Nourish. Grow. Nurture. Thrive.
Before I became a mumme…parents would constantly tell me to make sure I got plenty of sleep….stock up cause once my little bundle of joy was to arrive you could bet that I was not going to receive the amount of sleep I was accustomed to (and possibly not for many years).
Once I became a mumme I dived straight in to the deep end into the world of SLEEP…well lack of really. The reality of daylight savings and what it meant now and the world of broken, interrupted sleep. Yes lack of sleep is torture! It can consume you, sending you into the depths of zombie land where you are a mere shell of your former self. Trying to get by each day feeling drained, scattered and exhausted.
I found that whatever mumme I spoke to the ONE common topic to discuss was SLEEP…how much you were getting, not getting, if your baby slept through or not and at what age. The sleep talk quickly became the thing to talk about, the common thread that bound our worlds together. No longer was it ‘Hi, how are you doing?’, it was ‘Hi, how are you sleeping?’
For several years I felt like I was in the rat race always trying to get MORE SLEEP, get my son to sleep, creating the perfect scenario for him to sleep and praying to the sleep gods above to grant me more sleep. I felt like my mind was a slave to sleep. I was always hearing other mumme’s talking about their child’s sleep habits, how amazing their child slept…and that it had slept through at 8 weeks old, blah blah blah…certainly not music to my ears!
Once I SURRENDERED to the fact that I had to get by on the sleep I was given and stop wishing for more and feeling disappointed when it didn’t happen, I found a sense of peace within. In letting go and being OK, I started to focus on other ways I could nourish myself and feel more energised without more sleep. If one area of our life is under pressure (such as lack of sleep Zzz) we have the power to support our body in other ways to nourish our mind, body and spirit ensuring all other cylinders are firing at an optimal level. Here are 8 SIMPLE ways that nourish & nurture YOU to grow & thrive as a mumme.
1. NUTRITION is paramount, you are what you eat!
We can get caught up in the dietary trends…the low carb, the fat free, the paleo to raw food diet etc. and it can be very confusing and contradictory. So I want to keep it as simple as possible. Aim to eat a diet full of WHOLE FOODS that is, food in their most natural state. Straight from mother nature, unprocessed & unrefined. Be realistic and use your common sense. The best approach I believe is adopting an 80/20 rule. 80% of your week is full of nutrition dense foods (fruit/vegetables/whole grains/lean protein(meat, chicken, fish, eggs, legumes) dairy, good fats- nuts/seeds/avocados) aiming for a well balanced diet. Then 20% (e.g, a Friday night/Sunday) to enjoy a few treats, wine (alcohol) and indulgences. Watching your portion sizes is also a great habit to get into, chewing your food slowly, taking time to eat and being mindful will help your brain register when you are full.
2. WATER (preferably filtered) is the elixir of life. Your body is predominately water so make sure you keep your system hydrated and in an alkaline state. Check the colour of your pee (to see if you are consuming enough)…if it is light/faint yellow colour you are hydrated and if not drink up! Dehydration causes fatigue, mental fog, low energy levels and a lack of motivation and get up & go. Not a state you want to be in with children vying for your energy and attention! So increase your water intake to feel more vibrancy, energy, focus and mental clarity. What mumme doesn’t want to feel like this?
Also remember thirst sensations are often confused for being hungry. So next time you feel a little peckish grab a glass of water beforehand and see how you feel then. Cheers!
3. DE STRESS – Stress and being a mumme can go hand in hand. We can put a bucket load of stress on ourselves trying to do it all. Prioritising is essential, removing or delegating some of the jobs on your ‘to do list’ can free up your time and some essential mental space. Putting unwarranted stress on ourselves as mumme’s is a very common habit. Saying No and asking for help has to be our daily mantra. No one functions well under stress!
4. MOVE YOUR BOOTY– yes you heard me shake what you were given! Moving your body does not have to mean you need scheduled time away from the kids to go to a gym. You can do plenty of movement at home cranking up your favourite tunes as your kids dance around you whilst you shake the body you were born with. Try it, it can be quite liberating…especially if you put on some old tunes that take you back to those dance floor days 🙂
Moving your body for 10 MINS a day will start to impact how you feel and in no time you will want to do more for longer. YouTube has plenty of exercise routines you can do without having to leave the house, get a babysitter or spend any money!
Some other easy strategies to get move movement in your day is to park a little further away form your destination and walk there. Take the stairs instead of the escalator/elevator.
By adding more movement into your day you will be amazed how it will make you feel. Plus the positive health benefits are priceless! Be creative and get your children involved.
5. MINDFULNESS practise is one of the MOST IMPORTANT habits to form as a mumme. You do not need more time or money to do it! Plus your kids will offer you endless hours of practise! 🙂
Mindfulness is the key to being present in any given moment. It helps you to respond to situations in a more calm and effective way. Mindfulness gives you the space to act consciously…it turns off your auto pilot button and lets you respond through awareness in any situation. It is the MOMENT, the PAUSE, where you have a CHOICE…of how you will respond after a particular stimulus.
