run over into family time on many occasions and the more I do and give to my clients the more they want and the more they demand. This had to change and so did my own fitness levels and eating habits to combat my complete lack of energy and always feeling slightly ‘under the weather’. 

  • 1. To not work at home on my days off
  • As a rule I don’t work Monday’s and Friday’s but when you run a business the work doesn’t stop and I found myself working 7 days a week for a long long time. I’ve put a rule in place that all my admin work is done on a Tuesday- Thursday before I go to the studios leaving Monday’s & Friday’s for house work, appointments, personal chores, social activities and family time. Some people hate house work and cooking but I love it as I’m doing it for my family. Just having these 2 days to switch off (to a point) from work is good for the soul and is making a difference to me plus making everything a lot more organised at home. Of course this won’t work every week as running a business never really stops but as long as I do this as much as I can and don’t let work slip into every waking hour then I’m able to get a bit more balance in my life. 

  • 2. Quality time with my children
  • My kids lives are as busy as mine with school, hobbies & social lives so any chance we get to spend time as a family we grab it! 

  • 3. Date night with my husband 
  • When you first have children life gets unbelievably busy and you can often end up putting yourself and your partner last. Now Isabelle and Max are growing up Tony and are are trying to make more time for us to go out just the two of us and have ‘date nights’ every so often. 

  • 4. See friends more and make arrangements 
  • Everyone’s lives are so busy and its so easy to say to friends we must meet up more often and then, before you know it the weeks and months fly by and you never arranged that night out. I’m on a mission this year to see my good friends more often and get arrangements in place as time goes by so quickly. 
  • 5.  A lovely soak in the bath sometimes instead of a rushed shower 
  • One of my favourite ways to relax is a lovely bubble bath with bath bombs, oils, candles on and a glass of wine whilst watching something on my iPad. Showers are lovely and refreshing in a morning but you can’t beat a bath for total relaxation. 
  • 6. Podcasts 
  • As I listen to music constantly for my job, when I’m driving I prefer not to listen to music and so podcasts are my absolute favourite thing. I’ve got a long list of podcasts I love which pass the time perfectly on my way to and from work.
  • 7.  My favourite TV shows 
  • My biggest guilty pleasure is watching Corrie & Emmerdale along with a good Sunday night drama, Strictly, Masterchef to name a few of my favourites.  
  • 8. The Gym 
  • When I danced professionally I had to stay in shape and went to the gym regularly. Working on cruise ships was great as the gym was two minutes away from my cabin so I was in there every day. Since living back in the UK, getting married, having kids etc I’ve worked out on and off over the years but the last two years I’ve let it slack a lot. So January 1st this year I joined again and this time around I’m loving it. It’s good for energy, mental health and getting myself back in shape and I actually looking forward to going again. 
  • 9. Planning ahead 
  • I’m a huge list person and I’ve always been good at writing my to do list and planning ahead. By getting things ready the night before everything is much less stressful the next day. To most people’s standards I’m very organised however, towards the end of last year I had so many to do lists for different things I ended up being counter productive. The first thing I did this year was to put all my to do lists in one place in a very organised divided file instead of a different notebooks for everything and so far it’s working perfectly and things are getting done so much more efficiently. Thus my mind is clearer and not as overwhelmed by my work load which is a wonderful feeling. 
  • 10. Dog walks 
  • Getting our cavachon Dora was one of the best things we’ve ever done as a family and taking her for walks is therapeutic for me as it clears my mind and gets me out in the fresh air. Seeing her joy running in the fields near our house is wonderful to see. She is so loved! 
  • 11. Read a book or magazine 
  • I’ve always loved to read but over the past couple of years I’ve been guilty at grabbing my phone much more than a should. I used to love to read on train journeys, on holidays and before bedtime and its something I’m determined to get back to. Reading clears your mind and allows you to lose yourself in the narrative which is a wonderful form of self care. 
  • 12. Buying myself some flowers
  • I adore fresh flowers and when the Spring flowers start to appear it makes me so happy. Everyone knows I love daffodils as to me they are a symbol of new beginnings and are such a happy flower. As soon as they are available I buy myself a fresh bunch every week to put in my kitchen. 
  • 13. Burning luxury candles
  • One of my favourite things on an evening is to light my candles. The smells, the cosiness, the ambience they bring to me is something that makes me feel very happy and content. I’m a candle junkie and my house is full of them. 
  • 14. Cook new recipes 
  • I’m a decent home cook and I love cooking for my family but my repertoire definitely needs broadening. I always complain I don’t have enough time to try new things but this year I’m determined to make time and to broaden my culinary repertoire. 
  • 15. Go to the cinema or the theatre
  • Being a dancer I’ve always loved going to the theatre and Isabelle and I go to London regularly to see shows but I also absolutely love going to the cinema to lose myself in a film and try to go as regularly as time allows. 
  • 16. Book a facial or massage
  • Another of my absolute favourite pastimes is a facial or massage, the ultimate in indulgence and self care. I try to get a professional facial around once a month if possible which I look forward to and relish. 
  • 17. Meet a friend for lunch 
  • A lovely lunch, a glass of wine or crisp G&T and a good natter putting the world to rights with a close friend is good for the soul and brightens any day. 
  • 18. Go shopping just for me for once 
  • Whenever I go shopping I plan to get a few additions for my wardrobe but more often than not my purchases are mainly for my kids. That won’t stop but now and again I’m going to go and just have a splurge on myself for once for some therapeutic retail therapy! 
  • 19. Book a mini break 
  • It’s always lovely to have a trip to look forward to and I adore a mini break as much as a holiday. I try to make sure we have at least two or three mini breaks booked each year as well as our holidays. So far this year we have a London trip, a weekend in a stunning barn conversion in Robin Hoods Bay and a couple of days in Paris to look forward to which I can’t wait for. 
  • 20. Smile 
  • Smiling instantly makes me feel better and more positive! 

  • Other good Self Care activities:
  • Help others 
  • Sleeping more & improving night time rituals 
  • Less technology
  • Look after your gut and be mindful of what you eat
  • Say no to things you don’t want to do
  • Say yes to things to push you out of your comfort zone 
  • Get more fresh air
  • Schedule time just for you
  • Accept compliments
  • De clutter
  • Little and often wins the day 
  • But the important thing is you find time to do this kind of thing once in a while and do it without guilt. 

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