Us mums can all admit that we are all guilty of neglecting ourselves from time to time, whether that’s our mental health or general health. We turn into doctors once the kids have the slightest sniffle and are always there to listen to our teenager daughter’s worries and woes. However, when it comes to our own struggles and health issues, we can fail to invest as much time in them.
In a survey conducted by MummyPages on behalf of LloydsPharmacy's 8 Week Change Your Health Direction Programme, available free of charge, Irish mums have revealed if they are looking to improve their mental and physical well-being. It also looked at whether or not Irish mums consider themselves to be happy and healthy.
When asked about mental health, nearly 40 percent of mums revealed that they were bothered by emotional problems such as feeling anxious, depressed, irritable or sad in the last four weeks. With only 11 percent saying they did not struggle with emotional issues at all in the past month.
And in terms of nutritional health, none of the Irish mums surveyed were getting the required amounts of Calcium, Fibre, Vitamin A and Potassium in their diets.
Responses showed that just 41 percent of mums were happy with their calcium intake. An important nutrient, calcium is necessary for healthy teeth and bones and to ward off osteoporosis, and it is also important for healthy cell functions such as blood clotting.
32 percent of mums said they were happy with their fibre intake - a very low result given the importance of fibre in the diet to ensure a healthy digestive system and regular bowl movements. Fibre can also improve cholesterol and blood sugar levels, and can be a good defence from diabetes, heart disease and bowel cancer.
Just 15 percent of Irish mums said they were happy with their vitamin A intake, and 12 percent for potassium intake. With Vitamin A being necessary for healthy vision, the immune system and reproduction and potassium being responsible for regulating fluid balance, muscle contractions and nerve signals, as well as helping to reduce blood pressure, protect against stroke, osteoporosis and kidney stones - these stats are a worrying find.
With regards to weight, nearly half of Irish mums are not happy with their current weight, with 47 percent stating that they would like to lose a little weight, and only 7 percent not wishing to lose any weight.
Not wearing sunscreen was probably the biggest health mishaps found in this survey with just 22 percent of Irish mums saying they use sunscreen all the time; and only 39 percent stating they use it sometimes. With instances of diagnosed skin cancers on the rise, this is a very worrying result.
In a positive find, the survey showed that 85 percent of Irish mums said that they do not smoke, and of the remaining figure, 93 percent would like to give up.
Overall these results show that when it comes to looking after ourselves, mums are not putting themselves at the top of the list. But with just a few small steps, you can change bad habits and achieve a more healthy life.