5 steps to create a self-care birthday for busy mums
Self-care has been such a buzzword in the past decade. Maybe for you it conjures up images of candlelit bubble baths, walks in the woods, or long novels and an empty afternoon. But behind all the Pinterest images and magazine articles, the core of self care is about checking in with yourself and asking for the things you want and need. When you’re busy with family, work and a list of commitments as long as your arm, it can be hard to make time to reflect on the things that really matter to you.
All this was in my mind the other week as our studio assistant Catherine talked about her birthday with enthusiasm and excitement. Catherine is never shy to share what’s on her mind as we power through the days work, and she’s known in the studio for her outspoken ways and high spirits. As she chatted happily about her plans for breakfast with friends and the present she had chosen for herself, I realised that Catherine really loved her birthday, and looked forward to it. This got me asking myself … how can I love my birthday as much as Catherine loves hers? The answer - by bringing some more self care into my special day!
After pumping her for info on all the little ways Catherine treats herself on her special day, I condensed her ideas down into 5 top tips. These are all great ways to celebrate a birthday or special milestone, but they also work well when you’re in need of a little bit of cherishing.
Here are 5 top tips for a day of self care for busy mums inspired by our November birthday queen Catherine!
Start your day with a feel good activity
Most of us are guilty of secretly hoping someone else will make plans for our birthdays, but if we tune in to what we really want to feel, it’s often connection and a little bit of attention, which we can arrange for ourselves. Why not get that little bit of validation in first thing in the morning, so you can enjoy indulging yourself for the rest of the day knowing you are valued by special people in your life.
Ask a few friends to join you for coffee and pastries at your favourite cafe and have a breakfast catch-up, or head out for an early morning walk with a flask of hot chocolate and some birthday cake. It doesn’t need to be a long affair, a quick round of lattes and croissants with a side order of chat will give you those feel-good vibes.
Wear something that makes you feel good.
Catherine’s love of scarves is well known in the studio. She even said she’s glad that the cold snap came before her birthday this year, as it gives her a chance to wear the scarf she’s asked for from her Mum and feel “just so cosy”.
We all have something we love to wear, whether because it feels extra comfortable or because we know we look good in it. On your special day, treat yourself like a luxury item and wrap yourself with care, and enjoy the confidence boost that comes with it.
Buy yourself a gift
When you’re always thinking about the kids and what they need, it’s easy to overlook your own wish list. Spend some time thinking about something you really want for yourself, and order it in time to open on your special day.
Catherine’s choice of birthday treat was some colourful and comfy shoes she’d been hankering after, but a gift to yourself doesn’t have to be expensive - those cookies you like but the kids don’t eat, your favourite scented shampoo or a really good pen for just you to use are all inexpensive ways to treat yourself like someone that deserves thoughtful gifts. Adding some pretty wrapping paper will make you feel extra special.
In the spirit of tuning in to what you need, ask yourself what “time to yourself” would look like. Can someone else cook the kids dinner? Do the school run? Walk the dog?
If you’re in the habit of doing everything, it might feel weird to ask, but it’s a good way to make sure everyone in the family understands that you need some down time too. Don’t forget that there are lots of age appropriate chores that children can do for themselves!
As Catherine says : “My birthday is all about me. The kids behave because they know it’s my special day, and because otherwise they’ll get no cake.”
Eat what YOU want to
Most of the year, mealtimes are a compromise where we are trying to please everyone, or at least cook something most of the family will tolerate. Sometimes though, it’s good to remember what you like to eat - the thing you would choose if you weren’t under time pressure and trying to get everyone fed.
“My birthday should be a day off for me” says Catherine, “So we get food out or order in. The kids have something early so I can take my time and enjoy my dinner.”
Catherine has one final tip - she likes to drag her birthday out as long as possible! “In the true spirit of dragging my birthday out for as long as possible, I'll go for a burger with my BFF the day before. We'll do a bit of shopping and have a right laugh!” .
We hope these tips help you plan a special day for yourself … maybe you’ll even find you love your birthday as much as Catherine loves hers!