“You can’t pour from an empty cup. Take care of yourself first.”
Self-care is vital to the health and happiness of the whole family. You simply cannot look after anyone else if your own needs are not met. The best way to serve your children is from a place of rested, nourished, calm. I spent my first couple of years as a mother parenting from a place of panicked overwhelm. I believed the narrative that it was all too much and that I couldn’t cope. Then I got still and realised I could choose a different story – one of love and compassion and permission to rest. Of course we still have plenty of messy, shouty days, but the difference is I can sit down at the end of them now and not hate myself for doing such a terrible job. Instead I can just be kind to myself for doing my best.
This week we’re hearing from Bridget Brocklebank, West London Mum of busy twin boys and Holistic Wellness Coach. She helps families become healthy from the inside out, physically, mentally and emotionally, using nutrition and doTerra essential oils. She learnt the hard way how important it is to look after yourself as a mother, and she shares this wisdom in her work.
Up at 7am, get the kids to school, a full day’s work, then a mad dash home to help with homework, cook dinner, sort laundry and organise the house, only to repeat it all again the next day. And then follows a weekend of sports activities and birthday parties and more homework. Sound familiar? Feels exhausting just reading it right?
When I wrote The Epidemic Amongst Modern Mums at the end of 2015, I wrote it from a place of real concern.
This lifestyle is destroying our health and our wellbeing. However, women are now waking up to the fact that their lifestyle does not serve them or their families at all. But still, we do little to change it. Myself included.
Yes, me too! So this post is not to say I have it all figured out and ‘here’s what you should do’. But in two years a lot has changed. When I was in that relentless cycle it led to some huge emotional challenges along with hormone imbalance and adrenal fatigue, and at the time I was completely disconnected with my body.
Nowadays, I listen to my body a whole lot more, and I know when I need time out, and I honour that. We are all different, and the repercussions of this frantic lifestyle vary from person to person.
Our bodies aren’t designed to cope with this fast pace. Everything is fast in our modern world, including food – the faster the better. And don’t even get me started on the food bit… we are nutritionally deprived on so many levels.
Consider these questions:
- Do you compromise sleep for getting more done?
- Does your to-do list keep you awake at night?
- Do you rarely sit down as there’s ‘so much to do’?
- Do you think time to yourself is selfish or a luxury that you don’t deserve?
- Do you feel exhausted in the afternoon and crave sugar?
- Do you find it hard to recognise the special moments?
- Do you laugh less than you used to?
- Do you find it difficult to relax without a drink?
- Do you sigh often and take short and shallow breaths?
- Do you rarely ask for help?
If the answer to any (or all!) of these questions is yes, the time has come for you to slow down. Right now.
“Self care is not about self-indulgence, it’s about self preservation” – Audrey Lorde
If you’re waiting for a clear day in your diary, it’s not gonna happen. It needs to be scheduled in. We need to prioritise the same way we do for our children. We’d never miss an appointment for our children, because they are really important. So prioritising yourself and your needs are equally important.
So grab your diary and schedule it in, even if you simply write ‘slow down’, it will give you a healthy reminder of what you need to be doing at that time. And you can spend it however you want to. No phones, no tablets, no stress, no guilt. Just you, being, breathing. Or if you’d like some specific suggestions, here’s my list of go-tos: book yourself in for a massage, a blow dry or a manicure. Find a local meditation or mindfulness class. Grab that book you’ve been meaning to read for ages, diffuse some essential oils and get the kettle on.
You know what they say… “you can’t pour from an empty cup” – everyone wins when you take care of you.
Be whole, be happy, #BeYourOptiMUM
Bridget is a Holistic Coach & Wellness Advocate with doTERRA essential oils. She helps families become healthy from the inside out, physically, mentally, & emotionally, with nutrition + essential oils. You can find her at www.thiswholesomelife.co.uk