We want to share some ways of clawing back a brief moment for you, and you alone, amongst all of the chaos and uncertainty; so, we asked some mums to share real and practical advice for doing self-care in 12 minutes or less and this is what they said...
1) Mindful breathing - bringing attention to only your breath is a great relaxation technique - Sesh Naidoo, Mum, Science Teacher and Co-Founder of the Circle of Alphas App, shares a simple activation for mindfully controlling breathing.
2) Take an epsom salts bath - not original, but super effective right now. We’ve spoken to many mums who feel like their only sanctuary is their bathroom; sound familiar? Why not make the bathroom a regular safe-haven in the morning before little feet make an entrance, by running yourself a relaxing bath. Epsom salts optional. Lavender essential oil is also nice but it gets slippery.
3) Create your own indoor running circuit - these are extraordinary times so you might need to resort to extraordinary measures to accomplish your daily run. This is exactly what Maud Hodson did, she ran a marathon in her back garden and here’s the proof!
Julie Creffield, transformational coach and plus size marathon runner has created a programme called ‘Thrive Inside’, a lock down programme of fitness, wellness and mindset. Julie said: “ For many women we find it hard enough to prioritise our wellbeing at the best of times, during lock down I just wanted to hold space for women to do movement and wellness activities in a perfectly imperfect way.”
4) Do namaskars or sun salutations - grab your yoga mat and head out to the garden to greet the rising sun. The Yoga Journal suggests that the roots of modern sun salutation rituals can be traced back 3,500 years; Namaskars were first described in the Rig Veda, the oldest collection of sacred Indian scriptures. We found this sequence so you can do this at home.
5) Quick EFT - EFT stands for Emotional Freedom Technique, and is also known as Tapping.
Tapping is a fantastic stress reduction tool - simply stimulating the acupressure points on your face and upper body (much like acupuncture, but without the needles!) you send a signal to your brain that you're safe. And by talking about how you feel at the same time, you can dissolve any unwelcome feelings, simply by acknowledging them and then letting them go. Here’s a 5-minute tapping session with therapist Louisa Hussey. Louisa, said: “You can tap whenever and wherever you like. It's a fantastic tool to keep in your self-care arsenal. It might look a bit weird to start - but it's one of the best kept secrets for instant calm. I recommend you try a quick tapping sequence in the morning to set you up for the day.”
6) Make a gratitudes list - when we are anxious or stressed or even just lost in our own negative thoughts, making a list of everything that we are thankful for in our lives helps to ground and calm us. The list can include physical items “my phone”, “my laptop”, as well as people “the love of family and friends”, and organisations “the NHS”
7) Barefooted gardening - eccentric? Absolutely! Helpful? Yes. Now the warmer and lighter mornings are here. Being out in the garden early in the morning when the dew is still on the grass is a great energy booster! Check out this article by Muireann to read about all of the amazing health benefits!
8) Write it all out - wrap yourself in a blanket and find a quiet spot where you can journal and set your intentions for the day; if specific things are bothering or giving you anxiety, just writing them out can help to clear away thought patterns that aren’t serving you in a positive way. ‘Morning pages’ is a journaling method that comes from Julia Cameron’s, the Artist's Way; as soon as you wake three pages of longhand consciousness writing. Nicola Rae-Wickham, Creative Mentor and mum, says: “I recommend this as it is really great for uncovering those limiting and unconscious beliefs.”
9) Escape into a poem or write your own - Intuitive Energy Mentor, Oneness Sankara, says: “Reading, and writing poetry especially, is great for self care because it opens up that creative faculty that is necessary for embracing possibilities”. Oneness created this poem; I gift myself a little moment for all the mums who need extra peace and calm in their lives today.
10) Make a mug of raspberry tea - for a quick-win, mood booster, herbal teas are really healthy and super easy to make; just add about 5 or 6 frozen raspberries to hot water and you’ll have a refreshing vitamin-boosting drink to enjoy. Gousto have more energising tea recipes here.
A little reminder… For mums who think they would benefit from receiving health and wellness alerts, from trusted NHS sources, relating to taking the best care of you, and your little one throughout CV-19 and beyond, why not check out the Nurturey App. Nurturey is a child health app working closely with NHS Digital on creating a digital app version of the redbook or Personal Child Health Record given to parents soon after their child is born. Read about us here.