Though it really shouldn’t be, it does seem that trying to be healthy can be a challenge for most. It’s something that some people really have to think about, and work on. When you’re a busy mum, it can sometimes feel impossible. You can often find yourself grabbing convenience food, and don’t even start about finding time to exercise! It’s just not going to happen with everything you have going on…
If this sounds all too familiar then it’s really time to change your mind-set. Work out what is most important to you. To me it is being healthy and trying to safeguard my health so in the future I can be there for my children for as long as possible fighting fit. I’m not good to them if I’m unwell and having seen family members die of cancer and other illnesses prematurely, I don’t want my children to have to go through that if I can help it.
It’s also about setting a good example to my children. Why should my children eat all their fruit and vegetables if they only see mummy and daddy eating junk? We have to step up, take responsibility and practice what we preach. Far too many people live a life of ‘do as I say, not as I do’ – particularly parents.
Plus, it’s so good for you. There are just so many benefits to cutting out the junk and getting on a proper healthy mission. For me it’s a vegan plant based diet stuffed full of fruit, veggies, wholegrains and superfoods. No alcohol, no smoking, some stress relief techniques such as yoga each week and regular exercise including a few trips to the gym to do cardio and weights. It’s been a journey I’ve been on for a few years and in one of the inspirational books I’ve read (I think it was in The Food Revolution by John Robbins) someone says ‘the more I learn the healthier I become and the healthier I become the more I learn’ which totally rings true for me too. I feel inspired, enlightened, happier, lighter, fitter and content with my lifestyle choices. You can too!
If the first paragraph rings true – ‘it’s convenient’ ‘I don’t have time’ ‘I’m too busy to be healthy’ and so on, then hopefully you do still recognise that you have to take care of yourself. If you’re ever going to be in any position to take care of your family well, then you know that you have to be fighting fit! You need to take responsibility and change your life for the better. There’s no better time than right now to start being as healthy as possible and taking care of number one. It’s not selfish – it’s vitally important for the health and happiness of you and your family. Plus your good habits will feed through to them and inspire others when they see how well you are.
It doesn’t have to be complicated or overwhelming to get started on your own health journey. Just take it one step at a time. Gradually cut out the things that you feel guilty for consuming and start to introduce in healthier options which you’ll soon learn to love. Start researching, reading and find a passion for living well. It’s the best passion to have!
For some they take a giant leap and overhaul their life completely overnight, but for others smaller steps are needed. To get you started, here are five areas to start thinking about your own health and wellbeing and assessing where you’re at:
- Mental Health
First of all, there’s your mental health to think about. And this is something that we all just don’t talk about as much as we should. It can be so easy for you to just think you have to stay strong, and that you have to keep it together – but sometimes you may need some help. If you feel like you’re struggling or you’re having more down days than up, then you need to speak to your doctor. It’s so important that you’re able to feel good in yourself at all times. But not many of us do. So don’t be ashamed about speaking to someone.
Remember that lifestyle choices can also play a huge part in our mental health. Alcohol is a depressant for example. In order for your mind to be at its best then an optimum diet, exercise and finding a way to relax and destress without alcohol is key.
Read also: How to naturally boost your mood
- Energy Levels
Next up, it’s so important to be able to have energy when you’re a mum. But I bet you don’t always feel like you have enough energy! With so much to do every day and organise alongside broken sleep and never properly switching off as there are kids to always care for, it can drain our energy levels. So, instead, you need to work on boosting your energy in the best ways and most natural ways possible. If you focus on eating for energy, getting enough sleep, and even exercising here and there where you can, you should find that it helps.
Try having a green smoothie once per day full of mostly veggies, salad and a small amount of fruit to sweeten. Add a scoop of an organic green superfoods powder to give a natural wholefood based boost of vitamins and minerals to revitalise you. Try green tea instead of coffee. Many reach for a coffee first thing to wake up but it can give jitters and a slump in the afternoon. Try to find the best natural wholefoods and drinks that energise you without any negative side effects.
- Weight Range
Being overweight can sometimes have some negative health consequences. If you find that you’re bigger than you should be, and that it’s affecting your health, it’s in your best interest to try and get into a healthier weight range for your health. This will help you to control any potential health issues that can come from being overweight.
Certain fats inside us can be really dangerous for our health. Having too much visceral fat is unsafe as it surrounds your vital organs and greatly increases your risk of cardiovascular disease, certain cancers, stroke and type 2 diabetes. Visceral fat is approximately 10% of our total body fat, so the larger you are the more at risk you are. The amount of visceral fat can be reduced by eating healthily and exercising.
- Female Health
A female health assessment is offered at some doctors, hospitals and clinics. It can detect female specific diseases such as breast cancer or gynaecological problems in their early stages. It’s also a chance to talk through any other concerns, have a blood test, urine test or whatever else is necessary. You’ll also learn how to check your breasts properly.
You do always need to make sure that you’re staying on top of your female health and watching out for any abnormalities yourself. If you’re worried, then see a female gynae and get checked out. It’s always better to be cautious if it means that you can catch any issues early.
- Skin Health
Last but not least, there is also the health of your skin too. This will often be something that we take for granted, or just don’t think about. But it’s very easy for your skin to be unhealthy. If your skin is regularly breaking out then it could be a sign of stress or that your body is not happy with something in your diet. Acne can be linked to dairy consumption for example. Eat a diet abundant in plant based foods and your skin will thank you.
It’s important not to burn in the sunshine, so cover up when it’s sunny outside and make sure you use a natural sunscreen that’s not full of nasty chemicals, but still provides sun protection. We do need some sun on our skin each day to make vitamin D so do spend some time without sunscreen on to soak up the sun’s rays, but make sure you cover up before you burn.