We’re now deep into 2017. Some of your resolutions might have kept, some might have not. It’s never too late to organise your life in a positive way, and prioritising your health should be paramount. Sometimes we spread ourselves so thinly in an attempt to keep our family healthy and happy that we unintentionally neglect ourselves. This doesn’t have to be a permanent prescription though as it is never too late to give your life a well-needed boost.
Time is often the most precious resource when it comes to supermums daily lives, so this list has been organised with a parental schedule in mind. What’s interesting is, if you follow some of the pointers on this list, the energy and focus you’ll hopefully gain will actually result in a feeling that you have more time in the day.
This might seem counter-intuitive, but keep reading, you could be surprised.
This is a fabulous tool for connecting with the present and becoming one with who you are. As said before, it’s really not to be understated how much parents can give in order to keep their children healthy. This can often culminate in a cyclic mental state of stress that makes it very difficult to relax when we actually do have time to. This can often hurt our emotional ability to connect with our children, against our conscious wishes. Here’s where meditation comes in. Only 15 minutes of mindfulness a day can help you overcome your mental barriers and ultimately come to complete spiritual health.
To begin, all you need to do is sit in a comfortable position, on a chair on a cushion, and keep your back straight. Focus on the breath passing your nostrils, in and out, until your awareness becomes totally focused on that. Sometimes it can be hard to keep a good focus on the feeling in your nostrils, or indeed even identify it. Just keep a steady practice and remember, this isn’t a race, and before long you’ll have a deep focus that can translate into everything in your life and can help you perceive that you have ‘more time’ in the day. This is simply because you are available for it.
Every single time you sit down for a session, your mind will go haywire. This is known as the ‘monkey mind.’ Thoughts, opinions, emotions and physical feelings will all come to the forefront of your awareness. These can be patiently rested, but it takes time. Remember, you are breaking a cycle of rumination and self-dialogue that most people have carried since they began puberty, so keep your heart open, stay honest with yourself about your practice, and you’ll make positive results in no time. In fact, neuroplasticity studies (the brain’s ability to change itself,) shows that a consistent scheduling of meditation can change your brain in positive ways from only eight weeks of practice. By ‘positive changes’ we mean that brain areas responsible for personality and stress are reduced in activity, while those involved in emotional regulation, focus, and compassion are increased.
What could be better to train as the head of a family?
Smoking is one of the biggest health concerns of the modern age. We all know the damage cigarettes do, yet many choose to ignore health warnings and continue to do it. This isn’t to judge anyone, addictions run deep and can be a fundamental aspect of someone’s identity. But, if you’ve ever considered giving up the cigarettes, it’s never too late to pursue a positive change in your behaviour. Using all the help you can get is imperative to beat this addiction. Going alone rarely helps, so joining support groups, using nicotine patches, Champix tablets and nicotine gum could be the most important life change you can make.
Changing Your Diet
Are you getting your 5-a-day? Sometimes it’s hard to say yes, especially when we have multiple mouths to feed. Sometimes just adding a new ingredient to our diet can work wonders. Sometimes the kale isn’t enough, and we need to find full substitutes for our pizza-and-chip laden intake. Having children and cooking full meals while balancing a career every day can be damn tough, but it might not be the gargantuan task you assume.
Sometimes spending quality time with your children while you cook simple, healthy meals can help you bond with them and set them up for healthy lifelong habits they’ll keep. Healthy nutrition won’t only help you with your energy levels during the thousand tasks you need to complete in a day, but they’ll also help your child with focus and attentiveness at school. What’s not to love?
If this seems a little too much effort, or you already do this (most supermums are fantastic with helping their little ones stay well fed,) consider giving them a child multivitamin or fish oil to help their growing joints and bones. Apologies in advance if your little one encounters a growth spurt because of this advice and you need to purchase a whole school wardrobe!
A 15-minute jog, a 30-minute yoga session or just a light bodyweight stretching routine can help you feel more spruced every day. Yoga is a great example because it also doubles up as a meditation practice, meaning you’re killing two birds with one stone. It’s also been proven that exercise helps with ‘gusto,’ that can help you make positive changes in the rest of your life. If you’ve spent a morning getting sweaty on the bodyweight matt in your lounge, you’re going to be more likely to pick up the higher protein fish for your families teatime rather than an easy oven pizza. This is because you’ll be tempted to justify the effort you put in sweating your butt off to improve yourself!
This isn’t as ‘health-focused’ per-se as the previous entries in this list, but it’s just as important. Are you rewarding yourself for a job well done often enough? Parenthood is one of the toughest jobs in the world. Make sure you’re giving yourself recognition for doing a good job. It’s easy to see our flaws, and harder to see our strengths. It could be something as simple as a grande latte with a muffin at your local coffee shop when you have five minutes, or purchasing those trousers you’ve wanted for months. Giving yourself recognition helps with your overall mental health and will motivate you to be an even better person in the coming months.
To end this list we’d like to take a moment to celebrate all the hard working Mums out there. You are amazing and should celebrate how your strength translates into the happy home you have. Keep it up, your children will cherish it for the rest of their lives.