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February is Self-Care Month!

Drink water, water and more water. One of the mantras I use as a mother of three young children to remember to hydrate and nourish my body. Water to me is self-care, receiving, the fluid, the dream space. When I think of the element of water I think of a warm bath with candles, I think of a baby immersed in the waters of the womb, held unconditionally. I see my children, curious and full of wonder at this magical element- splashing in puddles, pouring from cup to cup, watching the raindrops fall down the window. I feel the seamless shapeshifting of an ocean wave calm and steady to raging and storming, a river meandering gently or tumultuous undercurrents and rapids.

In my experience so far as a mother I have learnt that I certainly function better with lots of water; to drink, to swim in, to bath in, to wash in. I lived off grid for 6 months in 2022, shortly after giving birth to my third son. I learnt about restricted water, reducing my usage of water, my fear of running out of water. Also the joy of returning water, of the smell and feel of rain water. We also ran very low on power when the weather was rainy and overcast as we relied on solar. So there was times with and times without, really tough times and times of absolute bliss and contentment to live so close to the nature around us.

So this month my blog is about self-care and how becoming aware of our own personal self-care barometer can enrich our well-being and relationships. What is a self-care barometer? Well how are you feeling today? Do you have a way of checking in with yourself? I didn’t used to and I would run along with life until I crashed, or smashed something or yelled or cried at someone and realised my battery had been flat for a while already. So instead of running my battery into the ground, I now check in with myself everyday in the morning, and often before sleeping too. Personally I like to close my eyes and do a body scan, noting if there are any areas of tension and then asking myself if there are any stories of feeling attached to that area, allowing them to rise up, acknowledging them and then clearing with an image of rainbow light dissolving what arose. Sometimes if I feel like something more physical I do some self-massage or tapping. My self-care barometer may come on when I feel a bit snappy or irritated and I will begin to watch my movements and then consciously take time to sip a cup of tea slowly, focusing on its warmth as it travels down my throat (sometimes my mind is yelling at me to hurry up and keep going with my jobs, though now I know how to let these thoughts flow on by). I even register when sometimes I NEED a temper-tantrum and will take myself into the bedroom and beat a pillow and then breathe deeply and give myself a cuddle while I cry.

I do not judge myself for these big feelings that arise and see them as opportunities for release. This is my active self-care barometer- always happy is not my aim, I like to be self-aware and accepting of my fluctuating moods and feelings. As a mother of three I can function as my own mother too and adjust my actions to make sure my cup is full. I love to listen to a weekly meditation that I receive every Thursday via subscription and I ensure that I do this because I know it helps keep my cup full. I also know that spending time in nature helps me to feel balanced and grounded and I do this often as well as daily physical exercise. When I actively choose to do things that nourish me, I feel like I am wearing a layer of moisturiser and the nitty-gritty little details no longer throw me off kilter, they slide right off my beautiful feathers. I am more present, more empowered, I overthink less and worry less and life FEELS good.

For me this is an ongoing practice. My daughter loves to paint her nails and I love to do this with her. We take sometime to sit, to choose the colours and then wait for them to dry, a little self-care ritual. My son, he loves to have a massage after his bath sometimes and I lay out a towel on the bed, start with his feet and slowly massage his body, then cover him with a towel and gently rock him with his eyes closed. All my children love tickles on their back while they are falling asleep. In past years I used to wait and wait and wait for someone to give me these things or to give me permission to give these things to myself and would feel a sense of grief if I did not get them. I know now that I was putting out an energy of lack and that was mirrored right back to me. Once I started to give myself luxurious baths, self massage, hugs, tea rituals, life got better. My children see me self caring and this becomes part of their conscious reality and I receive more kisses and love from those around me.

SO I declare February is the month of self-care, Valentines may be nice for one day, though once you have unlocked the power and magnificence of having your own limitless self-care on tap, that bunch of roses that may not show up really doesn’t matter a bit. Sending you deep nourishing mother love this month, thank you for reading.

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