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Why you need to put yourself first for a change being a Mum

So I don't know if it's just me but whenever we flew on an aeroplane and listened to the air stewards going through the safety procedure drill of putting the oxygen mask on yourself first before dealing with your children (should the cabin air pressure drop). Well this always caused a debate between myself and my husband as I'd put it on the children first (despite what was said) and he'd put it on himself first.

Now I guess we are so used to doing things first for a children on a daily basis that it is customary to leave ourselves last! How many times have you given something up, chosen last or even gone without? Our maternal instinct kicks in to ensure that our children thrive and get the best of everything that we can offer them!

However, I now know that I was wrong (yes I am publicly admitting my error) and why it is so important to take care of yourself first!

Think of everything you do as an emptying of your 'metaphorical cup' your energy, your love, your time. Now if you don't have your cup refilled..then eventually you will have nothing left to give (again metaphorically speaking!)

Here are 5 self care tips to help optimise your health and wellness

1. Take time out can actually improve your happiness

This could be taking just 10 minutes a day to reflect, pause and be present using mindfulness/meditation techniques. Start the day with writing down three things you are truly grateful for. When we are practising gratitude we just can't feel miserable or sad!

2. Plan you nutrition in advance

By taking some time to meal prep or organise your food in advance will ensure that you get the nutrient goodness into your body that positively improves your mood, energy and reduces the quick food grab which invariably are unhealthier processed versions.

3. Make an exercise routine that you know you will commit to

If you make it too difficult to start with, once the novelty wears off you are less than likely to continue. However, if you start with say getting in your 10k steps. When you achieve this every day you are not only fostering healthy habits but you are keeping a commitment to yourself and it is this that builds confidence but also leads to more the same.

4. Create a culture of accountability

Now it is perfectly possible to achieve your goals without any extra help but sometimes joining forces can make the goal easier, more fun but will also keep you focused. You could agree to workout the same time of a day with a friend and generate a little healthy competition of who posts their completed activity first on their fitness tracker. With the Apple Watch, you can invite a friend for a 7 day challenge which is a great way to get that accountability but with the flexibility of fitting your exercise around your day.

5. Make sleep a priority

It can be extremely difficult to do this when you have young children that are frequently up or awake at night. However, by maintaining a routine similar to them of going to bed at the same time every night and having a soak before bed will not only de-stress your body and mind. It will promote a better quality of sleep as you work in sync with your circadian rhythm.

Sleep is so often overlooked but it's where all the magic happens to help us stay healthy and well.

Having kept it to just five (and in no particular order) to make it attainable but if practised every day these will help you feel calmer, happier and healthier. You are the 'hub' of the family and if you are happy and well you can bet everyone around you will notice the difference!

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