Isn’t it wonderful that there are so many more parents working from home?
The pandemic technologically has catapulted the world decades forward when it comes to working from home.
If there was any good to have come out of the pandemic, it would have to be the shift to more people working from home.
It has been a wonderful realization of what the digital world has enabled.
Through the wonder of the internet, millions of people were able to continue to work from the freedom of their homes.
Individuals all over the world were able to connect securely to their workplace infrastructures. Without so much as stepping a foot outside their door.
What many people struggled with, was also managing family life alongside their working role.
It was hard to do both at such a difficult time.
As mums, we often give ourselves last place when it comes to self-care.
That is what I would like you to change today.
It is a juggling act doing the work of a mum and also being a mumpreneur.
You will know that it is not easy taking care of the children, running the home whilst also juggling a blogging schedule, or building a home lifestyle business.
I know that I hated the commute for so long.
But working from home also has its downsides.
For one, try creating individual routines around the family whilst also putting in a full day of quality work.
Let’s face it, this is not easy!!
Managing your work schedule can be a challenge at the best of times, even more so when you are also a manager of children as well.
If you were already a stay-at-home mum, trying to find time to create an income whilst caring for your little ones, then you will want to read on.
Then you would probably already have been many steps ahead of everyone when it comes to managing time.
You would have become adept at juggling these many aspects and know the importance of managing time.
You will also know if you are a mum who works from home, that your home is also your office.
And the two things can be quite different but similar in their demands and needs.
The office as we know it is a place for getting work done. Being organized and productive.
A home is a place for love, fun, and relaxation. And being organized and productive.
Therefore, it is important to have clear boundaries in the home which has also now become your office.
You need to take care of yourself.
Here are some self-care tips for stay-at-home mums
Which help to keep on top of everything when things start to feel a bit hectic.
It’s Ok to Feel Down Sometimes
You would not be human if you did not feel sad as well as happy.
We are humans and we are designed to have a range of emotions.
There will be times when you need to just let it out and have a good cry.
Releasing through a good cry can actually make you feel better.
Researchers have found that crying releases oxytocin and endogenous opioids, also called endorphins. These feel-good chemicals help ease both physical and emotional pain.
Just accept that there will be some days when it will be tough, tiring, and challenging.
Days when you are running on exhaust fumes, having only had a couple of hours of sleep. And you have to face doing everything again and again despite this.
It can feel like it is all too much!!
It is important at these times to avoid negative self-talk.
The more negative thoughts you bring to your mind the more you begin to see life this way and to invite negativity into your life.
Saying things like ‘I’m not a good mum’ or ‘I’m never going to make this blog happen’ is not helpful.
You wouldn’t speak to your friends that way, so why speak to yourself like that?
This negative self-talk will only bring you down even further. (Not helpful people!!)
It is not easy to put aside those thoughts. I know because I have had those days myself.
Just remember that you are in charge of what happens outside as well as inside.
Here are some practical things to do when you find those negative thoughts spinning through your head
Daily exercise is good for your body but also for your mind.
This can be a simple exercise routine that you do first thing in the morning, mid-afternoon when you feel a slump, or in the evening.
It does not have to take long maybe 5-10 minutes.
But make it a vigorous exercise where you feel your heart pounding and the blood starting to pump around.
Incorporate exercise into your daily routine.
I like to start my morning with daily tai chi for 7 minutes using this program by Lee Holden.
It’s not vigorous but it helps to get me focused in the morning. It’s also great to start to move the body which has become stiff after the night of sleep.
As the day flows, I work on my blog using the Pomodoro method.
The Pomodoro method is when you work for a set time, maybe 50 minutes. Then take a break for 10 minutes.
Then repeat in these 60-minute blocks.
Here’s How the Pomodoro Method Works
Have a timer set for 50 minutes. At the end of that time, you stop working on whatever you were doing. Yes, even mid-sentence (only kidding you can finish your sentence).
You then take a 10-minute break. During those 10 minutes, you must do something different. Something active.
During those 10 minutes, I like to get up and do some jumping jacks, walk on the spot, twist, anything to get my body moving after it has been stationary.
Working in this Pomodoro pattern will keep your mind active and your body stretched. You will find that it will help you to work better and be more productive by just adding in these small breaks.
Dance is very therapeutic.
Moving your body will start to release those happy hormones.
I’m not talking about taking a formal class or becoming a ballet dancer (you can if you want too though).
Simply turn on some music with your little ones and start to dance together in the living room.
It will certainly make the little ones laugh and help you to join in too.
The laughter and movement combined will only benefit the way you feel.
You may feel self-conscious at first, that’s natural, but just relax and see how your body responds.
You will soon find yourself relaxing. Your body responds to the rhythm and beat.
You may even find a smile coming and your brain thinking that everything doesn’t feel so bad.
Don’t underestimate the power of music.
Sound can transport you to many places.
My friend and I were discussing which sense we would least like to lose.
For me it was sight.
I couldn’t bear the thought of not being able to watch a sunset again, watch the sunflowers grow, or see my grandchildren’s smiles.
Consequently, I was surprised when she told me that she would hate to lose her hearing.
She said when she puts music on it can calm her, makes her feel alive, makes her happy, and even makes her feel sad.
Music can evoke a wide range of powerful emotions.
Try using music when you are working.
You may find it calming. Try to use mind waves music which has the beta sound waves which are thought to stimulate your mind and bring on a sense of calm.
Just do a search on YouTube for music to study and find tracks that you enjoy.
Try listening to music when you are working to see if this helps you to focus better on the task at hand.
It is best to have music with no singing or words as these can be distracting. At least it is for me.
When you have those challenging moments, put on some music that you love.
Keep a list of tracks that uplift you.
