As a parent, it can sometimes be nearly impossible to find the time and often the energy, to do something just for you.

Whether you are in COVID-19 restrictions or not, parenting through these times can stir up all kinds of emotional waves – sometimes several times a day!

Perhaps you’re preparing to welcome your baby into the world and are feeling unsure about what lies ahead.

Our Epworth Maternity team does all it can to support our families with practical support and advice. With all that’s going on, we wanted to check in with you and remind you that it is important to practice a little self-care, now more than ever.

It doesn’t need to be anything elaborate, expensive or even beyond the house. What it does mean is giving yourself permission to plan something, just for you. As a parent, you spend every waking hour nurturing those around you. That can be exhausting, not only physically, but mentally too. So, it’s important to give yourself a hand too.

When I was exhausted with a newborn, I would tie myself in knots thinking I really should go for a massage or have lunch with a friend. While all of those things would have been lovely, they really weren’t practical for me, so I didn’t do them. Then, a mum in my street (the best unofficial mothers’ group) told me about the idea of using the one-hand rule.

You choose five things, just for you, for the day. Five simple things.

They might be having a shower and washing your hair, using that special teacup for your morning cuppa, getting some fresh air, cranking up one of your favourite tunes or scrolling Insta with a Tim Tam. Mindfulness, in times of stress, can really help you cut through to the good stuff.

As a parent, we know it’s hard to put yourself first, so consider this a friendly reminder to do just that. You can download our reminder and put it on your fridge, snap yourself with your special teacup and use Epworth’s self-care sticker and encourage your other “mumma friends” to take a moment to nourish themselves.

Download our self care checklist

Feel free to share your five things template on your Instagram story and tag us @epworthbabies

You might only get one or two fingers’ worth some days, but other days, you might get the full high-five. Either way, you’re doing the best for you and your family, by investing in your own wellbeing.

Hey, we’re used to getting things done with just one hand!

Don’t be afraid to speak up if you are feeling overwhelmed and your Epworth team is here to support you. Check out the Epworth Mobile Midwife page, stay in touch with our Epworth Facebook Maternity community or head to our website for more about Epworth Maternity.

Author Susannah Hicks

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