Guest post provided by: Maria Hilliard
Get clear on your why and the benefits for you and your family
We all know that we should be exercising more eating more healthily and managing our stress but when you’re busy parent this is sometimes easier said than done. The way that you can ensure that you actually start is to first get really clear on what is motivating you to make these lifestyle shifts in the 1st place. You need to connect to the personal benefits for you as a person parent and for your entire family so that you can access that internal drive to take action.
Healthy eating may mean that you lose weight, feel more confident and reignite a spark with your partner. Exercising more may give you more energy to run, jump and play with your kids and create fun memories that they will remember forever. Doing meditation may help you manage stress so that you are more mindful, calm and collected when dealing with your kids’ behavior and hence help you feel more proud of your parenting.
So, if you can connect with potential emotional benefits, as well as the physical benefits, then it can really help you find your why keep you motivated to initiate those lifestyle healthy lifestyle habits and stick to them when you encounter obstacles.
Give yourself permission to prioritize your needs
The next thing you need to do is to give yourself permission to prioritize your needs. This will be easier once you have connected to your why. You need to make the mindset shift that will enable you to put the health, wellness and wellbeing of you and your family first when you need to.
Now sometimes your healthy habits may be family orientated and you can all take part together: trips to the park, walks in nature, family swimming sessions. But sometimes your healthy habit will be solely focused on your needs. So, you will need to make carve out that little bit of non-negotiable time and space for yourself. And in doing so, you will need to make an agreement with yourself, your partner and family that means your needs come first now and again.
This may be 10 minutes in the morning to do some meditation, or 30 minutes at the end of the evening to do some yoga, or 90 mins to attend a group exercise class. Whatever it is, make sure that you prioritize your needs by thinking about what’s going to work for you and then making that agreement with yourself, your partner your family or your support network and importantly with yourself so that you actually get it done.
Set yourself up for success and plan
Once you have granted yourself the permission to move forward with your new healthy habits it’s really important to set yourself up for success. The way that you do this is by taking the time to research what it is that you need to be doing to get you the results that you want/need. Seek out trusted guidance that will get you safe and effective results and then make a plan of action that aligns with yours goal.
So, if you want to lose some weight then look into what changes you need to make with your nutrition, exercise, sleep and stress to best facilitate this. If you want to manage stress then develop your self-awareness so that you can understand what your stress triggers are and then start to research, compile and practice effective stress management strategies so that you have a toolbox to implement as both proactive and responsive stress management measures.
Gather your resources-make it easy to take action
If you want to take action and encourage yourself to follow-through then you need to gather your resources and make it easy to take action. You can do this by compiling the equipment, gear, memberships, courses, recipes, shopping lists etc. that you need.
So if your focus in on healthy eating and you’re busy on the go and have researched that nutrient dense soups and smoothies will be beneficial then look up some recipes or buy a nutrition plan, compile a shopping list, clear out your cupboards of junk food and invest in a blender that you keep on the kitchen counter for quick access.
If it’s that you want to start a yoga or meditation practice then connect with local classes, buy an online yoga subscription, find your favourite yoga teacher on YouTube, buy a yoga mat or find a non-slip area of floor and make a little peaceful space in your home where you can be still and explore your new practice.
Be flexible- not fixed, be supportive not strict
Finally develop the mindset to be flexible-not fixed and be supportive- not strict in your approach. This means that though you have a set plan to guide you and help you stay on track, it also means that when life gets in the way you allow yourself to be flexible and work around your plan.
So, if one day you go shopping and cannot find that particular healthy ingredient for your recipe then find a substitute. If you were scheduled to do some exercise and you feel unwell then take that day off as a rest and recover day an add on some extra exercise another day when you’re feeling up to it or just carry on with your schedule when you have recovered.
Having a supportive attitude towards yourself, rather than being strict will help you better navigate obstacles and setbacks with positivity and commitment. Wellness plans are never a linear journey- there is often one step forward and one step back, sometimes three steps forward and one step back and sometimes we plateau, or we move sideways and that’s OK.
Cultivating the mindset that you will keep taking those steps forward- that you won’t let the setbacks hold you back, and that you will compel yourself to do your best, whatever that is, on any given day will enable you to progress and achieve your wellness goals.
So, I hope that you found these tips helpful to set you up for success as you build healthy habits and practices into your daily life if you’re looking for more help, tips and information on this then please check out my YouTube Channel Womenintowellness.com where I share lots of wellness and wellbeing tips. Or pop over to my website www.womenintowellness.com
Maria Hilliard is the Motherhood Wellness Coach. She helps mums alleviate postnatal symptoms, rehabilitate their bodies and regain their confidence following pregnancy and birth so that they can thrive throughout motherhood and live a life filled with vitality.
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