When you have children, all of a sudden your priorities change. In fact, when you fall in love they change, too. Your intentions are no longer focused solely on yourself. You put other people’s needs before your own and, if you’re not careful, you abandon your own needs. Taking care of yourself as well as others is a crucial factor in your happiness; and the happiness of others around you, incidentally. Taking some time to look after your own needs is important. Here’s nine things you can start doing to boost your mood and take some ‘me’ time.
1. Get Your Sleep
Being deprived of sleep is detrimental for your mental health, and can seriously affect your day-to-day life. Struggling to concentrate at work, becoming more forgetful and worsened moods can all be contributed to sleep deprivation. Lack of sleep can also negatively affect your physical health, as a good night’s sleep helps you to maintain your body weight. Given, this might be difficult if you’ve got very young children, but doing what you can to get enough sleep is important. If that means getting to bed a little earlier, then it’s definitely worth considering.
2. Stay Active
Living an active lifestyle is so important, and the positive effects it can have should never be understated. You’ll enjoy improved moods, due to boosted serotonin levels, and higher energy levels. Not only that, but you’re likely to sleep better, maintain a healthy weight, reduce your risk of disease by improving your immune system, and strengthen muscles and bones. Start off small by swapping short car journeys for walks, or join a local gym and start taking one or two classes a week. As your fitness build, so will your confidence. Even 20 minutes a day is better than nothing!
3. Stay Organised
Organisation is the key to having a clear head. Juggling work, family, love and trying to maintain some kind of social life all together can quickly seem like an impossible task. With all of your daily and weekly tasks running around in your head, you’ll soon become overwhelmed. Try keeping a daily task list, so you can keep on track of what you need to do each day. Whether it’s hand-written in a notepad or kept in the notes of your phone, having something to refer back to is so helpful when it comes to staying organised. Plus, the good feeling you get when you tick off a task keeps you going throughout the day!
4. Take Time for Yourself
Ah, the chance would be a fine thing, wouldn’t it? As impossible as this may seem, you need to remember the focus of this guide – you. One hour, 15 minutes, 5 minutes; no matter the length of time, you need to make sure you have some time that’s dedicated to just you. You can read a book or your favourite magazine, watch some telly or do some gardening. Anything that will help you to unwind is good. Having some time to yourself will help you to keep your energy levels and motivation up, so you can value time with family and friends even more than you do already.
5. Catch up with Friends
Being family-orientated is great, and focusing on your career is important for you and your family’s future. With all of this, it can be easy to dismiss your social life and forego meeting a friend for coffee and catch-up. Whilst time with friends might be difficult to come by, it’s a necessary form of release and shouldn’t be left out. Reconnect with old friends online or give them a call, and make plans to meet up when you both have spare time – even if it’s not for a while. That way, you’ll have something new to look forward to!
6. Eat Well
The constant cries for turkey dinosaurs or spaghetti bolognese for the eighth day in a row can be difficult to overlook. However, if you want to live a healthier lifestyle and take care of yourself – and your family – then eating cleaner meals is so important. Cooking proper meals is not only better for you, but you’ll also save a ton of money. Buying fresh food means you can often make larger meals and use the leftovers for later in the week, or even as lunch for the next day, and there are plenty of quick recipes for you to try. It’s also much healthier, as you know that nothing processed is going into the food you’re eating.
7. Pamper Yourself
How far you go with this depends on the kind of person you are. If you love pampering, take some time once a week to treat yourself. If you’re not the biggest fan, then you can just make sure your personal hygiene is as good as it can be. Have your hair trimmed, polish your shoes and iron your clothes – the simple things can still give you a massive confidence boost!
8. Try Some Meditation
Depending on how much spare time you have, this can be a great way to focus on yourself and gain a wider perspective over things. Mornings are usually the best time for meditation, but fitting it in where you can will also work. Start off easy and follow YouTube tutorials if you don’t know where to start. If it isn’t for you, that’s okay – but everything’s worth a try, even if it’s just the once! If meditation isn’t your thing, you could incorporate yoga into your new-found fitness routine from point two of this guide.
9. Keep the House Clean
Your home is where you spend a lot of your time, and if it’s untidy it can soon become a burden. Turn your home back into a hub for relaxation and serenity, and keep it tidy and clean! Once a week, try to have a big clean of the main areas. Give your carpets a hoover, or sweep up if you’ve got wood or laminate flooring. Dust around windowsills and tidy up anything that’s out of place. You’ll feel much better for it, and getting into the routine means you can get it done quicker each time.
Taking care of yourself is important to a happy and healthy life, and I hope that you’ve picked something from this guide to try sometime soon. Please share how you get on, and if there’s any more tips you’ve got for looking after yourself!