After practising mindfulness with my son I have found I can deal with his behaviours in a more calm and stable way. It has given me power to choose a better outcome. My son can really push my buttons and elicit my fight or flight response. My heart rate pumps out of my chest, it feels like my blood is boiling in my veins and at times I become enraged when he will not listen to me, starts testing me, pushing the boundaries and I feel I am powerless and on the way to a mumme meltdown. My voice will get loud and in the end all I ever feel is guilty about how I have reacted and how I have let a 3 year old elicit these angry feelings in me. It is like he has tapped into feelings that I haven’t felt since I was a child…primal emotions, raw and real.
I knew I had to be the adult and I had to choose a better way. He was watching and learning from me. I was the parent and I must lead him to a positive way of coping and dealing with whatever he was going through.
By understanding what was going on in his brain at his age, I could also gain an insight into why he was behaving in certain ways, why he was testing me and why he appeared to have little control over these situations. I had to arm myself with some information about the stage he was in, because I knew my expectations of him understanding certain concepts were way off the mark. Once I had a better understanding I was then able to see the behaviours for what they were…a fight for control to test the boundaries for his need to feel secure, to see if I was in charge and whether I would still love him…this was all part of the developmental phase he was going through.
6. MEDITATION…quiet/mumME time. Our minds are constantly on the go. Add kids into the mix and it can send your mind into overdrive. Our minds are rolling around in loops…constantly thinking, analysing, evaluating, critiquing, draining our energy source. Thinking about what you have to do, cook, pack, shop, wash, clean, check, make etc. Add to this feelings of, guilt, overwhelm, confusion, frustration, and you have a mind full of ‘stuff’ reacting to the pressure and stress it’s under.
Imagine your mind is like a computer…we regularly need to shut down our computers, close windows, applications or else we may drain the battery or need to force quit an overloaded system. Just like the computer our minds need to be powered down, taken into a state of quiet, a state of stillness. Meditation can reset your mind into a state of calm.
Meditation is a natural way to reboot your system and get more energy. You have the power to tap into your inner resources accessing an abundant source of readily available energy. Every cell in your body increases with prana (energy).
Being a mumme is stressful, putting your system under pressure where stress hormones are released in the body. Meditation is a way to counteract this stress and as an added bonus, the ‘rest energy’ gained during meditation is deeper than the deepest sleep…and what mumme doesn’t want a bit of that!?
Take a few minutes each day to be still…focus on your breath and observe your body. Focus on relaxing each body part…don’t get caught up in the ‘perfect’ way to meditate, find what is right for you. I lay down and listen to calming music, sometimes a guided meditation. I find my ‘sacred space’ within…this is a place to go to that creates calm within your mind/body, where you feel centred/grounded. Think about what this might look like, feel like, and sound like to you. Visualise your ‘sacred space’ e.g, by the beach, in a rainforest, in the mountains etc.
If you do fall asleep don’t worry you are still benefiting from this practise.
7. FOCUS & VISUALISATION– focusing & visualising on WHAT YOU WANT.
Once I started to focus and see what I wanted and how I wanted to feel I started to get pulled in the direction of my dreams. I was focusing on having the end in mind, what I was wanting, the result, the goal I was hoping to achieve.
The power of visualisation is amazing. Your brain can not tell the difference between your reality and your imagination. By using this information you then have the ability to use your mind to your advantage. Visualisation puts your ‘intention’ of what you want to work.
For example, when you feel stressed, overwhelmed, there’s not enough time in your day to get what you want done, and you are always chasing your tail trying to get by. In this moment you actually have a CHOICE of what to focus on. Focus on the stressful thoughts/feelings and you will continue to feel overwhelm/stress and you will probably notice your mind going into overdrive thinking about all the things you need to get done in the minimal amount of time you have.
This process will increase the stress in your body and impact on how you feel and how you will react to a situation. By detaching and letting go of this stressful chain of thoughts you can refocus and visualise the outcome you want to achieve.
I find this really helpful when dealing with my children, when I feel stressed and I am about to head down the path of overwhelm, I shift my focus and see how I want to be (calm, in control). I breathe deeply, in for 4 counts out for 8 counts and this activates a nerve that controls your relaxation response, which helps you to be calm.
I also like to visualise go to my ‘sacred space’ (in my mind), which calms me down allowing me to respond to my children in a calm and positive way.
8. GRATITUDE– I know I have discussed this before but I can’t emphasis this enough. Gratitude takes you out of your FEAR zone, like flicking a switch. Over time the habit of gratitude and appreciation will create new pathways in your brain setting up a new operating system where you will naturally look for things to be grateful about. By expressing an attitude of gratitude in your life it will benefit you and the ones you love.
Keep a GRATITUDE JOURNAL- Before bed each night, write down 3 things you are grateful for that day 🙂
PLEASE SHARE the mumME LOVE…all the tips/ideas/strategies can be taken on board to nourish and ignite more energy in your body, increase awareness to calm your mind and nurture your soul. Pick ONE way that resonates with you and when ready add more…Remember baby steps each and every day & don’t get caught up in doing it ‘right’ just get DOING!
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love n life