The #1 reason an additional needs mum gives up on improving their fitness and wellbeing is a lack of time and self-motivation to get started. This is their biggest challenge when it comes to improving their overall wellbeing. Does this ring true to you?
Women tend to put others first, and themselves last. That is all fine and good in theory, but have you ever tried to pour from an empty glass? It’s just not possible.
Being a mum is hard enough, but being a mum to an additional needs child can really take it out of you. You put all your time and energy into managing the wellbeing of the family, driving to therapy appointments, talking to health care professionals, doing research, following specific diets etc. But what about you? What do you do for YOURSELF? Not much probably. Take it from me, I’ve been there. So focused on everyone else to the point that I was barely holding on. I was grumpy, overly sensitive and worst of all, just really unwell – which was a double edged sword as when I was unwell, the family routine fell apart. So, I started looking after myself. I started taking appropriate supplements. I started talking to professionals about my mental health. I stopped feeling guilty about taking 10 minutes out of my day for myself. But the most important thing that I did, was I stopped skipping workouts. For me, exercise is my mental health saviour. If you feel that you and your mental health could benefit from a little more exercise, start with the below top tips and let 2018 be your year.
1) Get up earlier
No matter what time you get up, get up half an hour earlier. My alarm goes off at 4.30am every day. Even if I’m up half the night with one of the kids I will still get up by 5.15am. That gives me a good 30 minutes to workout which clears my head and helps me to better manage my day. Research shows that the most successful people in the world get up early. Not a morning person? Take baby steps. Start by getting up 10 mins earlier than usual and progress from there.
2) Figure out your motivation and set goals
You know you want to lose weight and not feel so tired all the time – but why? Maybe you want to lose weight because your clothes are too tight. Maybe you want to increase your energy because you can’t keep up with your kids. Once you know your motivation, set your goals. E.g. ‘I want to strengthen my lower back to better manage my back pain. I will know I’m successful when I can get through the day without painkillers.’ Identifying your motivation and setting goals will set you up for success.
3) Be organised
This is key if you are time poor. Pack the kids school bags the night before, decide what you are going to wear the next day before you go to bed, create a meal plan for the week ahead to avoid the last minute takeaway run or make an achievable to do list. If I am unorganised my mind is unorganised and I find it much more difficult to manage my day effectively. Do whatever it takes to make your life easier!
4) Think outside the box
Gone are the days when you need to spend an hour in the gym every day to get fit. Have you considered working out at home? It will save you time and money. But what if you need a little guidance, encouragement and discipline? Online training might be the right fit for you. Online training is going to be one of the biggest fitness trends in 2018. It is like having a personal trainer in your living room. All you need to get started is access to the internet through a laptop, tablet or mobile phone and a desire to become your best self!
5) Get expert advice
Would you skydive without the help of an instructor? I hope not! To help maximise your results in a minimal amount of time engage a health care professional based on what your goals are. Does your nutrition need an overhaul? Seek a dietician. Do you want to give up smoking? Chat to your GP. Do you want to lose weight or increase your muscle definition and strength? Find an experienced personal trainer. Seek the right advice upfront and you’ll find it a lot easier to reach your goals.
Don’t give up on your fitness and wellbeing. You can make a change and you can become your best self.