Attention: Mums – Go on, take a break!

Hello fellow school holiday adventurers – as a Mum, there is a part of me that loves this time and there is a part of me that is in a spin about how I will juggle the children and all of the other commitments.  I suspect I’m not alone…..

No, this isn’t a ‘school holiday survival’ blog – its actually a little note about using school terms as a lead to schedule a cycle of self-care for yourself.  That is – for your wellness, schedule yourself a break every 3-4 months!!  That’s my advice to the Mums out there – keep reading to see why!

Obviously, the break is unlikely to be in the school holidays exactly, unless you are a teacher – what I’m saying is to use the school holidays an prompt to factor in this self-care time.

Some people may need some mini-breaks in between, but to have a ‘time-out’ scheduled on a regular cycle is just such a sensible approach for self-care.  My argument would also be that it is better for your household harmony too!  We know hat sometimes things just need to be diarised to make them happen!

This said time is for the purpose of:

  • doing nothing – that’s right, nothing at all – do you accept this part of the challenge?
  • Taking some time to feel grateful – for all that you have.  In fact, write down the things that you are grateful for – going forward, refer back to it periodically.
  • This is not a time for feeling guilty, you know, the ‘mum’ type of guilt – everyone will be absolutely fine without you for your scheduled time (**this time might only consist of a few hours if your children are really small or extend to a few days if they are a bit older)
  • Knowing you’re enough!!  Take some time to add yourself to the things you are grateful for – know that you are doing your best right now and that’s all you can do!
  • Catching a glimpse of the person you were before you were a Mum – its no secret that we change in lots of way once we become Mums, however, it doesn’t mean we like the person we were any less!
  • Taking your time, like, not rushing to the next engagement/appointment – for once respect the time you give yourself.

This said time is not for:

  • household chores – I’d put money on those still being there when you return!
  • using technology – this equates to doing something, see dot point one in what this time is for.
  • planning anything – this is not self-care – you can do that another time.
  • to-do lists – you know the ones you have when you manage some rare time without the children, do it when you finish your time-out – it will be clearer then anyway!

Note, this time needs to be planned in advance to allow time for babysitting arrangements to be made and for you to be comfortable with the plans.  Don’t complicate this – keep it simple – just make time for it because you know it will make this parenting gig a little easier!  For example, I met up with a friend at her house last weekend and had a sleep, at her house – it was SOOO good!  Life with children can be intense, it is easier when we can put some perspective on the things that matter.

I think I’ve talked about self-care before and why its so important for wellness and thriving and general good health.  The notion of using school holidays as a prompt was something that seriously, just came to me today – do you like?

Featured Image:  Photo via <a href=”https://visualhunt.com/”>VisualHunt</a&gt;

 

Advertisements

Are you sweet?

It’s official!  I’m an affiliate of “I Quit Sugar with Sarah Wilson” – not complicated, I just like her approach to food, and I thought since I already recommend this book to people, I might as well see something for it!  In case you are wondering, I don’t get paid directly for writing about her products, however I do receive commission if you purchase from her online shop via the link below.

Now, I’m not going to tell you any untruths – I’m not completely sugar free.  It is however, safe to say that I try to stick to a low sugar, particularly a low fructose arrangement.

One of the values here at Wellness Assist is that I wouldn’t suggest you to do anything I wouldn’t do or anything that wasn’t sustainable.  I’ve been eating this way for some time, like probably close to 2 years, and can safely say I have felt so much better for it.  I haven’t been extreme, I’m all about moderation, so before you judge, know that I also believe what has actually happened is that we have become so much more conscious of increasing our real food intake.

Real food, you ask? This is my line – if you are looking through an ingredient list and there is an one listed that your grandparents wouldn’t recognise – its probably not real food!  Food companies try to baffle us with all of their marketing, when really all of the additives they put in are mostly to make it last longer and look better – not to make it more nutritious for us.  This sits well with the other concept that I really like that I’ve seen from Sarah Wilson is #JERF – Just Eat Real Food – again, I say, I think this has absolutely been a by product of decreasing my sugar intake.

Anyways, enough about me – I wanted to tell you about the first book of Sarah Wilson’s that got me really questioning what I was eating.  Funnily enough, it was actually a gift from a gorgeous friend – she knew I had been improving how we ate and thought I might appreciate the book.  Turns out she got it right and well, here I am!

iqsThis is the book.  Photo credit: yours truly 🙂

So much of the information really just sat well with me, and as nurse prompted me to read more about sugar being an addictive substance, the effect it has on growing brains, as the  longer term effects that I already knew related to lifestyle diseases such as type 2 diabetes.

