If the words ‘boost your health’ make you shudder, hold that thought mama! We’re not talking juice cleanses, restrictive diets, or daily 10km runs [who TF has time for that?]
Nope, we’re talking total life overhaul. Mind, body and soul. Because it’s no secret that motherhood can really take it out of you. Take 9 months of pregnancy, followed by sleepless nights that can last months if not years, combined with zero time for self-care, and we’ve got ourselves a recipe for burnout at the best. That’s why these 10 steps to boost your health look at everything from your stress levels to that budget you’ve been avoiding since you found out how much childcare costs.
Because you can’t put a price on your wellbeing. But you might just be able to hack your way there.
By Mama Disrupt® Head of Content Gemma Dawkins
Step 1 // Sleep
Caught any Z’s lately? Probs not. But while there’s not much you can do about the middle-of-the-night wakeups and the 5am starts, there are things than you can control. Get into a healthy sleep routine by going to bed around the same time each night, avoiding technology in the hour before bed, and building in some rituals. For example a herbal tea, candle, and reading before you go to sleep can really maximise the hours of shut-eye you do manage to get. And since sleep is the building block for health, it’s super important that you do.
Step 2 // Eat the rainbow
It’s important to eat well in order to boost your health. But rather than cutting out food groups or getting caught up in labelling foods as ‘good’ or ‘bad,’ try focusing on what you can add to your diet, rather than what you can remove. Eat the rainbow is a simple concept – and no, not to be confused with the Skittles motto, taste the rainbow. Eating the rainbow means getting a range of different coloured fruits and veggies into your meals. Different colours tend to be rich in different vitamins and minerals. For example, leafy greens are packed with Vitamin A and C, plus phytonutrients. Orange veggies are full of Vitamin B6 and beta-carotene. Eat the rainbow and you’ll have all bases covered, without getting stuck counting calories.
Step 3 // Supplement
That said, sometimes a supplement is required – especially if you’re breastfeeding or needing an extra boost. Postnatal specialist Dr Oscar Serrallach found that many mamas are deficient in key micronutrients such as iron, zinc, and magnesium [no wonder we’re tired!] A blood test can quickly identify any gaps you may have and a doctor or naturopath can help you find the supplement to support it.
Step 4 // Social media cleanse
Don’t worry, we won’t make you delete your Insta! But if you love a scroll – and don’t we all – an easy way to boost your health is to go through and cleanse your feed of any accounts that don’t make you feel good. Whether it’s a case of comparisonitis, or just a judgey-vibe you get from that influencer, fill your feed with feel-good accounts that make you feel seen and celebrated. We know a good one!
Step 5 // Fix those finances
It might seem like a strange thing to have on a health bucket-list, but finances are one of the biggest causes of stress and a leading cause of divorce! If your money style is to avoid and ignore, it may be weighing more heavily on your mind than you realise. Setting a simple budget and organising your cash-flow is a great way to alleviate stress and have you feeling happier and healthier.
Step 6 // Get Moving
We won’t be surprising anyone when we say exercise is one of the fastest ways to boost your health. But if you dread the gym, make sure you find a form of movement that you actually enjoy. Long walks with a poddy totally count. Or hit that pilates class with a friend – whatever gets you sweating and smiling.
Step 7 // Reconnect
Remember that time before you had kids? Yeah, us neither. But seriously mama, there’s a good chance you haven’t had time to nourish the connections that really matter to you. Whether we’re talking your besties, your partner, or maybe even yourself. Set aside some time to fill your cup up and we promise you’ll feel better for it.
Step 8 // Fly solo
On the other hand, when’s the last time you got some time alone? And no, in the shower doesn’t count. Introverts will especially feel the mental load of never being alone to recharge and renew, but we all need it – even extroverts. If you’re feeling snappy, irritable, or overwhelmed, it might be a sign you need a mama moment.
Step 9 // Get outdoors
Whether you WFH, commute to your desk, or are a SAHM, there’s a good chance you’re not getting out much. Sunshine and fresh air will boost your health both mental and physical, so try hitting the park, taking a lunchbreak walk, or spending your weekend out in nature. Beach, bush or whatever’s on your doorstep!
Step 10 // Destress
It’s a biggie. Stress can cause everything from headaches to heartburn, and ironically it can even interfere with your sleep. Making you even more stressed. Perfect. If stress is hitting you hard, it might be time to join a yoga class, see a psychiatrist, or reassess your priorities to get life flowing your way. Minimising stress will boost your health in more ways than one, so get your zen on and watch the benefits roll.