Here are some simple health hacks to help busy moms find a healthy balance between work and wellness.
Running a business and parenting is tough enough on their own, but if you’re a mompreneur, you may be finding it particularly difficult to prioritize health and wellbeing. When life gets hectic, moms often put their own health on the back-burner. In this guide, we’ll explore some simple tips to boost mental and physical wellbeing and enable busy moms to find a healthy balance between work and wellness.
Increasing activity levels
One of the best ways to supercharge your health without drastically overhauling your lifestyle is to increase activity levels. Exercise offers an array of benefits for your body and mind, and you don’t have to devote every spare minute of the day to working out to benefit. Experts recommend a weekly activity target of 150 minutes for adults. This can include walking your dog, going for a bike ride, doing a home workout, joining a dance class, playing golf or tennis, or going for a swim.
If time is an issue for you, there are lots of ways to try and make more time for exercise and to make the most of the minutes you do have. Working out at home has become the norm for many as a result of the pandemic. Being at home is great for busy moms because it means you can fit in workouts as and when you have time without worrying about getting in the car or having to rush out of a session if you need to make a call or get ready for a meeting. You can use home gym equipment, follow workouts online or get involved with virtual classes. The range of options is increasing all the time, with everything from beginners’ dance sessions to interactive spin classes now available. Personal trainers can also provide one-to-one coaching virtually. If you are short on time and you want to push yourself in the time you do have, it’s best to opt for intensive activities like HIIT (high-intensity interval training), circuit training, running, and boxing. Short, sharp bursts of exercise will help you burn calories quickly, build stamina and strength and increase your energy levels.
Another excellent idea for working moms is incorporating daily exercise outdoors. We all need time away from our desks, and a walk, a jog, or a bike ride can work wonders. Aim to go for a stroll or take your bike out every day. Even if you can only manage 15 minutes or half an hour, you’ll feel better for being out in the open air, enjoying a change of scenery, and moving your body. You can take the kids with you or take some time out alone if you have somebody to watch them for you or they are at school.
Your body needs fuel to get through the day and your diet has a major bearing on your health and wellbeing. We tend to think about changing our diets to lose weight, but the most important thing to think about when planning a menu or writing a list for the grocery store is your health. Focus on providing your body with nutritious foods that are packed with vitamins, minerals, and key nutrients. When you feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day, it’s tempting to order takeout or to eat on the run and grab snacks, rather than enjoying proper meals. Eating well is essential for good health and it can also have a positive impact on your energy levels, your sleep, and your mood.
If you’re guilty of living on fast food or surviving on whatever you can pick up on the go, try and concentrate on nutrition and plan your weekly menu in advance. You don’t have to spend hours cooking to design a healthy eating plan. It takes less than half an hour to rustle up salads, stir fry dishes, fresh pasta, fish and lean meat dishes, wraps, and soups. Batch cooking is also a brilliant solution for moms that don’t have time to cook every night. If you cook at the weekend, for example, you can freeze portions to defrost and enjoy later in the week.
When designing your menu, aim to include a variety of foods, increase your intake of fruit and vegetables and use herbs that improve overall health and wellbeing. Try to opt for whole grain rice, pasta, and bread where possible, and keep an eye on your intake of sugar, salt, and saturated fats. If you’re not a master chef, don’t worry. There are hundreds of easy, quick, healthy recipes available online and you can also get ideas from forums, blogs and social media feeds.
When you hear people talking about health, what kinds of images pop into your mind? Many of us immediately think of exercising and eating well. It’s beneficial to think about your body, but it’s also crucial to understand the importance of mental health. We often think about mental health in a negative way, but the truth is that we all have mental health and we can all take steps to protect our minds and lift our mood. Just as you would go for a run or cook a healthy feast to nourish your body, there are lots of ways you can enhance your mental health. Take time to rest and recover, especially if you’ve had a tough day, indulge your hobbies and interests, and don’t be afraid to reach out to call a friend and offload if you want to talk. Talking can help you process emotions, get things off your chest and make you feel more confident and positive about situations that are making you feel uneasy or stressed out. It’s also important to make time to socialize and to set aside some time for yourself. As a mom, you may crave downtime or a window to hang out with friends, go for a walk in peace or paint, draw, read or write. If you feel like this, you shouldn’t feel guilty. We all need to have a break and you don’t have to be in mom mode 24-hours-a-day.
Stress is one of the most common ailments among working moms. If you feel like you’re always under pressure, or you’re juggling too many balls, it’s beneficial to try and spot signs of stress and to eliminate triggers. There are many self-help techniques you can adopt to try and manage stress, including exercise, creative activities, meditation, spending time in the outdoors, talking, and managing your schedule so that you have time to relax and unwind.
Another important consideration for both physical and mental health is sleep quality. Most parents joke about not getting any sleep, but frequent sleepless nights can take their toll. If your children are in a routine, adopt the same habits. Set yourself times to go to bed and get up every day so that your body clock adjusts and give yourself enough time to wind down and relax before you get into bed. Don’t check emails late at night or watch movies in the early hours. Run a hot bath, read a book, watch TV or listen to music and then climb between the covers and turn the lights off. Regular exercise can also help to reduce the risk of sleep problems.
Arranging health checks may not be at the top of your list if you’ve got emails flying into your inbox or you’re rushing around trying to get the kids ready for school or prepare homeschool classes. Most of us are guilty of being forgetful at times, but it’s so important to remember to keep up with routine examinations and assessments to prevent health issues and ensure any problems can be spotted and addressed early. If you haven’t been to the dentist for years, you never got around to making an appointment for an eye test, or you have no idea what your blood pressure is, now is the time to get up to speed. Make sure you respond to invitations for routine screening, book regular sight and hearing tests, and ensure every family member goes to the dentist every 6-12 months.
It’s also important to seek advice if you notice any abnormal symptoms, or you don’t feel well. All too often, we try and ignore symptoms or we assume that they will magically disappear. While many ailments and illnesses don’t need treatment or intervention, it’s crucial to get persistent symptoms or signs that are getting worse checked out. Erring on the side of caution can lower the risk of more advanced symptoms developing and it can sometimes make the difference between life and death. Examples of symptoms that you shouldn’t ignore include constant fatigue, unexplained weight loss, changes in your bowel habits, and the presence of blood in your urine or feces and lumps or abnormal swelling.
When you feel like you’re spinning a hundred plates at once, it can be tricky to balance work and wellness. If you’re a business owner or you work full-time and you’re also a mom, your health may not be your priority. While it’s important to look after your kids and manage your company effectively, it’s critical to take care of yourself too.