When you become a parent, life isn’t just about you anymore. Everything you do is all about your little one, and it’s easy to totally disregard yourself as you’re so focused on your family’s needs. But as the saying goes, you can’t pour from an empty cup. If you want to look after others, you need to be in a good place yourself. You can do this by ensuring your mental and physical wellbeing is properly taken care of. Being a mum is busy work, we all know this, time for ourselves whether it’s to exercise or anything else is limited. However, when you do get the opportunity, using this time to care for mind, body and soul is bound to make you a happier, more relaxed and more focused parent. Here are some of the ways you can squeeze in time for yourself as a busy parent.
Invest in a Home Gym
Exercise is about so much more than just burning off excess calories. It sculpts and tones the body which can boost confidence, it increases strength and endurance (perfect for busy family life) and even releases ‘feel good’ chemicals into the brain making you feel happy and relaxed after your session. At first, exercise might seem like the last thing you want to do when you’ve been busy all day. But you will soon get into the swing of it, and because it produces such incredible results physically and mentally, it won’t take long until you’re itching to do your workouts. Getting ready, travelling to the gym and then getting back might not be an option when your time is limited, if you don’t have childcare, it’s even more difficult. But When you have equipment at home you can jump on any time and still reap the rewards. You could kit out a spare room as a proper home gym with a treadmill, rowing machine, and exercise bike; you could find more information from exercisebikesexpert.com about the best indoor cycling machines. Don’t forget mats and weights which allow you to switch up your routine adding flexibility and resistance training too. Otherwise, you could buy one piece of equipment and just use that, or do an exercise DVD. Any exercise and activity you can fit in is worthwhile.
Exercise With Your Child
If you can incorporate your child into your exercise while you’re looking after them, then you tackle two jobs in one. Parenting done right! If your child is small, pop them in their buggy and go on a long walk. They will enjoy the fresh air and seeing the sights, and you get the benefit of walking (one of the best exercises there is) with the added resistance from pushing them. If they are a little older, why not head to the park with a football or frisbee and run around with them. You get to play a fun game together, and both get some valuable exercise in the process. You could take them swimming, try mum and baby yoga, there are even fun bodyweight exercises where you can hold them- a fun game for them and great exercise for you. Perfect!
Cook Healthy Family Meals
Lots of families get into the habit of cooking separate meals for kids and adults. However, it’s far more beneficial to cook a healthy family meal that everyone can enjoy. Children that share regular family meals tend to be slimmer with more positive attitudes towards food that those who don’t. Eating together allows you to lead by example too when children see you filling up and enjoying fresh and healthy foods they will learn to mirror your behaviour. According to thefamilydinnerproject.org those who eat family meals together even have improved academic performance, higher self esteem and lower risk of substance abuse, teen pregnancy and eating disorders. While there are sure to be other factors at play, it’s a good place to begin if you want to give your children the best start in life. Plus, it makes things easier for you too. Instead of cooking separate meals, you can cook up one big batch of something. If you use a slow cooker, it’s even easier, pop in the ingredients in the morning and by evening you have a tasty home cooked dinner
Meditating has been shown to lower stress and reduce blood pressure. This article by huffingtonpost.com suggests it can encourage healthy lifestyle and promote concentration too. and best of all you can do it anywhere with no special equipment. In the bath, before bed, during your kids naptimes. Just lie back, close your eyes and focus on your breathing. There are lots of apps, Youtube videos and relaxing music you can follow along to if you’re new to meditation. Afterwards, you will feel far calmer which is no bad thing for a busy parent!