Spabreaks.com CRM & Email Marketing Executive, Laura, talks about wellness as a working mum and making time for yourself.
Being a working mother, it is often easy to prioritise work and children and forget to look after ourselves. However, the age-old ‘you can’t pour from an empty cup’ saying really is true. We live in a world now where we are more aware of how and why we should look after our mental and physical wellbeing, regardless of how busy we are. None of what I do on a daily basis is revolutionary, but I thought I’d share a few things that I have found help me balance my wellbeing and make me feel happier every day. I really believe it’s the small and simple things that make a difference.
Get up and get working-out early
Someone once said to me that if you feel like you run out of time in the day, then make more time. Her advice was to aim to be the first one up in the morning and the last one to go to bed at night - that way, you carve out two hours in the day that are just for you.
The best sleep we have (or so I have been told) is during the hours before midnight. So, getting up a bit earlier shouldn’t have a negative physical impact. In fact, getting up earlier, before the rest of the household, has really helped me steal an hour or two for myself. While it isn’t everybody’s cup of tea, it works for me.
I set my alarm for between 5am and 5.30am and aim to do something physical – either popping to the gym for an early HIIT class or heading to the seafront for a walk and a coffee. I aim to do at least four sessions of cardio a week and two more relaxing things during these mornings. Sundays are for a lie in.
Once I’m home, the chaos of the day can resume. There is a certain smugness that you feel having achieved a bit of exercise or seeing a beach sunrise, and that carries you through the rest of the day. This time in the morning has become my lifeline, and I’m fiercely protective of those early hours alone.
Getting to bed early
Due to the 5am mornings, I’ve committed to a slightly earlier bedtime. This means simply starting an evening routine (bathing the children/teeth/shower etc.) a bit earlier to ensure I’m in bed by 9.30pm.
Of course this doesn't apply at the weekends and is very often scuppered for one reason or another. However, it is what I try to do. Getting those good hours sleep really helps me feel fresh and on the ball the next day. I lay out my workout clothes for the morning (so I can literally step into them half asleep) and organise anything else I need first thing (lunches, work clothes). I’m also trying to put my phone on ‘sleep mode’ at 9pm so I avoid scrolling aimlessly.
Drinking water & B12 injections
It's a cliché, but we all know water is good for us. I aim to fill up my water bottle several times a day. My skin is so much better when I am meticulous with this. I have recently been trialling B12 injections as well, and genuinely feel better for them. They are really affordable and painless.
Sea swimming (or dipping)
I wasn’t sure about this trend at first (especially during the winter), but I bought the gear (wetsuit etc.) and went for it. I’m now addicted and love the rush of endorphins afterwards. I have a few girlfriends that I go with on select evenings, so it's a lovely chance to have a catch up and a giggle… and even a gin on the beach afterwards.
A weekly spa or beauty treatment
It was a lot easier 10 years ago to look and feel immaculate all the time, and I’ve often felt guilty for keeping up with my pre-children beauty routines. However, I also refuse to walk around not feeling like myself. I take my daughter to my nail appointments at the weekends and we have some time together while they sort our nails - it's a treatment she has quickly become accustomed to (sorry, not sorry).
I make time one evening a week generally to have a facial or have my hair/tinting done. I think feeling nice on the outside normally means you feel better on the inside, and it makes me a happier mummy and co-worker all round. Feeling comfortable in your own skin is something everybody deserves to feel. It is just our ‘shell’ but we do have to live in it.
Getting my steps in - outside
Nature is so healing, and we know it. As humans I believe we need to have time to reconnect with the outdoors. I try to get outside in my lunch break for some steps most days. If I haven’t got time, I will at least try and have my lunch outside or potter somewhere I would usually drive to. Moving my body I have realised is key to feeling mentally strong and it has also helped me feel trim and supple now I’m entering my late thirties.
Learning something new
I think having children has meant that I see how valuable it is to keep on learning. We all need to continue to grow. I’ve recently started golf lessons - I’m horrendous at it but it isn’t really about that. I like my children to see my trying new things so they feel inspired to as well. I usually rope a friend in too; I believe my girlfriends are priceless. We all need to have laughter and lightness with friends to remember that life is about more than paying bills or having a clean house. Plus, if it’s a new active skill then I get the extra exercise while having fun with a friend.
Cleanse, tone and moisturise - azelaic acid and fake tan
I keep my skincare routine very simple. Firstly that's because I haven’t fully committed to researching the hundreds of brands that are out there claiming to wind back the years, and secondly because I would rather spend the time having fun than doing lengthy routines morning and night.
However, I do know that my skin responds best to an AM and PM cleanse, tone and an SPF moisturiser. I have recently added azelaic acid to combat a few breakouts and that has been very effective. I also swear by a weekly fake tan. I feel better with a little colour on my cheeks and I think it makes me look a little more put together, especially in the summer.
I don’t have the perfect structure to my week and I’m certainly not the healthiest person in the world; I am definitely a work in progress. However, I believe all these things help me feel like me. I will heavily caveat all of this though, and say that it is now summer holidays for the children as I write, which inevitably means a lot of this may be tricky to navigate. As long as I have those first couple of hours of the day alone though, all is OK!
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