We’re mums, we’re always on the go and we don’t have time to be unwell.
Whether a working mum or a stay-at-home mum, the demands are full on.
All the circus metaphors of juggling and plate spinning come to mind when you consider the daily life of a modern day mum!
Many of us have been brought up in a culture where we have been taught to put others before ourselves and subsequently, we end up at the bottom of our own priority lists.
In fact, taking care of yourself is of primary importance if you are to be fit and able to take care of others and perform at your best.
If you take five minutes every morning or evening to write down, yes actually take a pen to paper for this one, three things you are grateful for.
It can be anything no matter how big or small. Keep a diary of three things every day and see what impact this has on you after one month.
This encourages you to appreciate and feel good about what is real in your life.
Studies show benefits such as positive emotions, increased sleep quality, stronger immune system, increased physical activity and self care, more outgoing, helpful and compassionate and more resilience to stress.
World leading expert on gratitude, Robert Emmons reports overwhelming results upon studying over one thousand people. Those practicing gratitude consistency showed a whole host of physical, psychological and social benefits. More here.
Some people call it a ‘walk in nature’ or a spiritual walk. Whatever you call it, the idea is that you get outside amongst the sounds and smells, without any distractions (no phones/audio/media) and fully appreciate what is right there around you in the moment.
This kind of activity can help you create and maintain a healthy nervous system and lead to greater feeling of calm, satisfaction and self-worth.
Sounds obvious and is one of the more talked about forms of self care. The benefits are huge and show significant increase in productivity output, focus, clarity, presence and more.
There are different forms of meditation and various ways to do it. I am still working on making this a fixed daily activity in my schedule as my challenge is hushing my mind and being still!
Rather than over complicate it or worry if you’re ‘doing it right’, the best advice I have had is that if you can take 10-20 minutes to be still and focus on your breathing, you’re doing a good enough job. If you spot your mind wanders onto something, just acknowledge that and remind yourself to refocus on your breathing. Like everything, practice is what it takes to get better at it!
The entrepreneur in me tends to turn every hobby into a business but it is important to have something you do just for pure enjoyment and just for you.
I’m not very good but I dabble on the piano and when I do get stuck in to learning a piece of music, I find the benefits are very similar to meditation in that you have to clear your mind of all the busyness and focus just one thing, here in the moment. It’s great for practicing the art of being present.
Taking a break from your desk or whatever you’re doing and moving around can increase your focus and productivity. Add in some micro stretching breaks too and you’ll benefit even more.
A 2017 study of 67 participants performing targeted stretching micro breaks concluded that this may be an effective means of reducing pain, enhancing performance and increasing mental focus.
So how do you, an already busy mum, incorporate some of these practices and add even more into your daily schedule?!
Prioritise you – Make protected blocks of time and take them, no matter what. Maybe you get up 15-30 mins earlier or take a break or two in your working day to focus on meditating rather than getting a coffee?
Maybe you could grab 30 mins in the evening that might usually be consumed by social media scrolling or watching TV?
When you choose to make it an important enough priority, I know you will fit YOU into your busy schedule.
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