Self-Care For Mums – Ten Ways to Self Soothe After Stress

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ocht wheest-1

Hahaha, rough translation from the Scots is: “Oh be quiet and get on with it.’
Which is what I won’t be doing.

I knew full well there would be an emotional hangover after the trip to Scotland.

After all that sunshine and rain, all the laughter and tears, my feelings are tender.

And getting back into the kids’ school routines was like being hit by a tornado… with extra added jetlag.

Plus, our Intn’l Man of Mystery is away, and we don’t expect him to be back until early June.

I knew I’d need a plan to keep my head together, so was throwing ideas into a draft post whilst we were away.

hot water bottle-1

Maybe I could get a hot water bottle and cuddle it. A poor substitute for a husband, but better than nothing. This is the one Mum gave to me at her house, my elder sister Mairi made the felt cover herself, so pretty.

Here’s my wee list of what I’m doing to self soothe when stress is expected.

1. Run, and eat salad.  There’s been little exercise taken so I will aim for 10,000 steps or 3km five times a week… and salad by the truckload.

2. Less blogging for the rest May.  Will make it a digital lite month. Less social media BUT more non-media social…..

3. More socialising in real life. I need to see two of my oldest pals, these are warm and loving friends who also have their families far, far away. Lots of tissues will be taken to each coffee and chatter session.

4. Call my sisters and mum, and email my brother. Keeping the contact up is important.

5. See the psych. In fact, I already have an appointment booked for mid-May. The car goes for a tune up, my emotions and brain deserve the same.

6. Look out at the garden.  Look at the bush, walk on the beach, swim in the sea. Being in nature is the most soothing thing I can think of doing when my brain hurts.

7. Keep knitting. Finish the green scarf and send it to brother, to wrap him warm with love.

8. Take a bath.  We have a bath here in the house and I never, ever use it. It’s quite short, but it’s deep. I used to love having what a friend of mine calls ‘a non-working bath’ and will have one this week. Candles will be lit.

9. Make a plan. It’s always good to have something to look forward to. There’s a night in the Blue Mountains coming up, but I’m giving a talk there which I’m quite nervous about so there’s adrenelin attached to that. Will try very hard to plan a one night in June escape with my beloved to our little loveshack on the beach at Jervis Bay. We haven’t had a night away together for a long, long time.

10.  Go slow, slow, slow… resist the seductive urge to rush around like a madwoman, avoiding feeling the painful feelings that will surely be around. They can’t be avoided. Feel them… and let go….


Primroses. My Dad was born on Primrose Day, April 19th 1938. He died on August 3rd 2009 and these are the primroses Mum planted on his grave. I went to visit on his birthday April 19th 2013.  The graveyard is so beautiful and so quiet, but I couldn’t feel his presence there at all this time, I think he’d gone sailing.

Do you plan ahead to self soothe when you know tough emotional times are coming?

Can you share what works for you?

Take it easy


Cover BBBJust a wee thought, I’m co-author of a beautiful book about PND, or perinatal anxiety and depression as it’s called now. It’s called ‘Beyond The Baby Blues’ and you can read more about it here.

I learned the hard way that we mothers (and the dads too) need to really look after ourselves, and we need to understand ourselves too.  If you think you might be experiencing anxiety and depression, do please take it seriously. It’s treatable, very treatable, and completely understandable too.

Read more about anxiety and depression around childbirth in our book here and do call the excellent helpline at PANDA if you need to chat, there’s a fantastic website there too.



Linking up with Jess for IBOT today, come on over and have a read around some great blogs.


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Posted on: May 14, 2013


  • Reply May 14, 2013


    Aw, hope you feel better soon and the time flies till your husband comes home.
    I always find going to the beach, gardening and writing time make me feel better… Or a new book… but that can get expensive! Thinking of you xxx

    • Reply May 14, 2013


      Thank you Kirsty, I did some gardening on Sunday and it was really good to get that dirt under the fingernails, and there’s more to do, need to get some seedlings to put in. Lots of time at home is really good for me too, trying not to have too much in the diary.

  • Reply May 14, 2013


    Sounds like some great ideas to help get you through, I hope the time goes very fast for you and you can enjoy your getaway with your husband, Congratulations on the book! #teamIBOT

    • Reply May 14, 2013


      Hi there, currently trying to find someone to mind the boisterous bairns as our lovely au pair is leaving us at the beginning of May…. boo hoo… she is really competent and could look after them all… why haven’t we got her to do this before?? Anyway, the intention is set… keeping on looking…

  • Reply May 14, 2013

    JodiGibson (

    Sounds like a good plan for you Seana! I need a run too.

  • Reply May 14, 2013


    Sounds like a great proactive self care plan.. Be kind to yourself (& I love the tune up analogy)

  • Reply May 14, 2013

    Lydia C. lee

    A solo trip to the movies normally does it for me – I escape my reality, and myself! Otherwise a bath with a book – though usually the world beyond the door interferes…

    • Reply May 14, 2013


      Movies on a school day is the biggest treat in the world… so why haven’t I done that for the longest time??

