Do you look after yourself?

Do you feel like you have lost all your energy?

It is really common as an expat mum to try and be the ‘control centre’ for our families lives. We are so busy trying to stay on top of everything for our kids, and for our spouse, but we rarely stop to take care of ourselves.

One thing I have learned as an expat mum is that if I don’t stop and take care of myself, then not only do I suffer, but it impacts on my whole family.

What do I mean when I say “I have to take care of myself”?

I mean stopping to eat a healthy lunch. Not something quick before I go and get the kids from school, but taking the time to cut up some vegetables and making myself a salad.

I mean building time into my day to exercise. I find that once my day starts it’s hard to get back to exercise so I need to do it early. In Chongqing we had a group of mums that would meet in the school gymnasium after dropping the kids and we would work out together to DVDs with everything from cardio, stretching, kickboxing – we had a great variety. In Taipei, I am taking the kids to school but then walking home which is great for fresh air and sunshine, as well as exercise.

I mean remembering to take a multivitamin when winter sets in. I’ve always been very good at boosting the kids immunity and making sure hubby has what he needs, but I often forget about myself. Not this year, and I am feeling better for it.

It may all sound very simple, but in all honesty it’s not.

It’s when I suffer an injury because I haven’t been looking after myself that I get a kick up the you-know-what, and I have to recognise that I know better.

It’s when I get sick because I haven’t been eating well and exercising. But it’s not only me that suffers when I get an injury or get sick. The girls suffer too, for example at the end of last year I didn’t have the strength in my injured arm to lift them or hold them properly. Or when I get sick, my throat hurts too much to read a story to them.

That’s why it’s so important to take care of yourself, and put yourself first for a change. Your family will thank you for it!

How do you manage self care? Please do take the time to share your thoughts in the comments.

To download your video series “3 Steps to Deal with the Overwhelm and Stress of Being an Expat Mum” click here!

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