The Summer holidays are precious – a chance to break free from the school run and the endless packed lunches and make the most of the long days by exploring new places together as a family. However, most parents would agree, one thing that is missing from the equation is “me-time”.
Wellbeing experts often say that the “New Term, New You” rule shouldn’t just apply to school kids. With your post-holiday glow still warm and the prospect of an Indian Summer, September is actually a better time to make resolutions than the New Year. So, now the kids are back at school, make sure your new term routine includes enough time for you! Here’s three top tips to help you get your self-care routine back on track this September:
- It’s never to late to meditate!
If you’re back to work, as well as back on the school run, meditation can really help you cope with the juggling act of parenting. Finding a quiet space for a 10-minute meditation can have enormous benefits for your mental wellbeing. And, once you’ve learnt the breathing and mindfulness techniques, you can practise them anywhere and anytime you feel you need some time out – in the car with the kids squabbling in the back, in the queue at the supermarket or when you need to go to battle over the kids’ social media time! And, it’s been said meditating regularly can help to improve your blood pressure. A study by Massachusetts General Hospital suggests that 64% of participants had a noticeable drop in their blood pressure after taking part in the study for 3 months1. Why not download a meditation app like Calm and give it a go?
- Mama me-time
Some days, parenting can be challenging and taking some time out just for you can have huge benefits. Treat me-time like a work meeting or social plan and schedule it in your diary. It doesn’t have to be something physical – so don’t pressurise yourself to make that gym class if you’re exhausted. Taking half an hour out to sit down with a cup of tea, catch up on a podcast, message an old friend, read a book or take a long bath all counts as “me time” and will leave you feeling much more refreshed the next time you hear your kids shout out “Mum!”. A study for Netflix actually discovered it’s good for your brain to take a break sometimes2.
- Put your feet up
Once upon a time (before kids!) you had a beauty routine. Now remembering to put conditioner on in the shower counts as pampering! As a parent, you’re used to multi-tasking, so why not combine some of the me-time you’re carving out to treat yourself. At-home treatments are on the rise, and there is a huge array of amazing products now available which rival the latest salon techniques. So, next time, rather than rushing to book a pedicure, why not put your feet up whilst the kids are watching a movie pop on Footner’s Exfoliating Socks for baby soft feet.
1“Meditation leads to relaxation. This spurs the production of nitric oxide in the brain and reduces blood pressure. At least, that was the finding of a study done by Massachusetts General Hospital. Specifically, 64% of patients who participated in the study and spent three months meditating regularly saw enough of a drop in their blood pressure levels to enable them to decrease their prescribed medication.” (https://www.onlinepsychologydegree.info/amazing-facts-about-the-science-of-meditation/)
2 “Assistant Chairperson Dr Michael Skelly of the Psychology Department of Edinboro University says, “It’s good for your brain to take a break sometimes.” (http://www.edinboronow.com/article/netflix-the-good-the-bad-the-addictive)