Naturally, our focus as mums is on our children’s welfare and happiness – but in doing that, we often let our own well-being slip down the priority ladder.
However, taking the time looking after ourselves is crucial. If we don’t we can end up feeling exhausted – impacting on our mood, our energy, and even how we parent.
So with that in mind, here are seven easy, everyday ways you can look after yourself for a healthy and happy body and mind:
1. Prioritise ‘me time’
Mums, hear us now: you NEED to step away and take a breath once in a while. Enlist the help of your partner, a family member or a friend and go and do something for yourself, even if it’s only for an hour. And if you’re super busy, even taking 15 minutes out with a cuppa and a mag can make a huge difference.
2. Try yoga
It might sound cliché but it’s true: if there’s any activity that’s going to help you relax, its yoga. Even 10 minutes of deep breathing is enough to chill you out after a stressful day. And the best part is you can do it at home in the sitting room.
3. Make clever food swaps
Instead of cutting out the foods you love, replace them with healthier versions – trust us, the healthy swap is often tastier! Replace the likes of white bread with wholemeal, pasta with healthy grains like bulgur and quinoa and choose a lower fat butter. Connacht Gold gets our vote for the fact it’s delicious REAL butter – containing no vegetable oils or chemically treated fats – but is HALF the fat. Yep, it’s creamy, tasty real butter at a tiny 19 calories per serving.
4. Take a supplement
Healthy eating is SO important to get all those vitamins and minerals necessary for keeping your body working at its best. But it doesn’t hurt to take a multivitamin, iron and zinc supplement to top yourself up, particularly during the colder months.
5. Get moving
Taking the time to exercise will pay off, big time. By working out at least once a day, whether that’s moderate exercise like a walk, or high-impact like an aerobics class, you’re destressing your body and increasing your energy and concentration levels. And if you can’t leave the house, just pop on a DVD or a YouTube tutorial and work up a sweat while baby naps.
6. Read a book
If you’ve had a busy, stressful day, it’s a good idea to wind down with a novel before going to sleep. Nothing soothes the mind after a day of hectic running around than immersing yourself in a good book.
7. Appreciate yourself
Accept that you might not be perfect (who is?) but you’re doing your best. Each evening, focus on the good things you achieved that day and write them down in a journal before you go to sleep – this will help you wake up the next morning feeling a lot more positive.