Need a little ‘me time’? Here are some ideas.
WORDS RACHEL LIM
Have you forgotten some of the ways to love yourself? We have ideas for every mum – the introverts, extroverts, ambiverts, those hoping to reminisce and those itching to try new things.
1. Rekindle Your First Love(s)
Return to the hobbies and talents you may have had before becoming a mum! Get back to some of your favourite things-to-do and walk down memory lane. Reconnect with some of your first roles: a daughter, a sister, a friend, a neighbour, a girlfriend, a wife, a mentee or a mentor. Set up a date with one of these dearest and nearest people of yours and just catch up with each other.
Create opportunities for yourself to live out the adage that “It’s better to give than to receive.” Find a course that you feel passionate about and volunteer for it. The beneficiaries of the giving of your time and expertise might be individuals (e.g. elderly living in one-room rental flats); small groups (e.g. a women’s shelter); or organisations (e.g. The Salvation Army).
As you give of yourself to the less fortunate amongst us, you will
begin to harness the therapeutic effects of volunteering. You begin to
shake off any sense of egocentrism and entitlement. Instead,
you exude a deep sense of gratitude for life.
3. Learn Something New
Sign up for a course to learn a new skill or language. Oftentimes when you are picking up something new, you are overwhelmed with feelings of inadequacy. It is when you find your task demanding that your brain makes significant gains. Cognitive psychologists suggest that challenging activities such as learning a new skill or language strengthen the entire networks of the brain. Other than a language of your interest, here are some ideas on skills to learn to complement mummyhood:
· Digital photography to capture the million dollar moments of your baby’s many firsts.
· Knitting/Quilting to DIY some adorable crochet baby booties to keep your baby’s feet warm and safe.
· Baking – to make some delish lactation cookies for yourself at a fraction of the retail price.
4. Lego and Tutus
After years of watching your boys play with building blocks and sending your girls to ballet lessons, you deserve a good dose of Lego and your share of tutus.
Why not splurge on a set, retreat into solitude and build away?
Or how about signing up for Barre – the workout that is taking the world by storm. It is the workout that celebrities swear by including Madonna and the Victoria Secret’s Angels. Barre brings together ballet techniques, yoga, pilates and strength training. It focuses on balance and isometric holds. With consistency, Barre enthusiasts find their bodies become leaner, more sculpted and their postures standing taller.
5. Feel and Stay Sexy
Do whatever you need to feel and stay sexually desirable. Go for manicures, pedicures, facials, spas, hair treatments, IPL, massages etc. Give sexy sports like aerial yoga and pole dancing a shot! Research and surveys have shown that a positive self-image reduces stress, makes one feel younger, more energetic and healthier.
6. Have a Piping Hot Meal
Identifying much with Mama Bear in “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” and her cold porridge? Many mums only eat foods that can be wolfed down quickly (like a cold sandwich or cereal bars) so that they can attend to the relentless demands of their children. Whatever happened to sipping your favourite bowl of hot soup or cuppa coffee? It’s high time for high tea, Mama Bear! Sit down for an unhurried bowl of hot ramen and slurp away. Psst, it is said that the Tonkotsu soup can help prevent ageing!
Not had any extended sleep since the arrival of your bub and the two to three hourly breastfeeding sessions are taking a toll on you? Check into a sleep pod/capsule to rest your weary bones. These sleep pods and capsules typically have huge recliners in a darkened area which make napping conducive. They also offer head/neck/shoulder/back massages, foot reflexology and foot bath on their menus to let you recharge!
8. Furry BFFs
Always wanted a pet but feel you have quite enough to take care of with baby and hubby on your plate? Head down to Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) or the Cat Museum and have a lazy time spacing out and playing with cute, cuddly animals. Research has shown that patting and playing with pets can be therapeutic. These fur babies can significantly reduce pain, anxiety, depression and fatigue in you.
Have you been starving your interests in the fine arts because your wailing babies and boisterous kids are quite a misfit with the quiet settings? To quench your thirst for the arts, how about watching a play, attending a symphony orchestra, walking through the museum, attending a leather craft workshop or art jamming while you have some time alone?
Being able to connect and be in congruence with your aesthetic elements will certainly rejuvenate your senses and leave you revitalised.
1O. Mother Nature
Skin exposure to the sun is the human race’s most natural, most intended, most effective but unfortunately most neglected source of Vitamin D. Deficiency in Vitamin D is associated with increased autoimmunity as well as an increased susceptibility to infection. If the kids’ routines of enrichment classes have been cooping you up in the malls most of the time, escape outdoors and bask in the sun. For your next me-time, find solace in a tree-top walk, yoga by the beach or bird-watching at Sungei Buloh Nature Reserve. As renowned naturalist, John Burroughs, famously said, “I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.”