Self-care challenge for Mums with no time or money

business insights Apr 28, 2017

In 2004 I was on the brink of burnout...

no, let's be honest...

I was well and truly burned out.  The only reason I was still functionning was thanks to the five different types of medication my doctor had prescribed to help me make it through the busy season. 

This was my first 'family business' on leaving the corporate world and since taking three months sick leave was not an option, the pills would enable me to keep getting out of bed in the morning - even if lifting my 12 month old son, or even a knife and fork to eat come to think of it, still felt like a major challenge.

Ironically, on paper, this was one of the most successful businesses I ever owned - we made a lot of money.  Living above our semi-gastronomic restaurant in the South of France next to the locks of the canal du midi, life seemed like we had a lot of 'together time' and it all appeared idyllic from the outside.

The reality however, was very different - what the business cost me personally, robbing me of my health, me mental and emotional well-being and my ability to be there for my children (in a way I will never be able to change or claim back) is something I will never be able to quantify.

I know only too well how it feels to be a Mum with no time or money (the business made us lots of money 'ultimately' (but not in the first 18 months) - not enough time or money to take care of ourselves let alone others.  Or at least that was the story I told myself.

I often look back on this difficult time, and now realise that it gave me three very special gifts:

  1. It got me to make a promise to myself that I would never allow myself to get in a place of imbalance and burnout every again
  2. It set me on a quest to understand what it takes to build a financially successful business without it costing me my quality of family life, health or sanity
  3. It ignited a calling within me to empower other mums in business so they would never have to go through what I did, effectively losing 2 years of my life

Thirteen years on and my journey in running different online and offline businesses has taught me so about about the importance of self-care.

I meet so many women, and goodness knows I was one of them, who think they don't have the time or money to take care of themselves, and put their needs equal to those they are so busy putting first.

Even when we understand the importance of self-care, we can so easily fall into the same trap - day in, day out, we seem to constantly, almost subconscously, slip to the bottom of our own list of priorities.

So over in the Mpower facebook community, we're supporting each other to make sure we all change that, starting with a group Self-Care challenge.  The challenge is to experience how in just ten minutes a day we change the way we think and feel in our business - even when we think we have no time and even if we have no money.

The first week was all about brainstorming a list of self-care things we can do in 10 minutes or less, which don't cost anything - not a penny!

Here's what we came up with so far:

  1. A walk outside (somewhere green if possible, in the countryside)
  2. Read a book
  3. Listen to an audio book
  4. Listen to music
  5. Sing
  6. Phone a friend
  7. Wii fit
  8. Do a craft (sewing, knitting, painting, etc.)
  9. Put your feet up with a drink (alcohol to be consumed responsibly, ladies 😉 )
  10. Meditate
  11. Watch something you love on TV
  12. Paint nails
  13. Bubble bath
  14. Look out of the window
  15. Look at some old photos
  16. Gardening - just a little titivating, deadheaded etc
  17. Have a foot spa (You can use a plain basin if you don't have a foot spa.
  18. Go for a run
  19. Do a Tabata workout
  20. Put on a face mask while relaxing (face masks are not free but most of you have one at the very back of our bathroom cupboard or google how to make your own from natural products)
  21. Take time to take your makeup off properly before bed
  22. Play a card game or board game with family or friends
  23.  Light a candle on the table for dinner time or use an oil burner any time of the day (just don't forget to blow the candle away before you're actually off to bed ☝🏻) lemongrass and lavender is fantastic, calm your mind and help to relax.
  24. Sit in the garden with a cup of tea (leaving your phone behind) just watching the trees, birds, flowers let your mind revitalise.
  25. Hug a tree or two
  26. Stroke your cat/dog
  27. Pick some beautiful flowers out of your garden and put them into a special vase so that you can enjoy them inside too,
  28. Write in your diary - your thoughts, what you love doing, short term goals with baby steps.
  29. Read magazines - cut out recipes/articles you like the look of - make a scrap book of recipes for example
  30. Have a 10 min power nap
  31. Cuddle your cuddly toys
  32. Hug someone close to you
  33. Kiss your partner
  34. Sort out your clothes, so they are easier to find
  35. Dress up - don't keep special clothes for 'best'!
  36. Experiment with your make up - look at tips in magazines, this morning/Lorraine/ friends.
  37. Make a vision board with your old magz around the house!
  38. Sort out things you do not want and sell them - car boot/ebay/but/sell
  39. Put odd change in a pamper jar and treat yourself!
  40. Write a gratitude diary
  41. Pray to God
  42. Have fun with your children
  43. Feed the birds/ swans/ducks
  44. Go to a free museum/art gallery
  45. Be mindful of what you are eating and/or drinking - really take the time to enjoy your food/drink!
  46. Breathe
  47. Stretch
  48. Have good belly laugh - laugh for no reason
  49. Ride your bike
  50. Swim (in the sea – if you are near the sea)
  51. Sunbathe (weather permitting of course haha)
  52. Go to a free class (short one)
  53. Listen to 10 minutes of a webinar
  54. Stand in the rain (weather permitting of course)
  55. Soak in bath
  56. Putting your feet up & do nothing for at least 5 minutes
  57. Mindfully eating your lunch - when working from home make yourself sit away & eat lunch properly
  58. Schedule time in your diary to meet friends for fun
  59. Use EAM daily to keep yourself in flow & if in doubt sway it out
  60. Gaze into water (if you have some nearby...pond, lake, river, sea, puddle hahah)
  61. Do affirmations
  62. Do 10 minutes exercise
  63. Write a mani
  64. Light a real fire (in the fireplace in the winter)
  65. Sit and smile
  66. Do yoga
  67. Do some window shopping (if shops not too far away)
  68. Journaling
  69. Watch uplifting youtube videos
  70. Listen to a podcast
  71. Wash your hair
  72. Do some colouring or drawing
  73. Do NOTHING!
  74. Hot bath
  75. Take an invigorating shower
  76. Make yourself a cuppa REALLY slowly
  77. Just enjoy doing everything as slowly as you can for 10 minutes
  78. Dance to your favourite tunes (if you have Spotify, check out the Mpower playlist of uplifting and inspiring tunes - https://open.spotify.com/user/11181821664/playlist/09no7FqpipI1mURq9iNSno)
  79. Look at your vision board
  80. Read some inspirational quotes
  81. Ask a loved one for a shoulder massage
  82. Write someone a thank you letter
  83. Write someone a love letter
  84. Think about your ‘why’
  85. Lay down and relax under a big warm blanket
  86. Cuddle a hot water bottle
  87. Write a poem
  88. Do a puzzle
  89. Shave your legs
  90. Trim your eyebrows
  91. Call someone and tell them you love them
  92. Plan your next holiday

Liking the sound of any of these?

Simple, right?

So why not come and join us...

For 7 days we are going to pick one thing a day to try, and report back how we got on and the difference it made to the way we think and feel in our business and in family life.  Watch this space...

Not in the Mpower facebook group for Mums in business yet? Why not come and join us...

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