With Mother's Day imminent (in the UK), I got to thinking about all the current promotional activities around it with regards to gifts and decided I wanted to do something different. Whilst Mother's Day is a great day to celebrate our wonderful mums, it's a tough day for others - women who are desperate to become mothers but it hasn't yet happened for them, women who have lost their mums, women who have difficult relationships with their mums. So I thought I'd change the focus a bit to the importance of self-care because that's something we can ALL benefit from.
With running a small business single-handedly and being a mum (to a daughter and puppy!), self-care isn't something that has come easy to me, but certainly over the last couple of years I have really started to appreciate its importance for my mental and physical wellbeing. I think we often feel guilty for taking time out for ourselves - we tend to prioritise others ahead of ourselves, or we struggle to make time for it (there always seems to be a never-ending list of things to do, right?!). But I'm very aware that when I'm running on empty, it shows in my overall mood and physical health, and I can't perform at my best.
Part of the reason why I struggled with self-care in the past, was that I believed it had to be a "big" thing - a spa break or something, and that was hard to accommodate in my busy life. I have learnt that I need to be more flexible and realistic about my me-time so for me, it's about cherishing even those little moments. This could be as simple as being able to enjoy a cup of tea in peace (before it gets cold!), my skincare routine & a 10 minute LED treatment mask at home, a dance class, a walk to clear my head, doing my nails, meeting with friends, or if I'm really treating myself - a relaxing beauty treatment like a facial or full body massage). If I wanted you to take one thing away from this post, it's that self-care doesn't have to be a big gesture, it's about finding something that's right for you (and it will be different for everyone) - something that improves your mental and physical wellbeing.
Skincare as self-care
One of the easiest ways to practice self-care is through establishing a skincare routine - or ritual. Skincare is often seen as functional but I passionately believe that skincare which delivers an experience is the very definition of self-care! You don't need a 10 step skincare routine - the most basic skincare ritual would be a core set of products which everyone needs: a gentle but effective cleanser, a hydrator / moisturiser and daily sunscreen. If you start with a short routine, it will be easier to be consistent with it (and we know that consistency is key when it comes to skincare!). A 3 step routine can be done in just a few minutes! You only need to add in targeted products if you have specific concerns or you want to add something because you enjoy the experience of using it.
Cleansing is one of my favourite skincare steps - especially when thinking of self-care. Not only is clean skin the foundation of a good skincare routine, it's one you can take your time with by having a good massage. I pay attention to the texture of a cleanser, the amount of slip and playtime it offers and how well it rinses off. Whilst most of my skincare routine is fragrance free, I prefer lightly fragranced cleansers as it adds to the sensorial experience for me and brings me joy! Using my rebalancing cleansing oil and velveteen cloud cleanser allows me to escape, for just a moment!
So this Mother's Day, whether you're celebrating or not, I hope you'll try to take some time out for yourself. If you're not good at making time for yourself, just start small - it's much easier to accommodate something into your daily life if it doesn't feel too overwhelming. Pick something YOU love and try to commit to doing it regularly - getting into a routine is half the battle. Once you've nailed that, you'll probably find it easier to practise "bigger" moments of self-care.
To all of you who struggle with Mother's Day, I send you lots of love and strength xo