… I was in the car driving the kids to school this morning and I asked, “I’m going to write an article today on being a calm Mum, do you have any ideas?”.
Who better to ask, right? Except that my kids are at ‘that’ age where everything is ‘poo’ and ‘wee’… That said, I think their ideas are actually similar to mine – just simplified. So in the name of fun using the lens of a child, here are 5 ways to get calm and carry on:
1. POO: Eat well all the friggin’ time
Yep, I can’t put it better… Poo. Make sure that you are eating well – and by that I mean, eat well all the friggin’ time. Your body is a gift that has been presented to you, treat it well. Here’s my little tip, don’t diet. Get enough green stuff and try making a green smoothie (I swear you can’t taste the spinach). Treats are ok sometimes (and savour every bite), but make sure everything else that you put into your mouth is really good and going to treat your body well. As a general rule: If it grows, eat it, and if it has numbers in it, give it to your accountant. So back to poo – There are so many reasons why gut health is critical to your wellbeing, but essentially, if you don’t poo, it sits in your belly, grows old, festers (makes for some stinky farts!) and your poor digestion is going to contribute to other health issues that make you feel stressed, unwell or unhappy.
In sum, eat really well so you do your poos. Here’s a great source of healthy food inspiration and there’s loads of awesome information on the importance of gut health here. Regular bowels equals a calmer you.
2. WEE: Hydrate for a happier you
Again, I can’t say it better. Are you getting enough water? If your wee is yellow, drink… more …water!!! Your wee should be a clear-ish colour. If you hate water, figure out a way of improving it. Put some lemon in it, get one of those fancy-schmancy infuser water bottles where you put fresh berries in it, drink it warm, drink it cold, drink it in a boat, with a goat, oh dear…enough reading Dr Suess at bedtime! But you get the drift. Drink more water – seriously, go full up your glass now. Your body needs water to function on so many levels. The blood needs water to be liquid enough to move, the brain needs water for the synapses to work and to help keep you focused and alert, your fascia under your skin needs water to move with the muscles. Plus, you will get mega headaches if you don’t drink enough water. Headaches mean stress and unhappiness.
So back to wee. Drink water so your wee is clear-ish, for a calmer you!
3. DO YOGA: Get moving every day
My kids recently asked about the scars on my stomach, so I told them about all of my operations and let them know if I don’t practise Yoga, I will end up back in hospital regularly. Yoga works for me. it’s part of the reason I left school teaching and did my 500hr Yoga Teacher Training course. What works for you? Swimming works for my bestie, walking works for another -she calls it “walking her shit out”. You’d have to be living under a rock to not know that exercise is not only physically good for you, but comes with a stack of mental health benefits too. Why? It releases a hormone called ‘endorphins’ which makes you feel good, happy and helps you to deal with everyday life. And don’t let me hear you say ‘I don’t have time’. We all have the same amount of hours in the day. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, ride your bike to school with the kids, walk around the block when you drop them off, get a Zumba DVD, or better yet, become one of my private online members and I’ll ring you once a month so you’re accountable!
Whether you lock in time to practice yoga at home or do another form of exercise, make sure you find what works for you and stick to it. Those endorphins will make for a happier and calmer you!
4. CRY UNDER A TREE: Practice being grateful
I had to ask my children a little more about this one. They said; ‘go and sit under a tree, be quiet and think about all the good things in your life. And you’ll probably cry because you’re happy’. Well… That stopped me in my tracks. I’m going to leave it at that because I actually think it’s so good, only to say, that sometimes we need to have sad tears as well and it’s good to get them out.
So whether you sit under a tree or simply take some time out to reflect on what you’re grateful for, or have a little meditation (try these free guided meditations), make time to be grateful. It will make for a calmer you!
See also A Beginner’s Guide To Meditation
5. LISTEN TO MUSIC: Sound yourself with the things that make you happy
This was similar to the one that I was going to add in, saying ‘put good things around you’. I make it a point of speaking emotionally to my kids and I have said in the past “I hate this job, let’s put some groovy music on to make it more fun”. This is perhaps why they added it to the list (my youngest once looked at me and ran for the stereo saying “quick, put some music on for Mum”, I must have had my thunder eyebrows on!). Music makes me happy, same with a gentle breeze. What makes you happy? Maybe it’s fresh picked flowers, happy photos, a clean and shiny sink, craft, plants, affirmations, vision boards, sewing, paintings, fresh linen, sand between your toes, funny movies etc. Most of the peeps I asked on Facebook and Instagram said ‘take some time to do something YOU like.’
Think about the little things that make you happy and hold onto that thought, feeling how good and happy those things make you feel. Write about them, talk about them, meditate on them and surround yourself with them. This will make for a calmer you.
Don’t forget to try these free guided meditations. Focusing on taking long slow deep breaths and meditating throughout the day is the fastest route to calm.