Parental blues, general brain-fry, the only way is coffee fuelled mornings, trying to get back to some sort of normal work mode, whatever it is that makes you feel like your eyes are on stalks and you've run out of steam we're all very much, as the wonderful @selfishmother rightly says "Winging it". But how do you manage all of the above and still feel like yourself? You're a mother now and that changes things. For me I absolutely adore it, but I also like working and having some version of independence. I'm freelance so it works for me, but its taken time to feel like it's ok, it's the right thing to do, I can still do it, I am still me, I have my good old confidence by my side and all the other emotions that go with it... I've had a fair few other things on my plate as some of you already know and finding the old me has actually been quite tricky. Getting on with it not such a problem, but getting on with it as me? Well that's something altogether different. So what can you do to help you be you? 1 - Dress like you mean it! One of the biggest things I struggle with every day is with what to wear and feeling comfortable in what I'm wearing. Finding new things that work with my new body shape, all the while desperate to embrace the new me, the 'supposedly' confident me, the me I always wanted to be and never had the guts to be me. I have the best excuse in the world. It's fuck cancer and fuck you if you think I look stupid. It's I want that tattoo and I'm gonna get that tattoo, it's so what if I have my hair pink today and bleached tomorrow? I'm still learning to do it. Some day's I'm there, others I'm not, so here's what to do on the not so days. Look in your wardrobe and pick out an über outfit. Go for something fun, something you're saving for best, something you think you should only wear on a special occasion. Slap it on and instantly feel good! If it's sparkly, team it with a fun T or trainers. If it's bright and patterned, add plain accessories. Whatever it is, just go for it! You're dressing for yourself, not anyone else. 2 - Bright Lipstick On the dullest of days, the days when it's hard to get out of bed with a smile, you've got your flip flops on and you're still in your joggers then just do this. The quickest and easiest way to be more you, feel more you and lighten up, is to put on the best bright lippy you've got. I swear to you with each glimpse of yourself in the mirror you'll soon feel brighter and happier and able to get on with your day. My personal faves are a Red: Mac's Rooby Woo, Orange: Mac's Morange, Pink: Kate Moss Rimmel London Hot Pink.3 - Stay in the moment There's a great saying by ancient philosopher and writer Lao Tzu, "If you are depressed you are living in the past, if you are anxious you are living in the future, if you are at peace you are living in the present". I think that sums it up pretty well. Just breathe and be happy being you. It's you're secret weapon. 4 - Treat yourself Be pamper productive. I don't mean to give you all absolute permission to go splash out if you actually cant' afford it, but find a way to pamper yourself today and remind yourself of being you. Give yourself a little lift. No doubt being a mum you've earned it, so why the hell not? Anything that's just for you is definitely a good way to feel more you. Get your nails done, buy an uplifting smelly candle, (I love anything zesty with grapefruit or lemon) even have a luxurious bath (preferably accompanied by a large glass of wine) Just take a little time out and get back to a relaxed you. 5 - LAUGH and be good to yourself The final trick is not to beat yourself up. If you're already feeling bad about something, why add insult to injury? It's good to stop kicking yourself in the teeth for not doing it right all the time. Who cares, quite honestly a lot fewer than you might think, and those that do are not worth having on the listening to list! Ignore any bad thoughts and go out there and have a laugh. It's widely reported that laugher is the best medicine. A laugh a day keeps the doctor away, and it's infectious too. Do something fun and feel better!