  • Reply May 14, 2013


    I love the cover of that book! I wish I’d know about books like yours after the birth of the Big Sister – it would have made things much easier to know there were others out there like me!

    • Reply May 14, 2013


      It was really, really hard to find a photo that worked for the cover of the book; the designer and publisher and ourselves looked at dozens and dozens of photos. It couldn’t be grim but had to be emotional, and I love the one we choose.

  • Reply May 14, 2013


    Making plans to pamper yourself will make the time go faster. Slow down, relax and love yourself.

    • Reply May 14, 2013


      That slowing down makes a huge difference for me, when I remember to do it. Remember, remember…. and one thing at a time helps too. I tried to eat breakfast this morning whilst on the laptop and dropped fork twice on floor, lost eggs over the side of the plate etc etc Never works.

  • Reply May 14, 2013


    You have some great ways to slow down and relax in there – good luck with making them work for you !!!!
    A is away again as well and I plan on making the most of the time he is away doing heaps of things that I want, when I want and how I want. Not that he doesn’t let me do them but I often would rather do things with him if he is home.
    ENJOY every minute that you take for yourself – especially if they are guilt free !!!
    Have the best day that you can !

  • Reply May 14, 2013


    Yes – I definately slow down when I’m stressed or feel that a stressful period is coming up. I know my limitations these days. I really like your list!! Min xo

  • Reply May 14, 2013

    Hotly Spiced

    I’m sure you must have fallen in an emotional heap after having to wrench yourself away from friends and family (again), arrive back in Sydney after a long-haul flight at the back of the plane, then your husband goes away and leaves you with the kids and their routines. What a time. I’m glad you’re finding ways to make sure you look after yourself xx

  • Reply May 14, 2013


    What a great idea, creating a list to soothe yourself when you are coming into emotional times. I have never thought about doing that, but I will now 🙂
    Becc @ Take Charge Now

  • Reply May 14, 2013


    They are lovely tips. I have had some crazy months lately and running and my baths are my saviour. Hope that you are feeling a bit better soon.

  • Reply May 14, 2013

    Zanni Louise

    Perfect list. Exercise and healthy eating are my strategies to managing stress. I liked your point about seeing the psychologist for ‘tuning’. It’s true, we do need to take care of ourselves and our emotions. I love that you distill the stigma about it. Zanni x

  • Reply May 14, 2013


    Seanna I’ve been off blog boil for awhile but sorry to hear you’re not as chipper as could be – and that you have to have a rubber hubby for a few more weeks (hot water bottle) But I love your soothing ideas. And less blogging means I’ll have time to go back and read your other ones! Enjoy the break! Em x

  • Reply May 14, 2013


    That’s a great plan Seana, I especially love having a long bath, even if I always fall asleep before I can start reading.
    Congratulations on the book, I’m sure it will be a comfort to lots of new mums who are struggling. xx

  • Reply May 14, 2013


    Hi Seana it must have been an amazing trip. I’m sorry you have to cuddle a water bottle at the mo (story of my life). I hope u recover quickly. Looking out at the garden sounds like a lovely thing to do, kimxx

  • Reply May 14, 2013


    Hi Seana – I reckon your list sounds pretty great for grounding yourself and giving yourself some peace. I think it is always hard when we come back from time away and then with your husband away it must feel like you are in limbo. But a bit of yin time and self time is probably exactly what you need. Visiting via IBOT this week…kathy

  • Reply May 14, 2013


    I can’t even imagine how hard it would be for you to have your family so far away from you Seana. And in Scotland too, which in my mind is a beautiful magical place.
    My dad was born the same year as yours, almost exactly a month later (18th of May.) We are celebrating his 75th birthday this week. The picture of your flowers had me quite emotional. Not ready to see my dad’s grave just yet.

  • Reply May 15, 2013

    Lisa Wood

    Great tips for taking it easy after coming back from such a big trip. I think I might take on board some of your great ideas! Especially the one about walking and eating lots of salad – I tend to over eat in the Winter Months so I want to watch what I am taking in.
    I also like the idea of less time online, and more time spending with people who matter 😉

  • Reply May 15, 2013


    Sending you big hugs, Seana.
    I know exactly what you mean about that emotional hangover when you come back.
    Running and lots of salad is a great idea and I’m all for offloading with trusted third party.
    I’m around…if you ever want to just hang and chat x

  • Hi Seana,

    So glad you have a plan. I love the travel but it always takes it out of me and gives me the post travel blues. Those primroses are beautiful.

    xoxo A

  • Reply May 19, 2013

    Michael R. Johnson

    I’ve been working on a way to control it, a lot of deep breathing and meditation. Thankfully I feel more powerful over anxiety than I do depression, perhaps because it’s such a new thing, or perhaps I’ve fought depression for so long my fighting muscles are really strong. Who knows. Regardless, I’m still annoyed by it but recognize it as a very real part of my existence that won’t go away simply because I want it to.

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