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Five Ways to Stop (and give yourself time to breathe)

September 22nd, 2017
Hayley M.
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Five Ways to Stop (and give yourself time to breathe)
Being a mum today has us wearing so many different hats we could rival Lady GaGa. A mother, a business woman, an educator, a chef, an account, a therapist...the list goes on.

With so many responsibilities and pressures it's important we take a minute for ourselves. A moment in time to stop, unwind and just be.

It's not self-indulgent, it's essential to your well being, something we often neglect. So here are my top five 'stoppers', ways to pause, switch off and unwind each day (yes you should treat yourself to a bit of you time everyday...not just at the weekend.

Lovely bubbly

No, we're not talking champagne (although that might work) but a really long soak in a bath. When did bathtime become a functional necessity rather than a spot of luxury? I've recently rediscovered the joys of a really pampering bath. I'm talking bath bombs, candles, a good book...perhaps even a bar of chocolate.

No more is bath time my arduous chore of trying to shave my legs whilst simultaneously decluttering bath toys. Scrubbing the loo whilst combing out the tangles in my hair. No, bath time is my time off... and I love it.

Walk it Off

At a recent consultation with a Kinesiologist, I was asked, "how often do you enjoy a nice relaxing walk?" (I feel she was slightly concerned about my stress levels at the time!)

Smugly I replied that I went for at least two if not three good walks a day, two to walk the dog and one to get the baby to sleep. She then asked if I ever took in my surroundings, listened, or just stood still and breathed in the fresh air.

Err nope. No time for that. Walking was, again, functional. I didn't stop to enjoy it, I got the job done and then moved on to the next task of the day.

Well no more.

Walking is now my top chill out time. I make an effort to take in the scenery. I listen to the sounds around me. I stop and breathe in...

Breathing huh? Hardly a luxury. But how often do we busy mums actually focus on it? Try it, you'll be surprised.

Get it booked

After my first child I noticed I didn't read as much. By my second child I found that unless it was by Julia Donaldson I didn't read at all (do love a bit of Gruffalo though).

Before kids I was always reading, whether it was studying for my degree, reading trashy novels or immersing myself in a good Austen, I'd always have a book on the go.

I'm not sure exactly when I gave up reading and decided Jeremy Kyle was a more accessible way to relax in between school runs and nappy changing but happen it did.

Now I make the effort to have a good book on the go again. I lose myself in story, finding it much more diverting than TV which is often depressing.

How often do you get to read a book now? Make the time. Your mind will than you for it.

Exercise

This isn't the same as walking. Walking was time out to take in your surroundings and switch off. Exercise can help you zone out as you focus on the physical as well as mental.

For me it's all about yoga, but do whatever helps you. Zumba, swimming, hitting the gym? It won't be just your body that reaps the rewards but you'll find a healthy dose of daily exercise will really help to relax you.

Get creative

Like to doodle? Love to sew? Fancy yourself as a bit of a writer? Get those creative juices flowing and allow youself time to indulge in your favourite creative pursuit.

Not only will this activate the right hemisphere of your brain, (giving the logical left side a break) but who knows what talents you'll discover!
These might sound like obvious choices. Basic ideas. Daily activities. But there are all too often pushed aside as we battle to do it all.
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What have you found to help take care of you?! Share with some extra stressed mums in our comment section.

Hayley x

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