A Happy Life as a Mum…
A Busy Schedule Does Not Need to Mean a Stressed You – How To Keep Some Balance in Your Life.
There is no denying it, life can become incredibly busy when you become a parent. Whether you are juggling a newborn, a toddler, a career or a relationship or all 4, time to concentrate on your own needs often hits the back burner, along with your opportunities to prioritise what makes YOU happy.
Here are our top tips to create simple moments of happiness in your busy schedule ~
Easier said than done, right? We hear you, but relaxing is key in reducing stress in your already over-scheduled daily routine. Whether it means taking five short minutes of meditation each day, learning some easy deep breathing exercises to help you drift off to sleep at night, or hitting up your favourite yoga class, it is important that you learn to weave relaxation techniques into your daily life. Reduced stress levels have been linked with increased self-esteem, lower blood pressure and a significant rise in overall feelings of wellbeing and satisfaction.
- Eat well
Our mothers have taught us to eat well, our Doctors have reinforced the same notion, and Buggy Bootcamp wholeheartedly agrees. Please note – we are saying eat WELL (not less), which yes sometimes means having that damn piece of cake. Whilst it is of utmost importance to fuel your body with nutritious whole foods and proteins that will see you performing and feeling your best, it is also important not to get hung up on the fact that you just really need a croissant AND a hot chocolate today. Read our ‘Eating for Energy’ blog here and do what you can to incorporate it into your daily routine.
It may seem like a double-edged sword, but despite having to deal with an already crammed routine, we are indeed telling you that you’ll benefit from finding time a few times a week to exercise. By finding a workout system that works best for you, you’ll feel the effects almost immediately – increased energy, less stress, improved circulation and metabolism and a release of endorphins that are sure to leave you buzzing for the rest of the day. If you aren’t sure you can fit a class into your day while your baby is growing, check out our Buggy Bootcamp schedule here, where you’ll be able to bring baby along AND enjoy the increased happiness associated with regular exercise.
- Take time out
Set time aside each day for yourself. It doesn’t have to be long- five minutes is better than zero minutes if that’s all you can spare. Drink a hot cup of tea in its entirety, lie down, watch the news, do the crossword, sit on a bench and breathe. Put the phone away.
Ha! We know this one will receive a stilted, suspicious response, but bear with us. Sleep is crucial to body repair, it helps us recover from long, busy days and allows us to remain focussed and productive during subsequent days. Your baby may have other plans, in fact, we’re pretty sure of it. But here’s the thing, sleep helps you to feel less sensitive to negative stimuli, which explains why some people feel sensitive or emotional when they are tired. If your baby goes to bed at the same time every night, try to set a reasonable bedtime for yourself too. We’ve all done it – sat down on the sofa and started watching TV crap or aimlessly scrolling and suddenly it’s 10.30PM. Go to bed!
- Create a relaxing environment
Clutter and mess can create havoc on the human mind, thus impeding the likelihood you’ll feel happy in your home environment. While we are in no way expecting you to keep your house spick and span at all times, find a space in your home that you love and retreat there for sanctuary as you need it. A cosy reading nook, a sunny spot in the garden, even a haven of throw blankets and cushions on your bed – try to spend time in the comfortable, clutter-free environments that make you feel happy.
- Simplify your expectations
Regardless of what Martha Stewart may portray, life as a new mum is at times, busy, chaotic and a bit of a bloody juggle. While it can be difficult not to look at other Mums for inspiration and ultimately a comparison of how we ourselves are coping in our new roles, it is absolutely impossible to be everything for everyone, all of the time. Cut yourself some slack, stop comparing yourself to others and begin to expect what is essential from you each day. It is okay to let the rest fall to the wayside every so often. You are human, you are under the pump, and you are doing a fantastic job of nurturing a tiny, human being. The laundry will wait; your happiness is paramount.
- Be present
We’ve all heard the buzz words ‘be present’, but do we actually understand the lesson behind the sentiment? Being present doesn’t only relate to your skills as a parent, it doesn’t mean that you need to watch, at all hours, anticipating your baby’s next gurgle or capturing every smirk in a Pinterest-inspired photo. We have all been culprit in becoming completely absorbed in our beautiful bundles, and there is a lot of happiness to be had there, right?! But being present also relates to your own life, in a very personal way. It means allowing yourself to enjoy a moment, to savour in a feeling, to drink in a familiar smell. Being present in your daily life allows you the opportunity to feel happiness in the simplest of things – in your delicious café-made coffee, in your neighbours freshly cut lawn, perhaps even in the satisfaction associated with enjoying your maternity leave. Find moments each day to be present, to notice your environment and to enjoy what the world has to offer, and you’ll be well on your way to noticing and creating more happiness all around you. Put the phone away take 2!
- Embrace your new life
Becoming a parent is one of the most amazing, satisfying jobs in the world. However, motherhood can also bring about the most abrupt change, it can induce sleep deprivation that we’ve never know before, and it can place new pressures on relationships. Regardless of what the parenting books say, or what the latest trend is telling us is a must-have, being confident in your decisions as a mother will allow you to embrace your role, knowing wholeheartedly what works best for your family. Choose snippets of advice that sync with your parenting ethos, and discard the remainder – you are your only judge and your baby thinks you are doing a wonderful job, we guarantee it. Be proud of your achievements, and happiness will follow.
Good communication is key to feeling heard and validated in all matters of life, and sharing your thoughts and feelings can help to alleviate stress and induce feelings of happiness. Keep your friends and family in the loop of you are feeling down or overstretched, talk to your partner about ways to help you find time for self-focus, or organise a group of mums to catch up regularly with babies in tow. Share ideas, give or take advice, ask questions – communication is the foundation to building healthy relationships and good friendships can certainly help to increase feelings of inclusion and happiness.
Happiness is such an important factor in our lives. We all work toward it, we all see it as a priority, but factoring in time and techniques to increase your happiness levels will significantly increase the likelihood of you actually achieve it. By adding or adapting just a few of these techniques in your busy life, you’ll be in a much better position to create your own happiness.