“Good day, and thank you for flying INEEDABREAK Airlines. In the event of an emergency, please administer oxygen to yourself first before you can assist others.”
We’ve all heard it right? The drill those picture perfect hosties deliver as we are about to take off on our individual destinations. Well, I’ve recently been applying this advice to real life. When you’re a full time super working mum, you really need to sometimes hog that mask, push everyone else out of the way and sit there taking some long, deep, desperately needed breaths.
In the mad survival fog that seems to be modern life, where mums (and dads too) seem to run from home to work, sporting commitments, dance classes and all types of extra-curricular activities. Not enough people are stopping to regain sanity and “recharge” their dangerously low batteries.
I mean let’s be honest, we freak out when we see our phone batteries start to fade and would run a smile of sharp Lego hurdles to plug that device into the wall so we don’t miss a post or a message. So, why is it that we don’t listen to our bodies and “plug ourselves in” when our physical, mental and emotional wealth starts to fade?
I unfortunately recently learnt this lesson the hard way – we’re talking go to the doctor for a check-up that’s supposed to be routine and then end up in an ambulance on the way to ED hard way!
Yes, folks, I was like the Olympic Athlete so focused on my “end result” of finishing up the term to get to the holidays, that I’d overworked myself to the point of being sick and stressed to a very serious level. Thankfully, I am fine and have managed to rest up again over the holidays, spend some much needed quality time with the kiddies and first and foremost repair myself so that I am able to “give oxygen to others”
I thought I’d share a few tips that I’ve come to make a priority for myself in order to make sure that my own personal best output as a mother, teacher, friend and relative is not hindered by the burn out of the working week. I hope the list can offer some relief to others in my situation too.
Working Mummy self-care tips.
1. Drink plenty of water! – one of my scary statistics on the recent hospital visit was dehydration, which is a major problem for teachers. Drink up and “water” your body.
2. Make time for a remedial massage – Fiona and Chrissy (and the amazing team) at Rejuvenation on Thuringowa Drive have often “clicked” my old bones back into place when I’ve thrown myself out carrying kids, or school books, or both!
3. Don’t be afraid to rest – I come home from a huge day of work, get the kids to unpack their stuff, we all shower and get into our “jammies” and then we pretty much relax for the whole night – yes, jobs get done, but we try to eliminate the panic and rush that is associated with the 9-5 work day.
4. Me time is so important – Mine usually consists of a couple of precious hours after the kids are down. I sometimes take a long bath, or read, or watch the latest Netflix documentary. Whatever it is, I do it lying down and allowing myself the time to relax.
5. Treat yourself – it is so crucial to treat yourself to a nice outing or a gift when you’re at the shops as a reward that says “Well done, you made it!”
So, super single mummies (and daddies), please listen to your body while it’s making subtle warning sounds. Don’t wait until it screams. It is so important to be strong and healthy for those close to you, especially if you are their primary carer. It is okay to be selfish, it is okay to put your needs first and let the “Battery” recharge again.
Without a healthy and happy mumma or daddy, our little ones cannot themselves grow, thrive and blossom. We need to make ourselves a top priority. We also need to find the “little things” in life that help rejuvenate our little health garden and make us grow into the healthiest versions of ourselves. By planting this seed in our own lives, we will ensure the future of our children blossoms.
Story Belinda Perry