I work with a lot a busy Mums and one of the biggest issues that they face in managing their health is stress. Often Mums are so busy caring for others that they don’t have time to care for themselves and as a consequence, their health suffers. Stress plays such an important role in how we feel on a day-to-day basis, as well as how we manage our daily obligations. For many women, there doesn’t seem to be enough time in the day to prioritise their own health and wellbeing. But there are some simple techniques that you can implement in your daily life that will not only help manage stress but also help you look and feel better.
5 Steps to Start to Slow Down and Feel Better
- Start To Say No. Many women I work with, and even most that I know are always saying yes. Yes to catching up with friends, yes to helping out with someone else’s kid. Yes to a dinner they don’t really want to go to. Saying yes to everything leaves no room for ‘me time’ and the result is a flustered and resentful life. Stopping to think before you accept every invitation and request, and practicing politely declining some is a powerful and easy way to make some space in one’s life.
- Remember To Breathe. When we become rushed and busy we often forget to breathe and when we do breathe, it’s shallow and rushed. Remembering to take a deep breath in, through the nose and release it slowly out through the mouth is a great way to reduce the level of stress hormones in the body which can have a profound impact on how ‘rushed’ we feel. Putting post-it-notes in places where you frequently go (the toilet, the steering wheel of the car) can be a reminder to give your body a little break every day.
- Find Five Minutes. Meditation is by far the most effective way to manage stress and that continual feeling of overwhelm. It can help improve sleep, memory, weight, relationships and much more, but most busy Mums admit they don’t have time. Although meditating for 20 minutes per day is fantastic for overall health, taking five minutes every day can have a profound impact on how you feel. There are so many amazing free iPhone apps so, it is as simple as sitting or lying somewhere comfortable and listening to a guided meditation for this short period of time.
- Slow Down The Movement. Sometimes less is more when it comes to exercise. Lots of busy Mums I see are so active during the day and report that they are constantly running around after their children. Typically when they find time to exercise they choose a similar style of movement like running, high-intensity exercise classes or boxing. This type of exercise perpetuates the type of stress that the body has been under for the whole day. Choosing a slower, more nurturing exercise like yoga or Pilates will create the perfect counterbalance to the high intensity of everyday life.
- Sleep. For me, quality sleep is the difference between an enjoyable life and a stressful life. Managing a family sometimes means compromised sleep but quality is sometimes more important than quantity. Ensuring the bedroom is a cool dark environment and avoiding electronic media for 1-2 hours before bed will ensure a better sleep. Sleeping better means a more productive and happy life the following day.