Being a 'mother' to ourselves
We all have the opportunity to be a ‘mother’. Not necessarily always in the literal or traditional sense of the word. Instead, the secondary definition of a mother is to ‘look after (someone) kindly and protectively’. Let’s take that one step further: Anyone, regardless of sex, gender or being a parent can be mother – not necessarily just for another person but for themselves.
How often each day do we ‘look after ourselves kindly and protectively’. Well, not often enough for many people. Many of us experience high stress, poor work and life balance, with less time to nurture, recover and nourish ourselves.
So how can we integrate into our day, being a mother for ourselves a little bit more?
Mother yourself in the morning:
Breakfast is one of the least appreciated meals of the day. Many of us rush to get something down us, or skip it all together. But there are great benefits to just adding 10 minutes to your day to sit down and only focus on eating and chewing food properly. Not just to help you digest food better but taking time to eat supports better blood sugar and a feeling of satiety (fullness). This enables you to feel fuller for longer. Try our delicious breakfast recipe from the Wild Kitchen.
‘Busy’ versus ‘rest’ boundaries:
In this day and age, we all too easily over-commit and our ‘output’ outweighs our ‘input’. Before one knows it, there is so much activity we are left with very little quiet time to rest and nurture. Quiet restorative time, is a far cry from ‘laziness’. In fact, plotting rejuvenation into your weekly diary is far more likely to make you more successful because people tend to make better decisions with a clearer, calmer head. Simple boundaries can be put in place to ‘mother’ and protect your energy and ‘me time’. For example, aim for nights of the week where you have a complete break from social media or phone conversations. Use that time instead to have a bath, practice some yoga/stretching or make a nourishing meal. If you are feeling energy depleted, then topping up on B vitamins in the morning can help.
Mothering before bed
As children, we will have memories of a pre-bed wind down routine. Having a bath, getting into cosy pyjames and being read a favourite story. Flash forward into adult hood: we now work later and evenings are often about over-stimulation rather moving into the relaxed state of the parasympathetic nervous system. With sleep issues on the rise, its time to take control and respect the need for not just sleep itself, but the hours before sleep. This will help us be more productive in the day, regulate appetite, support healthy immunity, control inflammation, balance hormone production and optimise stress resilience.
Follow these simple evening time steps:
- Turn down bright house lights, sticking to dimmed calm light instead. To support the rise of our ‘sleepy’ hormone melatonin, you must reduce your exposure to blue light from TV, phones and computers – that means using blue light blocking glasses or software on devices that dims the light.
- If you find it especially hard to wind down, limit social interaction that can wake you up – such as talking on the phone, writing emails or using social media. Try to do these activities in the morning or during the day.
- Relax with a bath or a hot milk drink.
- Try the relaxing mineral Magnesium and/or the herb Ashwagandha that has been clinically proven to lower stress levels by balancing cortisol (a stress hormone) and may be used as a sleep aid.
Be grateful, be kind
Its very easy to say all the things about ourselves that we don’t like or wish were better. What about making a point of thinking of 3 quick things you do like, love or appreciate about yourself. You can do this on the train on the way to work, you can do in your head while waiting in the queue at the bank and you can say it to yourself just before you fall asleep.