Quick & simple self-care tools with Zoe Blaskey
In this challenging time, more than ever, we need to look after ourselves - it’s a cliche but so true that we can’t pour from an empty cup. We were recently joined by founder of Motherkind Zoe Blaskey on Instagram who offered her expert advice with 7 simple tools that will restore your sanity & give you a sense of calm.
Whilst you may be thinking that as a parent, you’ve never had less time to yourself so you don’t have time for self-care, Zoe’s tips only take between 2 & 8 minutes each to do which is the perfect amount to invest in yourself so you’re not depleted.
1) Start each day with something positive
We’ve all been guilty of reaching for our phones first thing in the morning, whether it’s to read the news, reply to messages or just to aimlessly scroll. This knee-jerk reaction puts you in an overwhelmed & stressed out state before you’ve even got out of bed, which makes it more difficult to find a positive mindset for the rest of the day. Instead, Zoe invites us to start our day with something uplifting, for example bringing the whole family together in bed for some giggles or looking out the window at the nature around you.
2) Focus on the things you’re grateful for
Our brains have a tendency to focus on the negative aspects of life, especially during stressful times. There is a lot of uncertainty in the world right now & if we don’t do something to bring our minds back to a positive place it can be overwhelming. Try to make a list of 5 things you’re grateful for from your day to readdress the balance.
3) Eat healthier
In times of stress, especially whilst spending so much more time at home, our eating habits go a little out the window which can really affect our mood. Most people think the brain is where we find serotonin ‘the feel-good hormone’, but in fact, the majority is found in our gut. Therefore how you eat will affect how you feel. You can naturally boost your levels with a healthy & balanced diet - so you can still eat chocolate, but make sure you eat those leafy greens too.
4) Practice meditation
Whilst we’re not all natural yogis, meditation is a great way to restore calm. It teaches your mind to disconnect with the negative thoughts and shows your brain that those self-critical feelings we all have simply aren’t true. Taking two minutes to focus on your breathing, in & out, whenever you feel stressed allows your brain to slow down & rationalise the negative ideas.
Spending just 5 to 10 minutes getting thoughts out of your head at the end of your day is so cathartic. It’s very difficult to do anything about your thinking simply by thinking about it, but writing things down helps you to reassess, digest & realise that most negative thoughts are not true. If you find it hard getting in touch with your creative side or you’d rather not think about the day you just hard - try writing a question at the top of the page such as How am I doing? What do I need?. Or make a list of all your worries - sometimes simply dumping things onto a page can relieve stress & give you clarity.
6) Limit social media & the news
It’s so tempting, especially at the moment, to be looking at the news all the time, there’s an endless flow of information that we feel we need. However, this constant influx of news just serves to overwhelm us. As individuals, we can’t control what’s happening in the world so to save our sanity, Zoe advises that we turn off the notifications & choose a strict timeframe of the day in which you check the news but otherwise don’t look at it.
As always a tricky one! Social media is a great tool in uniting us, for example, the MORI or Motherkind community connects parents & is full of people who empathise. There are also accounts that bring us joy such as showing cute animals or good news from around the globe. But consider who you’re following - do they make you feel good, positive & supported? If not, consider unfollowing or muting their posts.
7) Finally, have a dance party!
A super simple, but powerful idea to shift your energy into a positive space. As a family make a playlist of your favourite songs & just let loose. There is so much science around how moving your body allows you to switch off & shake any negativity from the day before you move into your bedtime routine.
Those are Zoe’s super simple self-care tools. Her final piece of advice is, don’t try & put too many of these tips in place at once, start by practising one that fits in well with your day & your personality. Once that is mastered and comes naturally to you, maybe add another one in, but don’t stress about how many you can do, these tips are meant to encourage calmness, not competition.