Not that I disagree. But when I hear the word ‘should’ my rebellious inner teenager wakes up and makes sure that whatever it is that I ‘should’ do doesn’t happen. Beyond the basic tasks that I do without even thinking about them, like brushing my teeth. picking my kids up from school and cooking them dinner, nothing else gets done unless it’s fun. Occasionally I might be successful at making myself do something I don’t want to do. But I’ve never managed to turn it into a sustainable, long-term practice.
So here lies the challenge. I believe in self-care. I believe that it makes me happier, more productive and a better mum. But how do I make it fun?
There are no ‘shoulds’.
When I catch myself thinking that I should be doing something, I stop and examine the thought. Is this something that I really want to do, for me? If yes, fantastic. If no, why do I want to do it? And what is a different way to achieve the end result that is easier and more fun?
For example, I spent the longest time ever telling myself that I should be doing regular weight training at the gym. And it wasn’t happening. Eventually I asked myself why I wanted to do it. Because I wanted to be fit and because exercise helped me feel good about myself. Was there a different way of achieving the same result. Absolutely! Dancing, walking, running, playing with the kids at an outdoor gym (and sneaking in some more structured exercise while I was at it). Maybe I could achieve better results with weight training… but not if I was still sitting on the couch telling myself that I should do some weights at the gym.
Maybe there isn’t another way to achieve the same result or maybe you’re set on one thing to do to take care of yourself.
How can you make it more fun?
There is always a way. Find good company. Give it a funny name.
Ask someone else for ideas.
I have a toddler who is teething and has been keeping me awake at night, so recently I found myself desperate for sleep. Yet, I couldn’t make myself go to sleep early because… well, it was not fun (certainly not as much fun as reading). And even if it was fun, I couldn’t remember it in the morning and where was the fun in that?
Then I asked other people how I could possibly make sleep (or at least going to sleep) fun and Carol from Carolyn’s Words mentioned something that stuck with me.
The Muse must recharge.”
I immediately imagined a Muse plugged into a cloud of pink and blue energy, recharging. Every time I remember this image it makes me smile. Going to bed has never been easier.
How do you make self-care fun? And if you need ideas, please ask!
This post has been written for Story of Mum’s Mama Self-Care Carnival. Head over and you’ll find more posts on self-care and a special discount code for Story of Mum’s DIY Mama retreat kit, a gorgeous digital pack brimming with beautiful printables and easy to follow videos. It contains everything you need to host your own 3 to 4 hour Mamas’ Retreat. Just add friends, clear a gentle yoga space in your living room, and bake something delicious… What better way to make self-care fun than to share some special time with other mums you love!