Healthy Life Hacks for Mums
At first the title for this post was 'Healthy Life Hacks for Busy Mums'. But I realised 'busy' was a bit of a pointless adjective in that sentence! There is no such thing as a mum that isn't busy. I definitely feel like I have no time anymore - I basically squeeze every part of my life (that isn't physically looking after/entertaining Oscar) into the two hours where Oscar naps each day. And sometimes it isn't even two hours!!
I love to be healthy and it has always come pretty easy to me. But with a baby plus lockdown, I was finding it a little more challenging. Oscar doesn't allow me a whole lot of time to make the beautiful healthy meals I see all over Instagram, and that coupled with being kind of tired...(understatement) meant I was pretty much living on coffee, biscuits and chocolate. With gyms being closed for the time being, plus again the lack of time, getting a workout in is also a lot harder!
Its hard, but I knew I needed to try and make some changes to make myself feel better...
1. Ready meals. As I said, I had ended up basically just eating sugar and caffeine. This kept me awake (and I definitely haven't cut those things out!), but wasn't really nourishing my body in any other way. And as I am still breastfeeding Oscar, I was worried he would be getting the greatest nutrients from me if that was all I was eating. I wanted to get back to eating actual meals. This essentially involved some meal planning/prepping so that I have some ready to go meals - one thing I love to do is cook a tonne of vegetables and then make a big batch of stew with some of them, turn some into a soup, and puree a few for Oscar! When I first had Oscar, my mum made me a load of homemade ready meals that could be frozen and then heated up really quickly as needed. This was honestly the most amazing gift and what I am basically now aiming to do for myself! That being said, if you just do not have the time to make your own ready meals, there is no shame in just buying some!
2. Workout with your baby! I was really missing being able to workout but finding it so hard to fit in with Oscar. Now that he is more regular with his naps I do sometimes now workout while he sleeps, but before I never knew how long he would stay asleep for and he would usually wake up anytime I tried to start anything.
I have always loved walking, and this is something I can easily do with Oscar - he adores being outside! At the very beginning after having Oscar, I could only manage small walks, so just going up and down the road with him in the pram was enough. As I got stronger, I started putting Oscar in a carrier instead so I could 'wear' him and go for longer walks away from the road. He loved (loves) the carrier, and would be happy in it for ages! It made me wonder if he would be happy to be in it while I did a small workout. After a quick search I found loads of youtube videos guiding you through workouts wearing your baby! The one I did for a while was by Joe Wicks which I would really recommend, For times when Oscar wasn't in the carrier (either because it was too hot, or he just didn't want to be in it), I loved the 'Mommy and Me' workouts by BodyFitAmy. They were quite gentle workouts, not too long (I would start just doing one and then if Oscar was happy to, do another), and Oscar found it hilarious when I would do the movements with him!
3. Find some time for self care. Even if it is only a tiny bit of time! I see online (on Instagram again a lot) about elaborate morning and night routines that make you feel amazing, but that is just not possible for me right now. But I am trying to create little micro routines that are manageable and achievable. So in the morning, aim to get up 5 or 10 minutes before Oscar does (not always happening yet but I keep trying!) so that I have time to do a really short skincare routine and drink coffee. This makes me feel so much more awake and slightly more prepared for the day!
My mum recommended listening to podcasts to me, but I didn't for ages because I couldn't find the time. But Ian got me some earbuds for my birthday and now I listen to them on one of Oscar's walks for the day while he naps! I find it so relaxing.
In the evening I am trying to do a similar thing with having 10 minutes to do a skincare routine and get ready for bed. I do have a problem with being on my phone too late into the evening so I am trying to cut that down and read for a bit instead. I realised I haven't read a book since I had Oscar, so my goal for this year is to change that!