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We live in a world where everyone is busy. All the time. Even our downtime is full of screens and social media, which really aren’t very relaxing at all. Thanks to mental health awareness campaigns, it’s a fairly well known statistic that 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem every year. In England, 1 in 6 people report experiencing a common mental health problem, such as depression and anxiety, every week (check out the Mind website for these, and more, statistics). This is why self care is so important.
Before I had the twins, I was 100% focused on getting pregnant. If you haven’t already, you can read about my IVF journey in previous blog posts, starting here. Anyone who has been through infertility/IVF will know that it is all consuming. Getting pregnant was the first thing I thought about when I woke up, the last thing I thought about before I went to sleep and, most days, it was all I thought about in between. Really, it’s no surprise that I ended up struggling with depression and anxiety.
After I had the twins, when I finally had everything I’d always wanted, I still wasn’t happy. Don’t get me wrong. I was over the moon to be a mum, but I started feeling like I’d lost myself. Instead of IVF, being mum to the twins became the thing that consumed my every waking moment.
I love the twins, but living like that is not sustainable. I started to feel like “mama” was all that I was. I spent all of my time with Jack and Alice. I didn’t see my friends or do anything that was just for me. Eventually, that had to change.
Now I make a conscious effort to make time for self care whenever I can. It’s so important to just relax and take a minute for yourself. I find it really helps me deal with my depression and anxiety, if I spend a little bit of time each day doing something that’s just for me. And even if you don’t have mental health problems, I’d recommend that you do the same.
Recharging your batteries, so to speak, can make a huge difference to your ability to handle the ups and downs of every day life. If we just take some time to focus on ourselves, instead of prioritising everything else, we’ll all be a little bit happier.
I know that sounds easier said than done. I haven’t forgotten the part about everyone being busy all the time. But self care doesn’t have to mean expensive spa days or hours of time to yourself. I enjoy those things as much as the next person, but I very rarely have the time or money for them. I make a point of finding 5 minutes for myself every day. Five minutes doesn’t sound like much, but you can fit a lot more than you think into a short amount of time.
So, my challenge to you is to spend just 5 minutes a day for the next week, doing something that’s just for you.