Life is stressful as a mum!
The world we live in is pretty fast paced wouldn’t you agree?
And, add to that being a mum, dad or carer, and your life just got a whole lot more hectic!
Constantly we hear of rising statistics or the ever growing occurrences of stress related health problems that we suffer from in everyday life today. We really are never too far away from the next ‘relaxation is important for your health’ message from the press too.
It’s a big deal! But how often do we really take notice!
As parents, there is constant pressure and stress to juggle the varying and ever demanding needs of our children and families.
Which, when added to the fact we also have careers, friendships, extended family duties, events, social commitments, relationships, household chores, financial worries etc to maintain too – it’s absolutely no wonder us mums (and lovely daddies of course!) get it rough!
And then, just to top this even further and add more angst to our busy daily lives, we agonise and worry continuously whether we’re actually doing everything correctly, in line with how our friends are doing it or how it ‘should be done’ according to sensationalist articles in everyday media!
Can we pleeeease just have a break!
So, why is it important to find time for ‘you’?
In amongst all of the above organised chaos – we’re forgetting that we too have needs!
And without us functioning correctly and healthily, how on earth are we supposed to care effectively for everyone else around us! How can you stay happy, focused and in control when something inside you is screaming from unhappiness.
Without wanting to get too detailed or let you in on all of my little ‘mummy’ issues, let’s just say that my body has been somewhat neglected and could most definitely benefit from some serious attention!
Physically, my fitness levels are pathetically low, there’s far too many wobbly bits, my hair is dull and lackluster and my feet need a chisel rather than a pedicure!
But as you can see, automatically we think of the ‘physical’ when without question, our minds and souls need a little TLC too. The worries, stresses and constant hang-ups in my head need addressing too! These little niggles are the very things mentally holding me back from being the real me. Perhaps even mentally stopping me from rectifying the physical needs also!
Yes, life is tough – but by failing to maintain healthy minds and bodies, we make it even tougher on ourselves!
Basically, relaxation and having some ‘downtime’ is good for our health!
It re-energises our brains; it helps us unwind and sleep more soundly, it can improve our concentration and therefore ability to carry out day to day tasks, ultimately making us more productive. It helps us in problem-solving situations and lowers stress and anxiety levels.
It produces ‘happy’ endorphins making you energised and full of vitality. It can, as a direct result of these therefore enhance our relations and even improve our sex drives – something, I’m sure many of us lose a little when you have small children!
It’s time to make ‘you’ a priority
Looking after your mind, body and soul
Nowadays, through pride, necessity and unfortunately even stigma, it’s common to shut off our anxieties, negative feelings and emotions, instead struggling on for the sakes of our families and an easy life.
But how long can things stay bottled up? Ultimately it’s affecting your inner wellbeing which then translates through to the way we interact daily with others and how we deal with situations presented to us. We might appear abrupt, reluctant to help, irrational, snappy, unapproachable and miserable, resulting in unnecessary arguments and disagreements, causing people to have the wrong impression of the real you.
Speaking from personal experience, I’ve had my own struggles with stress, depression, anxiety and the health impacts which go hand in hand with these. So much so that I’ve even had to have time out of my career in the interest of my health. It’s not something I’m proud of, but it’s not something I’m ashamed of either.
Add this to being a busy mum and things get even harder! Because no sooner has the inner doubt, lack of self belief and depression taken its hold, so too come the feelings of guilt, despair and the presumption that we are failing our children as a result. After all, I’m sure we each strive to be the best role models for their future.
The Wellbeing Centre, Newbury
So, the other day when a friend of mine asked me to join her for an open day at our local wellbeing centre, I must say, I was pretty darned excited. It was most certainly long overdue. Plus I was intrigued, as having neglected ‘me’ for a long while, I didn’t really know what there is out there to help!
So, it was time to find out!
The Wellbeing Centre offers everything you could possibly need. Therapies, treatments, classes and workshops, all dedicated to you, finding you again.
Managed by the wonderful Claire Bushell, I immediately felt at ease as I set foot through the doorway. There was a fabulous and hugely friendly team of very skilled and educated therapists who covered a vast array of therapy areas. Everyone was hugely friendly and open, and truly passionate about what they do, and just as enthusiastic about their love of helping others too. Whether this be helping someone with confidence and self-belief issues, weight loss, relaxation or stress management techniques – it seems there really is a way of overcoming everything. Which to be honest I wasn’t really aware of before my visit.
My day started with a meditation session run by Carolyn Sykes where we focused on a range of breathing activities and relaxation techniques. Being a taster session it was only brief, but after half an hour of sitting still, concentrating on nothing but breathing correctly and focusing my mind, I came out feeling happy, relaxed, hugely positive and invigorated. To be honest I was almost asleep it had been so relaxing. My friend said I looked totally spaced out. It felt wonderful to just have some quiet time!
