There's no escaping the fact that children take up time. In fact, they tend to take up so much time that there can be little left over to focus on yourself. Babies especially are incredibly demanding and their needs can become all-consuming. Even the most organised and efficient mums admit to days when they have fed their kids junk food or sat them in front of the TV just to get a minute's peace.

Personally, I find when my baby finally falls asleep, I am so concerned at how to make the most of this brief gift of time that I mostly end up getting nothing much done at all.

As most new mothers quickly discover, spending time on themselves goes out of the window. On some days, a two-minute shower or a quiet cup of coffee feels like pure indulgence. A haircut or manicure is but a distant memory that might be an option when the kids start school.

Suddenly, time is an extra-precious commodity, which must be used wisely, manipulated where possible, and most importantly saved at every opportunity.

So how do you find the time to care for yourself when you barely have time to finish your coffee? How do you access the support you need, when you have a new routine to follow and trips to the playground take priority over everything else? With children around, meaningful, uninterrupted conversations can become a thing of the past.

Writing is a great tool that can improve both your physical and emotional health. Perhaps most importantly, you do not need large amounts of time to see the benefits.

Journalling, also known as ‘Expressive Writing', forces you to stop and re-evaluate your experiences. It requires you to identify and label your emotions. It changes your relationship with your experiences, and how you understand them. This leads to a range of benefits, including better insight, stronger relationships and increased resilience, to name just a few.

Crucially for mums, writing can be done anytime and anywhere.

You can still fit some writing into your day, no matter how hectic and busy your life has become. There is always time to take a few minutes out to scribble in a notebook.

Even on days when you don't get around to leaving the house or you're in quarantine because the kids have chicken pox, you can still write - even if it's just a few lines or a list of places you'd like to go to when you are able to leave the house again.

The power and impact of writing, even for a few minutes a day, is remarkable, particularly for mums who are struggling (and in one way or another, that's most of us). Just having the time and space to step away from your day and reflect upon your new role and how your life has changed, can be enough to keep you sane.

So if you're a busy mum, here's a challenge for you:

For two weeks, take just five minutes out of your day and commit to spending this time writing.

When choosing what to write about, there are plenty of options.

You may like to write about how you feel, particularly if you have had an emotional day or an upsetting experience.
You might benefit from focusing on the here and now in your writing – your thoughts, feelings and sensations in that very moment. This can help you to feel grounded and present again.
You might enjoy reflecting on different areas relating to motherhood.
No matter how exhausted you feel or how difficult your day has been, try to keep this commitment. In fact on difficult days it's more important than ever to take these five minutes out. They are yours; you've earned them; so use them to your benefit.

Author's Bio: 

I studied psychology in the UK before moving to Australia and completing my qualifications to become a registered psychologist. I have experience working with a variety of client groups in both the UK and Australia, including children and young people living in residential and foster care, people with disabilities, individuals with a history of complex trauma and those experiencing mental health problems. I have worked as an individual and group therapist, as well as delivering behaviour support services, assessment, clinical support and training. I have always been enthusiastic about writing and have personally enjoyed the personal benefits of writing and journalling for over 20 years. Write As Rain combines my two passions, psychology and writing.