The past month has been a challenge in our household as we have been dealing with high temperatures, congested chests, snotty noses and a severe lack of sleep! Does this sound familiar?
And, if you are one of the lucky mums like I am, you have been blessed with little darlings who practice the art of sharing so well that you couldn’t be prouder! They share their dirty tissues, coughs, sneezes and dirty little hands that they’ve wiped all over their faces and across their noses! So, lucky me, I went down too – fever, persistent cough, snotty nose, headaches and fatigue!
I don’t know about you, but I really don’t have time to be sick!
However, sometimes, when we do fall sick, it is our body’s way of telling us to slow down, take a moment and really make sure we are looking after ourselves.
So, what can we do to get back on track, feel energized and ready to face the world again?
Here are 7 of my little tips to deal with being unwell and getting back on track as soon as possible:
1. Rest – the ‘Mummy Way’!
Ok, let’s face it, resting when you’re a mum, especially a mum of small children, just doesn’t happen!
However, it is crucial that you find a way to ‘rest and restore’. And, I know, it’s not easy when you’re a mum.
If you’re fortunate enough to have family support, or your child or children are in daycare for a day or two each week, then you need to seize this opportunity to put your feet up and rest. Yes, the washing and cleaning can wait!
And, if you work from home, it’s important you give yourself a personal leave day (the work will still be there tomorrow!)
If you’re a stay-at-home mum, the word ‘rest’ would be rather foreign to you. However it is important you find ways to stop. Our little ones love cuddles with their mummy, watching kiddy movies or playing games where mum really doesn’t have to do much, and because you’re still spending time with them they’re happy anyway.
And, if you have little ones that have daily naps, then when they go down for a sleep make sure you either go for a sleep yourself, or at least sit down with a book or try relaxing you body and mind with a meditation app.
2. Take 10 Minutes to Quiet Your Mind
While I’ve been unwell, I’ve really been giving this meditation thing a go. It’s been over 2 weeks now, and I can actually say that taking just 10 minutes each day to quiet my mind has really made me feel calmer and my mind does feel clearer. And that can’t be a bad thing for my physical health either!
There are many meditation apps out there, and I’ve been using Headspace this week, which, for someone like me who struggles to sit still, has been perfect! Ten days of 10-minute sessions has been just enough to make me take a few moments and breath.
However, I have also recently tried Smiling Mind, after hearing many wonderful reviews about this meditation app, including that it can be used with your children.
We all need to learn to quiet our minds, and doing it with your family is a wonderful way to develop healthy, life long habits.
It’s tough, I know. But, 10 minutes at the end of the day before you sleep, or at start of the day to prepare you for the day ahead, is worth every minute!
3. Nourish Your Body with Nutritious, Whole Foods
I don’t know about you, but depending on what I am fighting, eating sometimes becomes a challenge. Cravings of all the foods that aren’t really good for you, and pretty much void in nutritional content seem to be the “go to” foods!
Nourishing your body with nutritious foods, full of goodness, will supply your body with lots of nutrients, vitamins and minerals to get you well, assist you in recovering and hopefully prevent you from becoming sick again in the near future.
Now, I’m not a nutritionist or dietician, but I do know what makes me feel better, and which also is nutritious for me. Find something that works for you – I find soup and green smoothies work best for me when I’m not well.
And, if you can’t sit still to rest like you should be, use this time of enforced rest to review your family’s weekly nutritional intake. Ask yourself if the meals that you are preparing for you and your family are providing you with a variety of nutrients, especially given the changing nutrition requirements with the colder weather and the presence of more bugs and viruses going around.
4. Keep Hydrated
This is so important when your body is fighting a virus or infection. Frequent sips of water or any other type of hydrating fluid is crucial to getting you well.
Water makes up such a large proportion of our body; therefore it is crucial that you keep your body hydrated, particularly when you are unwell. And, remember, one of water’s major roles is to rid the body of wastes and toxins, which is exactly what you want to be doing!
However, sometimes water becomes a little hard to consume constantly, so try drinking herbal tea (which is a great alternative to warm you up), or a smoothie with water as the base.
5. Sleep – Every Mum’s Nemesis
The importance of sleep is so underestimated – well until, that is, you don’t get enough! Even this past month I found myself not prioritizing getting to bed as early as possible and getting some sleep before one of our little ones woke and needed us.
However, when you are unwell you really do have to find ways to take care of yourself, your needs and getting well as soon as possible.
Prioritizing sleep is a must, even if it’s just getting yourself to bed earlier so you can get a little more rest. Use this extra time in bed to wind down, quiet your mind and, if you can’t sleep, spend some time reading or do a short meditation. This will help your body prepare for sleep, which it so desperately needs.
When we are asleep, this is the time the body restores and regenerates. It is the time when our body is healing and our immune system is able to do the work it needs to do for us to get well.
6. Sunlight & Fresh Air
We are so fortunate in Western Australia, that even during winter, we get plenty of sun-filled, dry days, which enable us to get outside.
When you’ve been really unwell, the best thing to do is rest. However, as you start to recover, fresh air and sunshine are really fantastic for boosting your mood and contributing to your recovery. Plus, the kids love to get outside, so let them run while you relax and watch them play.
7. Be Kind to Yourself
I hate being sick (who doesn’t?), and more than anything, I hate letting people down – my family, my clients, my work colleagues. But, when you’re sick, you’re sick, and, you need to not let yourself down and take a few days, or weeks if that’s what’s needed, to focus on getting yourself well, healthy and back on track.
And, if you just can’t seem to shake a virus or cold, or you get worse, make sure you seek medical advice from your GP or health practitioner. If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. You ARE worth taking the time for – to find out what is wrong and get yourself well.
Remember, the best thing you can do for the ones you love and care about, is to be the healthiest, happiest woman you can be!
Jody is a pregnancy and post-natal specialist, with tertiary qualifications in exercise science and registered as a Level 3 Exercise Professional with Fitness Australia.
Jody is also a mum of two small children under 5, and therefore understands the demands and challenges of being a mum.
Jody is passionate about educating, energising and empowering pregnant and post-natal women through the provision of safe but effective exercise programs and fitness sessions.
Contact me today to see how I can help you with your fitness and health!