Then I went for the most beautiful aromatherapy scalp massage. I chose the ‘invigating’ option, partly because I’d just had a relaxation treatment so thought I needed waking up a little, before having to go home and look after my two little monsters.
Ok – I came out looking a little greasy, but oh my gosh I didn’t care in the slightest!! I felt fabulous. It was novel to just switch off and not actually do anything for a full half an hour. I just led there, listening to the relaxing and soothing music, as the lovely Kate Maier worked her magic and relieved tensions in my neck and scalp. Perfect.
After this, again I was in my own little world. Which automatically made me feel rested and easy. I sat out in their little conservatory at the rear of the premises, as one of the lovely ladies brought me a glass of water to replenish, revitalise and flush away any toxins which had been released.
Fascinating isn’t the word. It’s almost surreal. It’s a therapy session I suppose like others I’ve had in the past as I talked openly about any life stresses etc, but the difference was that each time it was my body answering the questions and prompting her to probe more into my needs.
For anyone who’s not experienced this before it is pretty bizarre I must say, but it shocked me in that everything my body was telling her, was exactly what my mind was thinking. It was staggering. Without knowing enough about it, I think it basically is where your body and the kinetic energy inside it, shows a weakness where there is stress, illness etc, and therefore by reading the kinetics of your body, they are able to pinpoint these and work at removing them.
Anyway, suffice to say, I had the most amazing day at The Wellbeing Centre.
As one of the therapists rather wisely said to me – “why live with and try to deal with our stresses, anxieties, hangups and depressions on a daily basis, whilst there are people out there who can help us overcome and eradicate them”!
How true! Can you just imagine how much happier and easy life would be.
As I said above, in this hugely fast paced and stressy world we live in today – we all too often neglect our own needs over those of others, but this day has really started to make me think that I’ve been doing it slightly back to front. Yes, of course the needs of my family and children will be of utmost importance, but I’ve realised now that I need to feature here too.
I am therefore going to try and take a little more ‘me time’ myself. If I really want a nice relaxing bubble bath I will have one – the dishes can wait until later!
Here are just some of the therapies offered at the centre…
Kinesiology is a deep but gentle holistic therapy, combining western techniques with the principles of traditional Chinese medicine. Its distinguishing tool is muscle testing; a method of tapping into the body’s knowledge to identify the underlying causes of health problems, and to guide the therapeutic process.
EFT (or Emotional Freedom Technique) is a simple, non-intrusive and effective method of dealing with stress and diffusing emotional issues. EFT can help with these symptoms – Fears, Phobias, Addictions (such as smoking), Distressing memories, Problems that seem unsolvable
Abdominal-Sacral Massage combines different healing techniques to address common abdominal complaints such as reproductive and digestive disorders.The more common complaints addressed by this technique include: All digestive issues, IBS, Indigestion, Constipation & bloating; Infertility; Painful, heavy or irregular periods and PMS; Ovarian cysts Ovulation problems; Fibroids and uterine polyps; Miscarriages; Organ prolapses; Frequent urination; Pelvic inflammation; Pre-menopause/Menopause symptoms; Scar tissue and numbness around scars and many more…
Holistic massage treats mind, body and spirit. It follows no set routines but is specifically tailored to address your individual means at each session and draws on a wide range of massage techniques as appropriate. It can help reduce overall stress and anxiety; Increase energy levels; Increase mental clarity; Alleviate muscular tension & stiffness; Increase mobility & flexibility; Encourage better circulation; Encourage deeper & more efficient breathing; Improve skin elasticity; Boost the immune system; Balance the digestive system; Promote general relaxation; Improve sleep pattern Improve physical and mental fatigue; Reduce high blood pressure
Meditation is the collective term for a number of techniques used to still the mind and relax the body. Regular meditation practise confers a number of emotional and physical benefits. Meditation can increase your energetic and physical vitality improve your physical flexibility connect to a deep inner peace and joy stay calm in challenging situations
If you’re interested in chatting to The Wellbeing Centre or keen to find out more, just click here.
Top 20 mummy ‘me time’ activities
According to an article from The Daily Mail, these are the favourite ‘me time’ activities, us mummies like to indulge in…..
1. Read a book
2. Cup of tea
3. Watch soaps
4. Have a doze
5. Browse Facebook/Twitter
6. Online shopping
7. Candlelit bath
8. Watch TV relaxing in bed
9. Watch a film
10. Clean the house / clear out cupboards / rearrange furniture
11. Drink wine
12. Eat chocolate
13. Go for a walk/run
14. Go shopping
15. Write a list
16. Listen to music or the radio in peace
17. Go out with friends
18. Read the paper / newspapers
19. Play computer games/apps
20. Paint nails
What things do you like to do to relax? Or how would you like to spend your ‘me time’?