The Confident Mother is about celebrating and loving life as a woman and as a mother. Everything I do and run is to help mums create a feeling of confidence. For me that confidence comes from five elements.
How you balance those elements is unique for every woman. It changes at different stages in your life. When you have these five in balance that’s just right for you, you will love your life – you will have more confidence, energy, clarity, focus, fun with your family and you will feel fulfilled. The five elements I’m talking about are:
- Work – whether you have your own business, whether you have a career, or whether you are a stay at home mum. It’s about being valued (and paid) for the work that you do.
- Wellness – it’s hard to be confident if you’re not confident in your own mind and your own body. You need mental and physical strength and health to do what you want to do in the world.
- Contribution – the contribution that you make. Some might call this your purpose or calling. It could be your contribution to your family, your community or to the world.
- Family – obviously one is about family, your relationship with your children and with your partner, if you have one.
- Feminine – it’s about being a woman, and not just being a mother. It’s about accepting, embracing and actually enjoying being a woman, and the challenges and opportunities that brings.
I want to share with you simple tips that anybody can put into action to grow in confidence. Yesterday I shared ways to feel more confidence at work. Today I explore ways to boost your wellness.
For me your wellness of mind and body is SO important. To be a confident mother, to do what you need or want to do in the world, you need to be both mentally and physically strong.
After my first daughter was born I suffered from severe postnatal depression. When I recovered and had the courage to explore my story further, I realised I’d been suffering depression for a long time. Being mentally ill did not prevent me from being successful at work. But I’ll never know how different life would have been if I hadn’t experienced depression.
A catalogue of injuries
I have also had more than my fair share of injuries: a motorbike accident when I was just 17 left me with a broken leg, on crutches for 6 months, and life-changing injuries. When I was older, I had a racing accident and landed on my head. Although I was wearing a helmet, I experienced brain trauma and head injury which damaged my communication skills and concentration for several months, as well as leaving me with some impressive additions to my by-now growing collection of scars. One of the downsides to being a race cyclist.
At times, I have broken just about every bone in my body from racing or riding a motorbike. However I never let it get me down for long. Because I take care now to nurture my wellness of both mind and body.
Here are my top tips for confidence in your wellness, whether you are a career mum, run your own business, or volunteer in your community.
Identify your overwhelm strategies
Arm yourself with strategies to cope with overwhelm. We almost can’t get away from overwhelm in modern society so it is important to identify the strategies that work for you. For some women, it’s running, for others it could be a walk in nature, or maybe for you it’s a long soak in the bath.
Don’t dismiss this tip if you are not the sporty type. Regular moderate physical activity (it doesn’t need to be exercise) is powerful. It doesn’t need to be running or swimming or tennis. It could be a daily brisk walk. Or try walking up the stairs at work rather than taking a lift. Get off the bus a stop early. Find a physical activity that you enjoy, and schedule it into your diary. Treat it as important as any other appointment and don’t be persuaded to cancel it just because you have a high workload. You’ll feel SO much better for a daily dose of physical activity and you’ll then be able to get more done.
When you eat, are you treating it as fuel, just another task to get out of the way, or do you look forward and enjoy your eating? I signed up to The BeezKneez Mummy Tummy Transformation challenge. I signed up because I knew Vicky was a postnatal fitness expert. I was injured earlier this year and couldn’t run for a while and felt I needed a boost to get back. In real life, I’m fairly slim with a typical mummy tummy. I’ve never dieted and didn’t feel the need to but wanted to see if I really could transform my mummy tummy. I loved her challenge and yes my mummy tummy was transformed, however the biggest change for me was around food. The challenge encourages you to eat more healthily. Now I love my food again: I love the freshness; I enjoy experimenting; I eat more vegetables and fruit, less bread, less starch, and way less sugar. Yes it takes a few minutes longer to prepare my food, but I am now more mindful about what I eat and I enjoy it more.
Be kind to yourself
Show yourself love and compassion. By that I mean, look after yourself. Like properly. Like you are somebody special, important and valuable. Because you are. You are a mother. One of the most important jobs in the world. That means accepting it’s ok to have ‘me’ time. That means getting good quality sleep. That means having fun. That means having downtime or relaxation time, a time to do nothing.
Finally my last tip to boost wellness in your mind and body, is to ensure that you have focus and planning time. This allows you to better cope with overwhelm. And I don’t just mean focus time for work. Focus time for your children and family too – time when you are fully present. When you are fully focussed, you get more done, and you get it done more effectively. Take time to focus on your goals, what you want to achieve and then plan HOW you are going to achieve it. When you have a goal, an effective plan with clarity on the steps required, you are much more likely to achieve that goal. Sometimes it can be difficult to get clarity on your goals. Sometimes we realise that we don’t really know what we want. But we know that it’s not what we’ve got. if that’s the case for you, take time out to really focus on what you want and then create the action plan that will get you there.
If you want to have confidence as a woman and as a mother, it’s important to get the balance right. The balance that’s right for you, at this time in your life. As I see it, the balance is made up of five elements: work, wellness, contribution, family and the feminine. The wellness is being strong and healthy in your mind and body. You can achieve that by identifying strategies to cope with overwhelm, being physically active, enjoying what you eat, being kind to yourself and finally ensuring that you have focus time. Whether that’s focus time for your work, your children, or indeed time to focus on what you want from life and how you’re going to achieve it.
Hmmm, now you’re wondering if you could pay more attention to your wellness. Read what the experts have to say about dealing with overwhelm, eating more healthily, and postnatal fitness in The Confident Mother book which you can buy online today.