First and foremost, I am a mother. I am a mother of three beautiful children who are my world, I love them more than life. But man, can they be exhausting! They’re hard work, and often that hard work can go unappreciated, leaving me feeling pretty tired and flat. I’m sure if you’re a mother too that you can relate whether you have one child or many. A recent study revealed that the average mother clocks in an average of 98 hours a week! No wonder we are grasping for the next cup of coffee to help us get through the week.
Let me ask you a question: If you’re spending 98 hours a week (the equivalent of 2.5 full time jobs) caring for your family, how many hours a week are you spending on you? Yup, scary thought aye? When my counselor asked me this question, I honestly didn’t have an answer. I never allocated time for just me during my week; after all I had too much to do!
I’m my post today I want to share with you how I discovered self care through skin care. Unfortunately for me, it took a tragic loss in my family to finally sit back and evaluate my priorities.
Self care after a loss.
Last year my husband and I received the news that we were pregnant again (let’s admit, we weren’t exactly trying that hard with a new baby in the house)! I won’t lie; I was a little worried about how I would juggle another child as we already had four between us. But it is was what we both wanted, we were excited at the idea of having a larger family!
I’m going to fast forward 21 uncertain, worrying weeks… when sadly, we lost our baby girl who we named Camryn Adrienne at due to preeclampsia complications. Our whole world was crumbling beneath us, and we weren’t sure if we would ever feel “normal” again. Grief is weird, it comes in waves. Some days you feel like you can get through, then all of a sudden a song might take you back to that horrible place where you have to say goodbye again. It was a very difficult and tiring time for me. I started to sink inwards and I didn’t want to be around anybody. I might have put on this mask of a strong independent woman, but on the inside I was really struggling.
To be a emotionally present mother while my heart was breaking was one of the hardest roles I’ve ever had to play.
I’d spent years (15 to be exact) putting work and everyone else’s needs before my own, often sacrificing family time to meet deadlines, and forever feeling stressed and over worked. After speaking to a counsellor about my on-going anxiety and “rushing women’s syndrome”, a common theme started to come through. I was neglecting myself, and that had to change. I needed to start make time for myself… like, everyday!
Discovering ways to take care of myself.
There are lots of fun ways that we can deliberately participate in an activity in order to take care of ourselves. For some people it might be moving your body, taking a bath, listening to music alone or hanging out with friends. But for me, making time for myself had to be something fun, creative, simple and instantly rewarding.
During some of the downtime I had after we lost our daughter, I felt like I needed something to take my mind off everything, so I offered to help out a friend at his soap and candle business. After being there a few weeks, I quickly got interested in the processes and began to learn about all the ingredients he used and how each of them could benefit your body and your mind in different ways.
I got to take some of the ingredients home and test them out, and I quickly discovered what worked best for my skin and what ingredients I enjoyed using the most. Ever so naturally, this me time just seemed to fall into place without a lot of effort, planning or anything! Evenings would roll around and after I had cooked dinner, bathed and settled the kids into bed, it was finally me time!
Unlike everything else in my life, this special, almost ritualistic routine is not rushed, and sometimes it can take me an hour to complete. But it’s not a chore, it’s something I look forward too, a bit like how you look forward to a day at the spa or the hairdressers. After a few weeks I noticed that my anxiety levels lessen in the evenings and I’m much more relaxed and I actually feel happy about myself. I’ve still got a long way to go in regards to my mental health, but this has been a successful step forward.
Want to try natural skin care for your own self care?
If you think DIY natural skin care might be the perfect creative outlet you’ve been looking for too, I would love for you to join me! You can start easily be investing in a few basic ingredients, you may even have some of these at home already!
Please note that it is essential to do thorough research on each ingredient before using them, and always do a patch test on your skin before applying it anywhere else on your body as you may have an allergic reaction to some ingredients
↬ Also check out my post for 12 Self Care Ideas To Help Your Anxiety for more fun idea inspiration!