Updated: Jun 5, 2019
When I list all the things I do as a mum of two (well almost two, currently waiting for number two to arrive) is it any wonder there doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day!! If you add on my 3 jobs, one as a midwife, the other two as a self-employed powerhouse fighting for women’s superhero status, often at the detriment to my own hair brushing let alone anything
else, I really shouldn’t have the time to poop let alone develop habits of self-care...but, I can honestly preach that without it I would be a lesser specimen and quite frankly a nightmare to live with (I’m sure my husband would agree!!) My much needed ME time is THE MOST important part of my day to day routine.
Some people might refer to it as selfish, un-mumsy, even detrimental as a mum…
BUT to them I say, you try dealing with a screaming toddler, breastfeeding a newborn, make tea, change two lots of nappies, answer the door to the Amazon driver after your 3am panic purchase, tell the toddler no for what feels like the umpteenth time, continuing to support and care for others in your small growing business and not need five minutes in the bathroom (door locked) just to have some clarity or even hear yourself think!
So I started spending time with my eyes closed…random I know…and I really wish I meant sleeping, but this is an intentional self-care habit that results in rest anyway. A very wise woman (a soul mate I would argue) and now friend, taught me a trick and since practising it I
have felt myself much more in tune with needs of my little ones, myself and even my job and business. What do I do? I simply take 5-10 minutes, close my eyes and breath. Did you know that by taking time to really focus on your breathing and allowing your bodily tension to release you can reduce your adrenaline and cortisol levels, reducing your overall risk of stress-related illness including cancer, stroke and mental health…just by breathing!!! Simple!!
What does it actually look like…well, that depends on the day we’re having. I could be a quick 5 deeps breaths before my feet touch the floor in the morning (after what feels like a long night of big-boy bed battles and breastfeeding) or it may be an intentional 15minute break in a dimly lit room with some gentle music and a candle (this one needs some spousal support might I add!).
Ultimately all I do is breath in for a long count of 5 and out for a count of 6, all whilst repeating something positive in my mind, ‘I am worthy’ and ‘I am doing great’ are top contenders at the moment. But if I have more time I might also utilise this to really throw out some gratitude too because this changes my ‘woe-is-me’ mum mantra and helps me see all the amazingness around me, try it!
I don’t just do this for me though. I want as many people as possible to try and take time out for themselves, to take back time from the social media-fuelled, thumb scrolling, mum-wars competitive market, parental comparisons and the business of their daily demands of the work/sleep continuum we are often trapped in. So I incorporate the technique into my businesses, it not only helps ground me and reminds me of why I do what I do but also blesses others with a simple technique they can use for self-preservation. As a lifestyle consultant and manager for the beautiful Temple Spa, I provide moments of restoration to many busy lives. Often the women (and men) I provide individually tailored skin and soul therapy experiences to don’t even realise how out of tune with their own needs they are until I ask them to close their eyes and breath.
And in my private pregnancy and parenting classes and BambinoBirth, where I teach all about the way your mind impacts on the bodily response to birth and how that impact your parenting, this technique is a pillar to my course and vital for clarity and control in labour and the early postnatal period. It’s so simple but it really can press the reset button and help couples, individuals, us busy mums to gain some perspective and revaluate when we feel like all around us is bouncing.
So why not try it…I challenge you to give it go for 7 days, it’s just breathing, but its soul-satisfying and simple!
Written By Bailey Warner
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