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Looking After Mum

Women's Health, Stress, fatigue | April 24, 2017 | Author: Naturopath

women's health

Looking After Mum

If you’re a busy mum looking after a newborn, child, teenager or those in-between or beyond—life is busy….right? Cleaning, shopping, driving, working and caring for children is a juggling act. It’s not always easy. So it is important to look after you. There are some simple measures that you can do to help you keep up with a hectic schedule, help you remain calm and provide your body with some DIY pampering.

Pay attention to your diet and lifestyle

Probably the most important step in maintaining physical and mental health is—being conscious of living and eating with YOUR health in mind. It’s easy for busy mums to skip meals, eat too quickly, eat on the run and rely on convenience foods. This lack of conscious eating can lead to inadequate nutrition and poor digestion leaving you feeling both mentally and physically exhausted.

Eat a heatly breakfast. This not only sets a good example for your family but replenishes energy levels that have depleted over night, supplying fuel to begin the new day.

Pay attention to your diet and lifestyleIf time poor why not try a healthy fruit shake using milk of your choice (coconut, soy, almond or dairy for example), your favourite fruit and some nuts and seeds. Or a quick protein shake - just add fruit. Other ideas include: eggs on toast; porridge using oats or flaked quinoa or yoghurt and berries. 

Think about the foods you eat, are they promoting health and nutrition?

Eat regularly. This means eat at  least every 4 hours through your day to maintain energy and prevent those dangerous sugar cravings. You provide interesting meals and snacks for your family, well make sure you do the same for you.

When shopping keep in mind what is enjoyable and healthy for your lunch and snacks.

Drink water. A simple lack of water can lead to early fatigue.  Remember to take time to have a drink. If you are reaching for the kettle, drink a glass of refreshing water first. Make it interesting by adding mint leaves, a wedge of lemon or choose sparkling water. This will keep you well energised and give you a clear head.

Reduce bad habits. If you are relying on caffeine, sugar snacks, alcohol and smoking, you are not looking afler you. Reduce or avoid smoking, excessive alcohol intake, too much caffeine and simple sugars. These have a negative affect on your health, not to mention your skin, and send anxiety into overdrive.....

Manage your stress

Leading a busy life can cause heightened levels of stress and anxiety. Exercise can be used to help relieve this anxiety and has been shown to improve mood. Just 30 minutes each day can help you feel more positive and energetic. Anything that gets the heart rate up can be beneficial such as swimming, walking, cycling or interval training.

Other stress busting techniques to use regularly:

  • practising gratitude
  • maintaining healthy friendships
  • getting back to nature - take a walk in the park
  • practising yoga and meditation
  • having regular massage or beauty treatments  
  • vitamin B complex or multi vitamins and magnesium

Don't feel bad about taking this time for YOU. If you are unhappy or stressed - the family feels it too- so if you need to justify it, remind yourself, you are doing it for them.

Feeling exhausted?

If you have been suffering from chronic stress—exhaustion is inevitable. Magnesium and B vitamins can be very helpful for energy production and other herbs and nutrients can also help boost these levels.

Siberian ginseng, Korean ginseng, withania and rhodiola are herbs which have been shown to improve energy, mood and concentration.

Fatigue can also be the result of nutritional deficiencies such as iron, vitamin B12 or iodine. It’s important to speak to your doctor as there could be more to your fatigue than just being busy.

Sleep deprivation

Getting enough sleep can be hard for some mums to achieve. Insomnia, children who wake during the night, work commitments or certain medical conditions can all interfere with how much sleep a mums gets. However, getting at least 8 hours’ sleep will help get through those daily activities quicker and with more energy. Allow time in the evening to unwind before bed and avoid bright light from screens at this time. Try reading, listening to music and relaxation techniques. Aim to go to bed at the same time every night but not until you feel sleepy.

Be an organised mum

The trick to staying calm is to be prepared for the future and get the family involved.  Feeling overwhelmed can lead to anxiety and even depression. 

Be an organised mumPrepare the night before. Try doing some jobs like packing lunches and laying out clothers the night before. 

Keeping your schedule on a calendar can help you and the family keep on track. 

Keep dinners simple, cook in double batches and freeze left-overs. Everyday doesn’t have to be gourmet but just home-cooked meals using fresh, healthy ingredients is all that’s needed. 

Ask for help - Get the family involved in their own organisation. 

One of your roles as a parent is to educate children to be capable adults - doing it all for them won't help them in the future, even if they grumble about it now.

Simple skincare 

Looking after your skin is not only important, but it can also help you feel good and can be as simple as using a cleanser and applying a moisturiser morning and night. Choose products with simple low-allergenic ingredients from a natural origin. Jojoba oil is ideal for dry skin, rosehip oil for more mature skin and creams containing tea tree or manuka honey for problem skin. 

Minimal natural make-up

Feel confident and have a natural, flawless look with mineral make-up. Apply just two to three items, like lip gloss, mineral foundation, blush or mascara. Concealer can also cover dark circles under the eyes and blemishes.

Turn your home into a day spa

If a spa treatment is going to break the bank, check out these DIY ideas to feel pampered at home. Lock the bathroom door, light some candles and put on that fluffy robe. Surely every mum can spare 30 minutes a week for something like this…

  • A warm bath
    Even a short bath can aid relaxation and relieve sore, aching muscles. Or just soak your feet in a foot bath and read a book - don't feel bad - it is nice to escape to a fantasy world. Add a few drops of lavender oil and a scoop of magnesium bath flakes to aid in the relaxation process.
     
  • Use natural skin exfoliator in the shower to feel revitaized, increase  circulation and remove dry skin. Afterwards lather on your favourite moisturiser or some coconut oil for soft glowing skin.
     
  • Have some hair time. Shampoo, condition and then apply a hair mask for silky, nourished locks.
     
  • Give yourself a facial. Cleanse, facial exfoliate, tone, sit back with a face mask and relax, then moisurise.
     
  • Have some nail time. File your nails, buff and apply a polish. Finish with your favourite hand cream.

As a busy mum, it’s time to look after you. Eat healthy, ensure you get sufficient sleep and get organised so that you have time regularly to relax and feel pampered.

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References

Olafsdottir G, et al. Place, green exercise and stress: An exploration of lived experience and restorative effects. Health Place. 2017 Mar 5. Pii: S1353-8292(17)30135-1

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28270319

McCabe D, et al. The impact of essential fatty acid, B vitamins, vitamin C, magnesium and zinc supplementation on stress levels in women. JBI Database System Rev Implement Rep. 2017 Feb;15(2):402-453

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28178022

Braun L, Cohen M. Herbs and natural supplements: An evidence based guide vol. 2. Churchill Livingstone, Australia

https://nccih.nih.gov

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