Self-care challenge for Mums with no time or money
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:
- 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
- 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
- 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:
- A walk outside (somewhere green if possible, in the countryside)
- Read a book
- Listen to an audio book
- Listen to music
- Phone a friend
- Wii fit
- Do a craft (sewing, knitting, painting, etc.)
- Put your feet up with a drink (alcohol to be consumed responsibly, ladies 😉 )
- Watch something you love on TV
- Paint nails
- Bubble bath
- Look out of the window
- Look at some old photos
- Gardening - just a little titivating, deadheaded etc
- Have a foot spa (You can use a plain basin if you don't have a foot spa.
- Go for a run
- Do a Tabata workout
- 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)
- Take time to take your makeup off properly before bed
- Play a card game or board game with family or friends
- 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.
- Sit in the garden with a cup of tea (leaving your phone behind) just watching the trees, birds, flowers let your mind revitalise.
- Hug a tree or two
- Stroke your cat/dog
- Pick some beautiful flowers out of your garden and put them into a special vase so that you can enjoy them inside too,
- Write in your diary - your thoughts, what you love doing, short term goals with baby steps.
- Read magazines - cut out recipes/articles you like the look of - make a scrap book of recipes for example
- Have a 10 min power nap
- Cuddle your cuddly toys
- Hug someone close to you
- Kiss your partner
- Sort out your clothes, so they are easier to find
- Dress up - don't keep special clothes for 'best'!
- Experiment with your make up - look at tips in magazines, this morning/Lorraine/ friends.
- Make a vision board with your old magz around the house!
- Sort out things you do not want and sell them - car boot/ebay/but/sell
- Put odd change in a pamper jar and treat yourself!
- Write a gratitude diary
- Pray to God
- Have fun with your children
- Feed the birds/ swans/ducks
- Go to a free museum/art gallery
- Be mindful of what you are eating and/or drinking - really take the time to enjoy your food/drink!
- Have good belly laugh - laugh for no reason
- Ride your bike
- Swim (in the sea – if you are near the sea)
- Sunbathe (weather permitting of course haha)
- Go to a free class (short one)
- Listen to 10 minutes of a webinar
- Stand in the rain (weather permitting of course)
- Soak in bath
- Putting your feet up & do nothing for at least 5 minutes
- Mindfully eating your lunch - when working from home make yourself sit away & eat lunch properly
- Schedule time in your diary to meet friends for fun
- Use EAM daily to keep yourself in flow & if in doubt sway it out
- Gaze into water (if you have some nearby...pond, lake, river, sea, puddle hahah)
- Do affirmations
- Do 10 minutes exercise
- Write a mani
- Light a real fire (in the fireplace in the winter)
- Sit and smile
- Do yoga
- Do some window shopping (if shops not too far away)
- Watch uplifting youtube videos
- Listen to a podcast
- Wash your hair
- Do some colouring or drawing
- Do NOTHING!
- Hot bath
- Take an invigorating shower
- Make yourself a cuppa REALLY slowly
- Just enjoy doing everything as slowly as you can for 10 minutes
- 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)
- Look at your vision board
- Read some inspirational quotes
- Ask a loved one for a shoulder massage
- Write someone a thank you letter
- Write someone a love letter
- Think about your ‘why’
- Lay down and relax under a big warm blanket
- Cuddle a hot water bottle
- Write a poem
- Do a puzzle
- Shave your legs
- Trim your eyebrows
- Call someone and tell them you love them
- Plan your next holiday
Liking the sound of any of these?
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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