As a mum, it is easy to fall into bad habits that result in neglect.
Neglect is a strong word. If you neglect your children or your pets, you can expect to be in trouble with social services, the RSPCA, the police and any number of other agencies. They will come down on you like a tonne of bricks, and rightly so.
Neglecting your partner is a slippery slope to arguments, full blown rows and a broken relationship. Neglecting your duties at work is a one-step road to unemployment.
Why then, do we insist on neglecting ourselves? Mums are the linchpins of a family. We cook, clean, run around after everyone, work, provide emotional support, do the shopping, taxi, perform first aid… the list is endless.
In the midst of all the chaos, it is easy to forget our own health, happiness and welfare. A bad day becomes a bad week and bad habits soon develop. Before long, you are engrained into an unhealthy routine of neglecting even your most basic requirments as a human being. This mother’s day, here are five simple steps to prevent neglect of your own needs.
1. Make a list
Make a list of all the things that you would like to do. Not the things you need to get done or the treats for your family, each and every one of them must be for you alone. From the big things like a holiday, a spa day, a new car or a hot air balloon ride right down to the little things like having a bath uninterrupted or drinking a hot cup of tea.
2. Tick one thing off a week
This takes some planning. On a week when you know life is going to be chaotic, you might have to pick a day to get up half an hour earlier and drink a hot cup of tea before the chaos ensues. On a better week, book a hair appointment or ask someone to take the children out while you have a bath.
3. Get some sleep
Go to bed earlier. This is a difficult one for me, I am often up until the early hours of the morning working. But by taking the time to get to bed earlier on just one day a week, I am immediately more productive. In turn, this leads to getting up earlier, getting things done quicker and saving time. This means more time for me and less chance of another run of late nights.
4. Think health
Every week, take the time to assess your own health. You’ve been making sure that everyone else has been healthy, eaten well, drank enough water and got enough exercise and sleep, but what about you? If you’ve been missing out on nutrients, think about taking a supplement. Lacking in exercise? Why not resolve to get up half an hour earlier one day next week to go for a walk?
5. Remember the little things
Making time for yourself is often easier said than done. Much as we love our families, existing for someone else is soul-destroying. If you feel like this, take five minutes at the end of each day to note down the things that have made you smile. This will make you take more notice of all the little things as they happen and create a lovely record of little moments to look back on.