Last weekend, I took a day off from being the owner of a business and being a mum. And yes I did feel guilty after working all week and then leaving the girls again! Which was ridiculous as they were perfectly happy at home with their Dad on the farm. So what did I do for my day off? I went to Well fest – Ireland’s largest health, fitness and wellness festival. It is fantastic as you get to listen to some great people talk as well do fitness classes. I did two Pilates classes, one Zumba class and a class for your glutes (My bum is still sore!) I attended a Mum Talk in the Well Mum tent, listened a chat with the Food Medic aka Dr Hazel Wallace and laughed my head off at Davina McCall and Kathryn Thomas! Yes, it was an all-round good day of self-care – fitness, contemplation and laughter. Here is some of the things I learnt from my day.
- Sometimes you need to hear the same thing more than once, twice or even five times….
At Well fest, I went to a lot of talks and conversations. And to be honest, nothing was a radically new concept to me. But it is important to be reminded of little tips and tricks for living a healthier lifestyle both mentally and physically. Also if you hear about other people’s small struggles in life it makes you feel you normal as everyone is the same! It was also so important to listen to inspirational people who can motivate you in your life too. Everyone needs a small reminder every now and then.
- A wind down before bed is just as important for us as it is for babies
Now this is something I needed to be reminded of and the science explanation helped for sure! Over the past few weeks, since my new website has launched I have become guilty of putting the kids to bed, then getting back onto my computer or phone, and then collapsing into bed with my phone beside me still buzzing! Here is some of the tips and science behind the tips that made me realise I need to cop on again.
- No screens for at least 1 hour before bed and never bring your phone to bed either. What’s the science? Dr Hazel Wallace explained The blue light emitted by screens on cell phones, computers, tablets, and televisions restrain the production of melatonin, the hormone that controls your sleep/wake cycle or circadian rhythm. Reducing melatonin makes it harder to fall and stay asleep.
- She also suggested having a warm bath, diming the lights and reading a book rather than a kindle. All I could think of, ‘well doh isn’t that what we do for babies and kids’. I know this works as I do try to do this but as I said old habits sometimes creep back in!
- Eat within the 12-hour window
Now this advice was completely new to me but I have heard conflicting reports on weight management and when you eat. So basically if you get up at 7am, have your last meal before 7pm. Dr Hazel Wallace explained that if you eat too close to bed time, your body is going to bed and working to break down a big meal. This makes it difficult to sleep as your body is working so hard and you are just lying there! It can lead to a restless sleep. Her point being to ensure a good quality sleep, don’t eat too late.
Just so you know, I tested this out by eating a steak and salad at 9pm with my hubby on our patio at 9pm that night! Even though, I was exhausted after Well fest, I tossed and turned for hours. Never again.
- The Grandfather clock story
My favourite talk of the day was a Mum Talk (they are a regular fixture on calendar in Dublin www.mumtalks.ie)at the Well Mum tent (hosted by www.thestorkbox.ie). One mum and business woman that shared her story was Milena Byrne of Platinum Pilates. She really resonated with me as she spoke about mum guilt. She said that she now knew that guilt was all the mind. She understands how us Mums may feel guilty about working or having time to ourselves. Sure I could relate to that, I felt very guilty sitting there childless and care free for a few hours.
She told us a lovely story about clocks. Apparently, if you put a grandfather clock into a room, then put other clocks in there with it and close the door, you will come back to find they are all swinging and ticking in synchronisation to the grandfather clock. Basically, us women are usually the grandfather clocks of our own homes and if we are not ticking correctly, no one else will be either. Happy mum, happy kids! I thought this was just a lovely way of putting it. I came home after my day at Well fest exhausted but also reenergised with new ideas and happy in myself.
Milena also had her three kids with her, the oldest of which is 16 and you could see how proud they were of her speaking to us about her business. She spoke about how you can find a way to make something work. She clearly has made it work. I think I liked her so much because her kids were older and she had survived to tell the tale with grace.
- Overall message, you have to look after yourself before you can look after anyone else
The overall message from Saturday between the talks and me just being in a new place made me realise that you have to look after yourself. It’s not selfish, it’s not laziness, it’s essential. Little things like sleeping well, eating well and doing things you enjoy allow you to be better person as mum/dad, friend, daughter/son, wife/husband or employee/entrepreneur.
Also time away from your life to go to something like Well fest helped me figure out some decisions I needed to make. As they say a change of scene is as good as a rest!
- Davina McCall is absolutely hilarious and I love her just as much now as I did when she presented Big Brother!
Footnote: As you know I have written a few times about wellbeing and self-care especially as mum. So it’s of no surprise that one of my new meanings and designs added to the Native Collection is the Celtic symbol of wellbeing. Check them out here