We all lead busy lives, especially as parents, and it can feel like we are constantly juggling everything, especially during the summer holidays!
As you know I'm a big believer in looking after ourselves so we can look after our families and children in the best ways possible. There is a lot of truth in the saying “you can’t pour from an empty cup".
September is a great time to reset ourselves - as the kids go back to school and start a new year, why not start a "new" year for you too.
I know there are many reasons (or dare I say it, excuses?!) that lead us not taking time out for ourselves e.g.
- I need to do "XYZ" first
- I don’t have the time
- I’m too busy with work
Does this sound familiar?
By not taking time out for you though, you could be impacting your mental health more than you may perhaps realise…
Do you feel anxious or stressed?
Do you notice your behaviour changes or you feel more emotional when you are stressed?
Or perhaps you have weight fluctuations when you’re feeling stressed?
There is a hormone in our body (called Cortisol), which is closely linked with stress. Cortisol plays a vital role in the body's functioning such as regulating blood pressure and levels of glucose and insulin.
Stress in small doses can be useful e.g. helping to motivate us or achieve something but if we increase our chances of experiencing stress, it can have long-term effects on physical and psychological/emotional wellbeing.
Behavioural or Emotional Changes
If we stay in a constant state of busy-ness whether it’s through work, social life or with family we don’t let our bodies recharge or process emotions. By taking some time out it will not only help your body return to it’s natural state but this will also in turn help you to relax (physically aswell as mentally).
If we don’t process things they can build up and our ways of dealing with events can lead to an overspill of emotion. Life can sometimes be hard but if we don’t deal with challenging events, they stay unprocessed and over time this can present itself in a number of different ways such as anxiety, anger, resentment and depression. If this happens it can then be more difficult to deal with, because it's no longer clear what the issue is.
If you're experiencing stress and a build up of emotions, this can effect our behaviours and habits e.g. your sleep patterns, your food intake or dietary choices…even your relationships and how you feel about yourself.
High levels of constant stress on our bodies can seriously impact our bodies. Symptoms of this include regular headaches, tension, palpitations or increased perspiration. In more extreme cases, stress symptoms can present themselves through cardiovascular conditions or digestive issues such as an irritable bowel or stomach ulcers.
Everyone can experience stress but if creating time to relax will help reduce these effects and will positively impact your life.
Taking Time Out
You don't necessarily need to switch off for days at a time. Taking a few minutes each day to relax your mind and body can be all that is required. You may find doing some breathing exercises or yoga poses helps or you may prefer some cardio workouts, listening to music or a walk in the fresh air.
If you need some inspiration to take some Me Time, take a look at our Me Time Moments or why not treat yourself to one of our relaxation candles or beautiful boxes which have been thoughtfully curated to help Mums look after themselves. Or it may be that you have noticed a friend or a loved one that needs to take some time out for themselves – why not show them you care and treat them with a Gift Set.
If you feel you need some additional help, please do reach out to your doctor or one of the helplines – it’s ok to not be ok but it really does help to talk and get advice on how best to manage your stress.