The book is laid out really simply and is easy to read.  The 8 week sugar quitting program gently approaches the subject and then gradually works to cutting out fructose completely.  As I mentioned, sugar is an addictive substance, so, as such, there is bound to be a withdrawal phase.  Again, I’m not going to lie, withdrawing from sugar feels awful while its happening, but SO good not very long afterwards.  Have you ever heard anyone say ‘I didn’t realise how bad I felt until I felt better’ – that’s how it felt for me!

I loved the simplicity of the recipes and that substituting was ok!  I also liked that there were different bases that you could adapt to what the family liked that day! (I don’t know about yours, but just when I think I’ve found a favourite, my children will declare they don’t like it!!)

I think perhaps my favourite part, its a tough one, but I really like the ‘hash meals’.  I love that there aren’t precise amounts, but the mixture of flavours go SOOO well together – who’d have thought putting coconut with vegetables and sauteeing it would be so tasty.  Keeping it simple is sometimes the best!

To be honest, there were a few recipes in the book that I didn’t think I’d ever cook – but I have and been pleasantly surprised. I have this system where I have a tick on the recipes I’ve tried, and I’m now close enough that I am on a mission to have this messy tick on every page!

Since this book, I Quit Sugar with Sarah Wilson has grown in popularity.   She has released more great practical recipes and books, digital and print, to help people along in their no to low fructose styles of eating.  I have a couple more of them too, I will tell you about those another day!

Do yourself a favour and have a look at the I Quit Sugar online store – if you do it through the link below and buy something, I get a kick!

http://store.iquitsugar.com/?a_aid=5764af72eeab0

Have a great week!

 

The best biscuit ever.

I’ve been giving blood for a number of years now, actually they love me, because I have great veins – I don’t meant to skite, but its true!  Every time I go there, I feel good – its like an act of kindness I can easily contribute to society.  I think the last time I was there, I read that one donation can help save 9 lives – not bad for an hour of your time.

This week is National Blood Donor Week and I just wanted to spread the word that blood donation is important and also that because it is an act of kindness, it is really is good for our own health too.

You know that satisfying feeling you get when you have done something kind, for example, when you help someone older than you pick up the dropped groceries or help a mum who clearly has had better days and is rushing to get home… yep, that feeling!

There is a reason for it is oxytocin release.  I did even find some research for you to support my story, so, as according to http://www.randomactsofkindness.org

Witnessing acts of kindness produces oxytocin, occasionally referred to as the ‘love hormone’ which aids in lowering blood pressure and improving our overall heart-health. Oxytocin also increases our self-esteem and optimism, which is extra helpful when we’re in anxious or shy in a social situation.

Obviously there is eligibility criteria you need to meet before you give blood, and no, there isn’t monetary payment in return (because its an act of kindness ;-)), but you should check it out the details this National Blood Donor Week at http://www.donateblood.com.au

Oh and just so you know, those biscuits – they really are the best biscuit you will ever taste – a reward for being so kind!

So, then, next time you know you are going to have an hour to spare, you can make an appointment to help save some lives too, pretty cool, huh?!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you play?

Did you know that it was the National Day of Real Play on Sunday?

As an adult, when was the last time you played, like really played?  That is, a time when you were totally removed from the world around you – like small children are when you are calling them and you needed to leave the house 10 minutes ago…

Here’s a few points I wanted to point out and share with you:

  • We know that play is important for good mental health for both adults and children.
  • We all could benefit from making time for play as part of our own self-care as adults.  Even I have to remind myself that it is 100% ok to take some time to play for my own benefit!  Its really easy to be ‘busy’ but the downtime that play provides is so beneficial on many levels.
  • Headspace – the National Youth Mental Health Foundation agrees that play is beneficial.  They identify that play has many purposes, some being that it can help reduce stress and anxiety and importantly is a method of recharging our tired batteries.
  • You don’t have to plan play – the whole idea is that you are free with no arrangements – just go with the flow and see how it feels!
  • If you have children, play beside them!  The interesting part about play is that its like a compliment – it is as good for the adult playing as the child who gets to have their adult alongside of them.

Here’s an idea – how about instead of thinking about the next task you need to complete or that you are so far from ticking off the items on your to-do list, take five minutes and have a play!  I look forward to hearing your ‘play’ stories!