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Self-care is not selfish

By Family Flavours - Apr 17,2022 - Last updated at Apr 17,2022

Photo courtesy of Family Flavours magazine

Women are taught to take care of others before taking care of themselves. Yet, self-care is crucial to health and a mother’s self-care in particular if it affects the well-being of the whole family.

Self-care is just another name or term for taking care of yourself, which is essential for any person. Most women struggle to meet this need as their responsibility towards their family and house becomes a priority. Ironically, it is precisely self-care that makes a woman able to give more to her family, kids, house and community.

So you can stop feeling guilty about making time for yourself because this precious time you give yourself will greatly impact your family and community. You just need between 15 minutes to an hour a day for self-care. Let this time be the daily ritual that brings you inner peace and calmness. It should lower the stress hormone (cortisol), which is responsible for anxiety, lower blood pressure and improve your brain health. 


How sleep training your child benefits you


When a baby is sleep trained, your child will be less fussy throughout the day and night. This will lead to a happy baby that sleeps within the correct windows of age-appropriate timing. As a result, your baby will sleep at night without being overtired. When reaching this level of stability in the house, a mother can have some time to look and take care of herself as she is confident about the routine and the timings in which the baby naps and sleeps at night. She can socialise, spend quality time with herself and her spouse and continue her career or household work.

It all starts when children are on a routine day and night. Programming this routine from the day your baby is born is crucial to giving time and space for the family’s wellbeing. The happiness and stability of the whole family start with a happy and relaxed mama.


Self-care practices


•Practising 15 minutes of yoga or meditation usingYouTube videos

•Making sure to go to bed early. For new mothers, try to nap whenever your newborn naps, even if it means having to ask for help

•Taking a 20-minute walk

•Reading a book or working on a puzzle

•Sipping a soothing cup of herbal tea

•Talking with a friend or a relative and reaching out to them any time you need a helping hand or a listening ear

•Journaling – write down your thoughts and feelings and think about what you’re thankful for

•Spending time with your inner self without any social media or other interactions

•Implementing a nightly routine that helps you to unwind and create a sleeping environment that’s calming

Perfecting your child’s bedtime routine


•Making sure your child is not hungry or too full at bedtime; keep in mind that the stomach needs several hours to digest a large meal, so consuming it too close to sleep time means the body will remain active when what you want is for it to relax. Plus, eating fatty foods before bed can negatively impact sleep quality

•Encouraging your child to get as much natural light through the day as possible for a good night’s sleep. Getting exposed to bright light during the day helps to synchronise circadian rhythms that regulate the sleep-wake cycle and repeat every 24 hours. Light also promotes sleepiness at bedtime

•Ceasing the use of electronics one hour before bedtime and planning other calming activities before bed, such as reading, puzzles, colouring or bedtime yoga; be an example for your child too by doing the same! 

•Encouraging your child to avoid eating or drinking anything in the late afternoon loaded with caffeine like chocolate, sugary juices, tea, coffee, or fizzy drinks. These will lead to your child being more alert around sleeping time


Reprinted with permission from Family Flavours magazine

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