When you think of your mum, or yourself as a mum, what words come to your mind? Hardworking, devoted, busy, everything to everyone?
It’s not often we witness mums who have it all together, are relaxed, loving and all things to everyone but when we do, we want to know how they do it, right?
With Mother’s Day on the horizon, we felt it apt to make May ‘Mum Appreciation Month’ and share some tips on how ‘wonder mums’ keep calm through the craziness of life in bringing up children, running a household and holding down a job.
#1 Embrace your Imperfectness
Let’s face it, there’s way too much pressure we place on ourselves to be perfect – the perfect mum, the perfect wife, the perfect employee, have the perfect body, and the list goes on.
If only we could take a step back and see what damage this belief that we need to be perfect is doing to us.
For one thing, it takes a lot of energy when we strive for perfection. This futile pursuit causes us to rush around trying to do everything on our own and be all things to all people, believing that if we do this we will be appreciated and loved. Of course, this often ends in disappointment and resentment when we realise that some of the time what we do is being taken for granted.
Striving to be perfect can also steal our joy. When we get too much into the ‘doing’, we miss the beauty of ‘being’. This is when we miss watching the kids play nicely together, hear the birds sing, watch the sunset and literally stop to smell the roses.
If you find yourself being obsessed with getting things done impeccably and you’re always arriving late to kids’ sports days and school events, you’re no doubt running on empty and feeling jealous and perhaps resentful towards your husband and other mums.
Embracing imperfectness starts with awareness. It’s a good thing when you can be real with yourself. Throughout your day (and night), pay attention to moments when you criticise yourself, stop, recognise your thought and work hard to turn it around and praise yourself out loud.
Turning off technology and taking time out to do something for you, eg meditate, walk in nature, read a book or paint, can help you appreciate you for you. It’s called loving yourself. You’ll begin to feel calmer, more able to cope, realise that unimportant things can wait and so much more patient with your family, and yourself.
Leonard Cohen once said “There’s a crack in everything; that’s how the light gets in”. This is a wonderful quote and reminder that we are in fact perfect in our imperfectness. It just takes practice.
#2 Monitor your Mood
When we get busy and there seems to be endless things vying for our attention, we can sometimes forget to eat, or grab something unhealthy as a quick tummy filler.
With stress alone being a major contributor to poor gut health, eating the wrong foods or eating irregularly can upset the digestive system and the bacterial balance in the gut even more so.
Serotonin is commonly called the ‘happy’ hormone, acting as a neurotransmitter in the brain to help us to feel happy, calm and content. 80% of this hormone is made in the gut so it’s no wonder many unhappy and stressed people have digestive issues.
So the link to your mood is your gut. In other words, when you eat well and slow down, your body will digest food easier and you will feel happier, calmer and have more energy.
Stimulating the vagus nerve through deep diaphragmatic breathing exercises can promote good digestion, balance and calmness.
Taking time to enjoy and chew your food, and eating nourishing whole and real foods while avoiding artificial or processed foods, can ensure optimal digestion. Consider adding some Moringa Supergreens Plus into your daily regime to boost your digestive performance.
Your liver is a very important organ when it comes to feeling (and looking) good. It is well known in holistic circles that stress, anger and frustration are key emotions of the liver(1). So it makes sense to support the liver by eating plant foods, particularly leafy green vegetables, and reduce your intake of trans fats, refined sugars, synthetic substances, alcohol and caffeine, to help your mood.
We all know how exercising can boost mood but it’s important to enjoy this too. If you’re feeling your stress levels rise just thinking about going to the gym, try something different. Take a walk with a friend along the beach or through a forest. This can help you feel grounded to nature whilst getting the cheapest mental and emotional therapy available.
#3 Get Messy in the Kitchen
There’s not much that’s more satisfying than cooking up a (scrumptious) storm in the kitchen and hearing the “ooohs”, “aaahs” and “yumms” of approval from the family.
To top off Mum’s month, here’s a sweet, creamy but healthy Wonder Foods recipe to bake for your mum, yourself and the family… actually it’s No Bake but you get what we mean.
* No Bake Raspberry Chocolate Truffles *
These no-bake raspberry chocolate truffles are not only easy, they are decadent and delicious. They’re loaded with nutritious ingredients but make for an indulgent dessert or a special mother’s day gift. (Makes 14 – 16 truffles)
- ½ cup freeze dried organic raspberries, divided
- 1 cup medjool dates (about 10)
- 1 cup raw pecans (or nuts of choice)
- 2 tablespoons Wonder Foods Mega 8
- ¼ cup quinoa flakes
- 1 tablespoon smooth almond butter (or nut/seed butter of choice)
- 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
- Add the raspberries to the bowl of a food processor and process on high until finely ground.
- Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
- To the food processor, add the dates. Process until broken apart and sticky, about 30 seconds. Add pecans and process until ground and evenly distributed in the dates.
- With the food processor running, add the remaining ingredients (minus raspberries) and process until a dough begins to form. You should be able to pinch it between your fingers and it will stay together. Pulse in half the raspberries.
- Form the dough into golf ball-sized truffles (you should get 14-16 balls). Roll each ball in the raspberry powder and transfer to a plate. Allow to chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes, then serve.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 5 days.
Enjoy these delicious truffles anytime! Happy Mother’s Day.