Avril Robinson is the founder of Love In The Moonlight and is passionate about supporting the mental health of new mothers, having experienced postnatal depression firsthand with both her children.
What does self-care mean to you?
As a mother of two small children, working full-time and having just launched my own business in November 2022; I find that I get overstimulated and overwhelmed often and easily as I am being pulled in many different directions all at once. So at this point in my life, self-care is making time for the little things that calm down my nervous system and nurture my mind, heart, body and soul – my daily rituals.
I wholeheartedly believe that mothers need to prioritise themselves and their own wellbeing in order to take better care of their little one/s in their lives – I have learnt this lesson time and time again myself.
I am passionate about supporting mothers through pregnancy, birth, postpartum and beyond; as I felt a significant hole in my own care once I had my daughter. It’s actually the underlying reason behind my start-up, Love In The Moonlight, supporting mothers through the love language of (useful and thoughtful) gifts.
How do you know when you’re feeling stressed or burnt out?
My running to-do list going through my mind starts to spiral out of control and I just can’t seem to switch my brain off. Often referred to as the “mental load” associated with being a mother – and the struggle is real!
If I let myself get to this point, by neglecting my daily rituals and consistently putting the rest of my family first, it leaves me feeling out of control and like I have let everyone down. It takes quite a while to recover and come back from this feeling, so I really try my best not to get to this point.
Do you have a regular self-care routine? If so, what does it look like?
I start my day with a hot shower, turning on some day spa music to calm my thoughts whilst practising gratitude. I find that using my sense of smell really gets me out of my own head and helps me to embrace the moment, so I use a luxe shower oil if there is time too!
A de-cluttered space to work improves my mood instantly, especially when my house is so full of toys and, realistically, is often messy. If I am feeling extra stressed, adding some flowers to my desk and lighting a candle are instant boosts to my well-being.
Making sure I move my body every day in some way is key, usually it’s walking the dog and twice a week it’s a reformer pilates class.
Having Endometriosis means that managing my diet is a necessary aspect of self-care for me, as it directly impacts my associated pain. I honestly find this really tricky with small children as it adds to my mental load that is already never-ending.
Therefore I work with a naturopath to help me manage my diet and to stay on top of any nutrient deficiencies, leaky gut and SIBO recurrences – which unfortunately are all intertwined with my Endometriosis.
Lastly, every night after my shower I spray my feet with magnesium oil to ensure I have a good quality, more restorative sleep.
What bumps you off your self-care routine and how do you get back on course?
When anyone in the family gets sick, it can derail my self-care for weeks. Suddenly I’m not sleeping well as I’m sleeping with the kids or up multiple times in the night caring for them, I’m often not eating well as I am spending my time making sure they are eating and drinking enough, and I’m just in survival mode (and often daycare/school illnesses spread through the whole household)!
To get back on course I find that sleep is the best medicine for me – so I will try to get to bed earlier and not stay up late scrolling through social media, as well as nap at lunchtime on the days I am working from home (3 days a week). Once I start feeling human again, I swap out the day naps for my walks and get my wholefood eating habits back on track.
Where do you go for inspiration, ideas or tools for self-care?
I follow a lot of mothers on Instagram who are uplifting, supportive and full of inspiration. I really protect my social media feeds, making sure the accounts that I follow align with my values and season of life.
I have also really started tapping into my intuition as my guidance for decision making within my business and in turn, this has really helped to reduce my anxiety and mental load associated with over-analysing everything.
More recently, I have started using the moon cycles to guide my daily rituals as well. It may sound a little bit woo-woo and alternative, but I am finding that through journaling and practising gratitude on the full moon and then setting my intentions on a new moon, is another ritual that improves my quality of life overall.
What do you think you need to improve in terms of your self-care practice?
I definitely need to improve the consistency of practising all of my daily rituals, all at once. Everyone is busy and things will always come up, but it’s about reminding myself to be consistent in order to maintain my well-being. I find that the first ritual to go out the window is exercise, followed closely by eating well, but they are arguably the most important for me to maintain, especially to manage my Endometriosis.
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