As parents, we're often so concerned with making sure our children have their needs met, that we can forget to meet our own. We've all heard the comparison to putting on our own Oxygen masks first, but do we always remember to do it? And if we do remember, do we have the time or energy?
Lisa de Laroy, a personal and professional wellbeing coach and fellow mum, has shared her top three wellbeing tips with some practical ideas you can implement to make some simple changes today.
Read more about Lisa and how she might help you at the bottom of the page.
When did you last stop and check in with yourself as to how you feel?
Rather than persisting despite feeling depleted, can you slow down for a while and tune in so you can allow your body some downtime?
While we all know this, it's not always easy to work out how to put it into practice and force ourselves to slow down when life is just so busy.
Here's Some Practical Tips:
Plan 2-3 mini-breaks during the day or between meetings to do a spot meditation. Simply take a deep breath, close your eyes and feel the rise and fall of your shoulders for 3 deep breaths. And then count your pulse for a minimum of 60 seconds (up to 120 if you can).
Set regular or time specific alarms for spot meditations during your day hold to them like you would a meeting with your boss.
If you want to make more time, find a yoga class or a meditation app that you like the look of (there are plenty of free ones) and schedule 1 or 2 slots into your phone or work calendar.
Reward yourself for sticking to your meditation time at the end of each month.
If you find larger blocks of time hard to stick to, you can really build momentum with short starts, like these spot meditations, or even just 5-10 minutes of exercise. This can be in the form of skipping for a few minutes, stretching, or anything that you feel comfortable doing. Distributing oxygen with breathwork or slow exercise is really calming to the body, which can kick start your energy. Sometimes speeding up can help you slow down.
I'm sure you've heard it all before, but sleep deprivation can creep up on us if not attended to.
Have you noticed that you're less able to find clarity, confidence and overall energy when you don't get enough sleep? Our body slows, repairs and detoxes at night, so it can perform the next day.
It's not always easy for busy parents to get more sleep, so we need to have firm plans to get us there.
Here's Some Practical Tips:
Your sleep really does improve by stopping your screen time in the hour leading up to your bedtime. At the very least, don’t go scrolling right before the lights go out if you want your mind to wind down properly.
Try to find at least one night a week for an early night and put it in your diary. Don't even start watching your favourite Netflix show that night, so you can't be tempted to stay up later.
On your scheduled early night, set an actual alarm for 9pm to go to bed and read a book or listen to relaxing music.
If you have a partner at home who can get up with the kids one day at the weekend make sure they do. Tell them to get up quietly and take the kids somewhere you can't hear them and then enjoy your lie in! You can always take a weekend day each to share the sleep love.
Consider Your Values!
Values and wellbeing go hand in hand. When we're out of touch with the values that bring us the most harmony, our wellbeing and energy are impacted. If there are constant worries or unresolved issues in your life that you avoid, start dedicating some time to working them out. It will be a weight of your mind and stop zapping your energy, opening you up to things that really matter.
While this all might sound nice, how do we go about considering our values in practice? Especially when we're too busy doing the third load of laundry for the day to think about it.