Music can either feed into the emotion you are already feeling OR it can redirect your heart to a better place.
Play something uplifting. You want it to take your heart and mind to a better place.
Talking of senses, another sense that can help to change your mood is the sense of smell.
4 CANDLES/INCENSE STICKS/ESSENTIAL OILS
A smell can transport us to many places as well.
Just thinking about certain smells take you back to a place or evokes strong feelings.
Babies use their smell to find their food especially breastfeeding babies.
Smell is instinctual and at times necessary for survival. Animals in the wild rely on their sense of smell to find their next meal.
But smell can also help to bring about pleasant sensations.
Can you remember the aroma when you walked into a home where there was the smell of fresh bread or a cake baking?
Have you walked past shops like Lush, which is full of aromas and scents? How did this make you feel?
You can bring an array of scents into your own home using scented candles, incense sticks, or using an essential oil burner.
You can use lavender which has a calming effect.
Try uplifting grapefruit.
Lemon is also another mood pick me upper.
No matter the time of year, I like to have a scented candle burning.
Not only do I love the sight of the flame flickering, but I love to bring the different scents into my home.
I find these uplifting and always feel better when I have a candle on the burn. (remember with the little ones to have candles and flames out of reach and remember to snuff them out before you go to bed or are out of the room).
I’m a self-confessed chocoholic. There I said it.
I always feel better after a bar of my favorite chocolate.
I don’t recommend indulging in this one regularly.
It will do nothing positive for your waistline and can end up hurting your body image in the long run.
But the occasional chocolate bar can take the edge off when things are getting out of hand.
Just the act of sitting still, maybe with a cup of tea, and indulging in a rich, milky nutty chocolate. Those moments may be enough to change your internal state.
Chocolate is like a small pick-me-upper.
Chocolate or your favorite snack can bring about the same chemical reaction in your brain as exercise or dance, it gives you a “feel good” feeling.
After a hectic week, I personally find myself wanting to watch a comedy or show that will make me laugh.
Laughter is underrated! But it is also so beneficial for our wellbeing.
Research on laughter has found that it is beneficial for your health, lowers stress, decreases pain, relaxes you, and improves your overall immunity levels.
Laughter triggers endorphins, these are the body’s natural feel-good chemicals.
It’s no wonder that people get stuck on funny cat videos, funny children’s videos, and why TIK TOK and YouTube have provided so much entertainment.
Try watching something funny.
Share funny stories with your friend. Have a good old belly laugh.
I remember my uncle taking us to the cinema and he had this huge laugh, which embarrassed the hell out of my sister and me. But now I realize that this was so good for him.
Remember something funny that your child said. This is sure to bring a chuckle to you.
Another thing I’ve been told is when you feel sad, try to smile.
You cannot feel sad and smile. Try it!! Told you.
7 PAMPER YOURSELF
As mums, you take care of everyone else.
You forget to take time to take care of yourself.
My daughter with no children is good at doing this. She has her nails done every couple of weeks and goes to the hairdresser with the same regularity. Both serve to make her feel better about herself.
Luckily for her, she has the luxury of time.
My other daughter has two children under 3 years old. If she has time to brush her hair and teeth, it’s been a good morning.
Ask for help from those around you and take time for you to be who you are again.
Leave the mummy persona at home for the day and get a break.
If you have the money, then take time to get your nails done and feel pampered again.
Maybe visit the hairdresser. Not only is this relaxing. If your hairdresser does that lovely massage thing when lathering, this is like having a mini spa.
If you have more time, take a day spa break with a friend. This will re-charge you no end.
Having time away will help you want to return to your home life and give you that boost to manage once again.
8 REMEMBER YOUR END GOAL
When it all starts to get overwhelming take yourself back to the question “Why are you doing this?”.
Hopefully, you have set your end goal.
Knowing why you are doing this and what your purpose is will help you to keep going.
Why are you doing this?
What is your WHY?
What are the reasons for spending time working on your blog or website when you could be chilled in your jammies in front of Netflix?
Maybe you need visual reminders around you.
Write down your goals.
Pin them in places where you look each day. The Fridge. Bathroom Mirror. Dressing Table.
Maybe add some positive quotes to remember when things start to feel like they are going downhill.
My favorite quote is
“There is no way to happiness, happiness is the way” Buddha.
It reminds me to be happy in the moment and not when I have made X amount of money.
The journey is just as important as the end goal and each is to be enjoyed and savored.
I have positive affirmations written on my dressing table.
I see them each day when I am getting ready.
Review these each month. Maybe add or change them up to keep them active in your mind.
If you are creative draw pictures that connect with your why.
Find pictures in magazines that you can pin up which help to remind you of the physical things that will make life better for you and your family. A sunny holiday abroad. A spa pool in the back garden (my goal!!).
Here are some of the whys that mums usually give for spending time being mumpreneurs and creating this new life:-
- So that I can stay home with my baby after maternity.
- Be able to take my toddler to activities.
- Have the freedom to choose when I have a break.
- Set my own timetable and not run to someone else’s schedule.
- Work from home during the school holidays.
- To make money from home (it goes without saying).
- Have the freedom to work from home and still be a mum!!
I hope these self-care tips for stay-at-home mums and mumpreneurs have helped you.
At the least, I hope that they have given you more ideas about how to self-pamper.
And that it reminded you about how important it is to take good care of yourself.
As a mum, you are the cog, the person that makes the family run.
Being a mum is a tough number and definitely not a job that anyone thinks about the demands of when they take it on.
Maybe add a few of your own self-care tips in the comments below.
Let’s share with other mums who may be juggling their work-from-home schedule with raising a family and help make life easier for them.
Because there is another way!
Featured image: 123RF