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  • Writer's pictureRosie Nicholas

International Self Care Day

Today, 24th July, is International Self Care Day. And for me it falls two days after my daughter’s birthday, so it’s a welcome reminder to check back in with myself and do something, however small, just for me. Introduced in 2011, the day acts as an important reminder for us all to slow down, check in and show some self-love. In a world that never stops with instant messaging, social media, 24 hour shopping and cities that "don’t sleep", life in 2023 can feel fast-paced and overwhelming at the best of times.

Never is self care more important than as a mum. We’re constantly overstimulated from the demands of motherhood and the many roles we play on a daily - if not hourly - basis, from chef to first aider and entertainer to sleep soother; as joyful and beautiful as mothering is, it sure can be tough, too.

Self care as a mum is the act of prioritising yourself. It's filling up your cup before you pour from an empty one to help others. It can look different to everyone, however I believe there are some important ways that we can show up and honour ourselves, giving the little gift of self-love that we need and deserve.

1. Say no. There is no harm in putting up a boundary, but no boundaries can cause you big harm.

2. Create time for yourself. There's lots of talk about whether "putting on a face mask" is self care. The activity is secondary to the fact that you've created some time just for you; whether that's to spend it alone, with friends, family, or even to put on a face mask, then it's self care.

3. Switch off. As mums, we're always "on". Overstimulation comes with the job. So however you can switch off, do it. Get outside in nature, turn your phone on aeroplane mode (or even off for a few hours or overnight - I dare you), turn off the TV and mute those pesky WhatsApp chats. Embrace the welcome silence.

4. Give yourself permission to rest. Stop what you're doing. Stop thinking about what needs to be done or what should have already been done. Accept where you are and grant yourself a break. Then rest.

5. Come back to the breath. You'll hear me say this a lot but we can bring ourselves back to our physical safe place - our body, our home - by putting both hands on our heart and simply breathing. Inhale to expand both body and mind, and exhale out negativity, worry and stress.

And remember, self-care is anything but selfish. It is the least selfish thing you can do. It serves your whole family to be more grounded, better rested and more energised. And it’s pretty damn good for you, too.

So happy International Self Care Day, mamas! What does self-care mean to you?

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