Wellness Challenge: Mothering Yourself
I feel like 2017 has become the year of self-care.
With essential oils, baths, meditation apps, face masks and all the avocado, it’s kind of a given that we’re all getting healthier each and every day.
But what if I was to tell you that I’m not?
Sure, I meditate sometimes. I’ve tried yoga out a few times as well. I love the taste of all vegetables and fruits, and always drink more than four liters of water a day.
However, outside of that, I treat myself and my body like a fucking wasteland.
- There’s one particular week each month that I eat McDonalds at least twice a day.
- I spend a lot of my day sitting.
- I drink a lottttttt of Diet Coke.
- I don’t allow myself enough time to sleep.
- I rarely floss my teeth.
- I haven’t followed a steady shaving routine in years. I either look like a dolphin or a wildebeest.
- I say yes to waaaay too many things.
- I pick at my skin when I’m stressed.
- Sometimes I sleep with my makeup on.
- There are some days where I don’t eat any fruit or vegetables.
- I stay up too late watching TV shows that I don’t enjoy.
- There are some days where I drink sweetened black tea like I want my teeth to fall out of my head.
- I haven’t properly exercised in years.
- I spend time with people who treat me like shit.
- Sometimes I eat until I can’t breathe.
- I rarely moisturize my body.
- I check my phone too many times throughout the night.
- And, perhaps the worst of all, I speak to myself worse than I’ve ever spoken to anyone else before. I am downright nasty, but only to myself.
I’m guessing that most of you will identify with a few of the things on this list yourself, and that’s totally fine. Girl, I’m not hating if you eat fast food when you’ve got your period, or if a Diet Coke a few times a week is your guilty pleasure. I’m saying that all of these things combined, all of the time, make for a preeeeeetty unhealthy person.
And it’s not like I was always this way! I used to pride myself on the ability to which I would nurture my body, mind and spirit. But lately I’ve just felt that worthless that I’ve somehow decided I’m not worth it.
I know, I know. That’s insane. But that’s the human brain for ya.
I’ve decided to set myself the challenge of mothering myself for the month of September. I know you might be confused about the concept of ‘mothering yourself’, so let me explain.
I’m not a mother, and I’m not really sure if I ever will be, but I do have that nurturing gene inside of me that immediately springs into action around my pets, my friends and (at times) my boyfriend. That incessant need to take care of someone else, that need to mother someone.
For example, I only feed my cats the highest quality, grain free food. I buy FOUR different brands of cat biscuits to ensure they are getting all of the vitamins and minerals they need. I feed them the most expensive wet food on the market, and make sure they are beyond hydrated at all times. I brush their teeth. I regularly bathe them. I brush their fur with a special (and expensive) comb designed to prevent knots and matting. I have my long haired cat, Belle, shaved in the summer to make sure she’s not uncomfortable and knotty. If it’s cold outside I lay out extra blankets, and if they jump on the bed to cuddle up at night, I sacrifice my own sleep to ensure they are always comfortable, warm and loved. I give them fresh water every day, and hand feed them treats often, too, just to make sure they are happy.
Now, this might sound like a lot to you (and possibly a little insane) if you don’t have a pet yourself, but I bet those of you who have pets understand the effort that I go to. You’ve been given this life other than your own to nurture and care and provide for, and you refuse to settle for second best.
I realise children are an entirely different ball park, but I know mothers who feed their children only organic food, use only organic products, and encourage free play and lots of reading, but often times these mothers themselves are overworked, tired and stressed out, literally living off a kale salad and four iced lattes a day. And I get it. Your child comes first, always, but you can’t pour from an empty cup.
This is how I’ve been feeling in my life lately. I’ve been so obsessed with ensuring everyone/everything around me is okay, that I’ve completely neglected myself, and you know what?
I’m not okay.
I feel absolutely terrible. I’m tired, exhausted and stressed, and actually, I’m anxious as hell. My skin is fairly haggard right now, and there are wrinkles underneath my eyes that could hold all of the water from The River Nile. My hair is (still) falling out, and the skin on my arms and legs is rough and pale and dry. My nails are soft and peeling, and my feet are dry and cracked.
Please tell me that some of you relate? Do you put others/work/life related dramas before yourself? Are you tired of feeling like shit?
I propose that, for the month of September, we mother ourselves. And here’s how.
- Let’s make sure we’re eating enough fruits and vegetables, firstly. That’s 2 and 5 a day, girls and boys.
- Let’s also make sure that we’re drinking enough water throughout the day.
- On hydration, do you really need that second cup of coffee? Do you? Why not try something herbal?
- Let’s make sure we’re getting enough sleep (she writes as she sits on her laptop at 10pm). I’ll start tomorrow, I promise!
- BE NICE TO YOURSELF. You are kind, you are smart and you are important. You’re also beyond beautiful, did you know that?
- Tell yourself that you love yourself every. single. day. Stick a positive affirmation in your lunchbox for a midday hit of positivity.
- Take your vitamins.
- Read for at least half an hour each night – it’s good for your brain.
- Allow time each day for a relax – whether that’s a nice, hot shower and a face mask, or some time spent watching your favourite show in front of the TV.
- Plan fun things to do every weekend so you don’t just sit at home and wallow in your own self-pity.
- Brush, floss and rinse. Twice a day.
- Stop spending time with sucky people.
- Make sure you’re living a life that is fun. If you’re not, it’s never too late to change things.
- If you’re feeling under the weather, or exceptionally hormonal, don’t be scared to jump back into bed and cancel your day. You can always deal with the world tomorrow.
- Take a shower or bath every night.
- Exercise because you want to, not because you have to.
- Foot cream, hand cream, eye cream.
- Oh, and say no once in a while. It’s good for ya.
Some of the things on this list are so stupidly simple, but often when you get into a proper funk, they’re the most important. I can’t wait to see where mothering myself takes me!
I’d love to know how you take care of yourself – whether it’s nutrition or fitness based, or just something you do for your mental health. Leave me your self-care tips in the comments below!
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