I am not going to lie, this is my fourth attempt at writing this blog. I sit down, read what I have written and then end up deleting the whole thing! Why? Well I am going to be completely honest with you, Since becoming a mum staying healthy has been no walk in the park. If you add up being constantly tired, emotionally/physically exhausted, trying to keep a new born alive whilst not setting the house on fire the last thing you really want to do is go for a run or meal prep for the week.
However, I know from my many years of experience and my own inner coach telling me that to be able to live your best life and give your beautiful self to your children and loved ones, you really need to do the inner work.
My inner work is my health and happiness. If these two things are not balanced then let’s just say I’m not the most fun person to be around, just ask Jack. It is like a mixture of being hangry and tired (or an emotional wreck).
Now don’t get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE being a mum. It is the most incredible feeling having this tiny little human in your arms entirely dependent on you. Their touch, their smile and their presence is breathtakingly beautiful, but it’s not always rainbows and butterflies. It’s hands down the hardest thing I have ever done. The life you once knew is now changed forever and now you have to figure out how it all fits back into place.
Finding that right balance between being a mum, a lover, a friend and yourself is hard enough without adding a little human into the mix. So now the challenge is how to live a healthy, sustainable lifestyle as a new mumma. So I want to share with you how I have managed to create the healthiest and happiest lifestyle for both Huxley and myself.
Firstly though I want to let you know that where ever you are in your health and wellness right now is just perfect, even if it’s far from where you would like to be. For example my household is very sick at the moment with colds so my priority is to ensure I am doing all I can to create a calming and healing environment. This means no exercise or daily outings which has me going crazy!! However this is what we need right now and that is ok.
Accepting where you are is so important as it’s setting yourself and your mindset up to achieve all you set out to. It just means you have more room to grow and thrive not only as a mum but yourself. Try not to compare yourself with other parents out there, every child, every mum and every situation is different. No one is Instagram perfect and I can pretty much guarantee most mums haven’t left the house without some sort of a meltdown (says the mum who got projectile vomited on just as we were leaving today).
There are a few things I do every day that help me achieve a little more balance in my life when it comes to health and wellness. They may seem like small things at first but ultimately add up to feeling happier and healthier throughout the day. These little game changers may be things you use to do but have forgotten about amongst the craziness of life, or they could be things you could add into your daily life. Even by taking one of these things away with you will start you on a healthier path.
So pretty much staying healthy as a mum is a constant juggling act (hence why it has taken me so long to write this blog) and pretty much letting go of all judgement and time schedules. No more going to bed at 9:30 waking up at 6 and starting my day with my morning routine, it’s more sleep when I can, leave the house once Hux is fed and dressed and hope I get a shower in. Finding time to keep the habits that I love was one of the hardest things but once I figured it out it became a lot easier.
Mornings, most parents most dreaded time. It can be one of the craziest times of the day but also one of the most important, how you start your day is how the rest of your day follows. So no matter how busy we are in the morning I always find time to have my warm lemon water. I normally have it while I’m feeding Hux or while I’m expressing or if he’s still asleep it’s my 5 minutes to myself. This by far has been the one habit I’ve kept for the last 5 years and honestly believe it makes all the difference.
Your brain and body needs water to function so if we are dehydrated we can’t think straight, we are irritable, feel lethargic and our body just can’t function properly. So staying hydrating is SO important. Each glass is like a little high 5 to your body.
As for breakfast we all know I love food so having a nourishing breakfast in the morning is essential for me and is vital for how I feel for the rest of the day. This means some days I have to forgo my beloved smoothie bowls and prep my breakfast the night before, normally something I can eat with one hand (I’m sure all the mums out there feel me on this one). Besides smoothie bowls my go to breakfast ideas are chia puddings, overnight oats, sourdough toast with avocado or nut butter or coconut yoghurt with my home-made granola and berries. Most of these are prepped the night before I go to bed so I know in the morning I’ve got something really healthy and nourishing to eat. You could also try my superfood soak.
Snacks, yummo! These can either make you or break you. Breast feeding and running around after a little one makes you super hungry, so having snacks on hand is vital to keep you feeling amazing and fueling your body with all the good stuff that mummas need. It is so easy to grab that muffin or donut because they are there and taste great right? But what happens is your body uses up the processed sugar and refined carbs so quickly that it will leave you feeling even more tired and hungry. So what I do is spend 30 minutes on the weekend prepping a few great snacks. Normally blissballs, hummus, my paleo bread or some trail mixes.
To prevent cravings I try to ensure I am eating a balanced diet. Making sure I am eating an abundance of protein, healthy fats, carbs and LOTS of fruit and vege. Eating a variety of food means your body is getting all the nutrients and minerals it needs to function optimally and keep you feeling healthy and happy.
Exercise, this by far has been the most challenging since becoming a new mum. I first thought I’d be able to exercise while Huxley sleeps to only realise he isn’t the longest sleeper and rather cat naps, so for me it’s been all about quick at home workouts and morning walks. When I say quick workouts I mean 10 to 15 minutes of moving my body and getting my heart rate up. I have been doing a lot of body weight exercises like squats, lunges and push ups and also incorporating some yoga moves and resistant bands.
If I don’t have time for this I’ll always go for a morning walk for at least 30 minutes out in the sunshine and Huxley loves it. Walking is so underappreciated for it’s health benefits. Since giving birth it’s been my go-to for not only my physical health but my mental health. Even parking a little further from the shops to ensure you get a few more steps in your day is incredible.
As for my mindset I swear by yoga. It’s not always easy to get there but I know if I ever need to I can YouTube yoga videos and do it from home, however the benefits from going into a studio for me are beyond amazing. This means I sometimes have to ask for help from Jack to watch Huxley while I have an hour to myself. Luckily Jack knows this is essential for my health and I try to get there at least twice a week. It’s important to still do something you love. Being a mum doesn’t mean you have to give up everything or stop doing things that make you happy, if anything it means you need to do it more. After yoga I feel like a new person, I can think clearer and feel more at peace but most of all I feel like I have so much more to give.
Creating a sanctuary at home is my other little tip. Surrounding yourself with things that make you happy means you always have somewhere to go when times are tough. Things like essential oils and oil diffusers, plants, candles, beautiful pillows and blankets, books that you love to read, uncluttered space and photos of loved ones. Surrounding yourself with all these things means that whenever you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed you can turn to an environment that will bring you peace and joy.
Planning your day is also a great help. writing down the things you need to get done or would like to achieve either the night before or in the morning ensures that you have a little less to worry about. We all think the purpose of a to-do list is to tick absolutely everything off which I guess it is, however by prioritising three things means you are not only having a productive day but also not putting too much pressure on yourself to get things done. I know having a 4 month old baby means if I get two things done that’s a huge accomplishment so don’t be hard on yourself just celebrate what you do achieve.
I honestly could go on FOREVER but I feel like this is already so much information so I am going to leave it there. Being a mum can be overwhelming but just know you are doing an incredible job. Taking time to rediscover yourself and what you love is absolutely ok and important for you and your family. Take each day as it comes and remind yourself daily how you would like to feel and make sure all your choices reflect that.
I hope this helps guide you or even remind you what you are capable of.