It’s been a hectic few months here at Nurturing Birth HQ. Our busy little team have taught Doula Preparation Courses across the UK and Europe, mentored dozens of doulas, recorded several Facebook Live sessions, run a free- 5-day online course, scheduled in over 360 social media posts, added more doula preparation courses to our calendars, planned two retreats, attended dozens of conferences and events, raised teenagers, cooked meals, driven school runs, survived school holidays and moved homes.
When you take into account the huge amount of tasks you have to fit into running a home, family and business it’s no surprise how little time we women have to look after ourselves? It’s easy to put self-care on the back-burner when everything else seems so urgent. Especially when you’re on call!
“Long births can really take it out of you. For me it often feels like jet lag – my body likes sleep and regularity, so doesn’t deal with lengthy births particularly well! After a long birth I need to be gentle with myself – often I don’t sleep well immediately, but the second night tends to be really good and deep. In the meantime I eat well, re-hydrate, take a bit of exercise (usually a good walk in the fresh air) and nurture myself with a long bath or a massage.” Sophie Brigstocke, Nurturing Birth
But you can’t give from an empty cup… So if you’re stuck in a bit of a rut when it comes to your health and your happiness, this months blog is packed with wellbeing tips that are quick, easy and effective. Starting with what we consider to be two of the most important steps in leading a vibrant, healthy fulfilled life…
Firstly… Get moving!
People weren’t designed to sit still. Movement improves posture, increases oxygen to our brain and gets us out and about. Moving around also helps to get us thinking more clearly too so if you are feeling uninspired or stuck with a problem; take a walk.
Walk to work, run up the stairs, make phone calls standing up, play chase with the kids, play your favourite song and dance along, do a quick 10-minute yoga video on YouTube, walk the dog or meet friends for a walk rather than sit down for a coffee. When we are moving we are less likely to eat rubbish, spend hours watching things we don’t particularly want to watch anyway and put on weight.
Regular movement has even been shown in studies to improve some kinds of depression.
Moving is free, easy and available to us all. So let’s try and do a little more of it.
Second, practice gratitude. Our brain is much like a computer in some ways; if we load it with a program which says ‘things will go badly, I never have any luck, I can’t find enough clients, life is awful’, then it often produces results that prove that program. It’s like some sort of negative self fulfillment!
So make sure you load your doula brain with a positive program. There may be some days when this feels impossible, but try to pay attention first of all to the things you take for granted; did you have enough food to eat today, are you healthy, do you have a client or two? Also, you don’t just have to proud of yourself for big achievements; what about the way that you kept your cool when someone cut you up on the school run this morning, or the way that you manage to juggle so much and still have time for your friends and loved ones?
The more we focus on what we appreciate and are grateful for, the more we will get to be grateful for, because our brain will notice more of those things and fewer of all the things we used to complain about.
We conducted a poll and asked our lovely Nurturing Birth doulas how they de-stress, relax and rejuvenate themselves… here’s what they had to say…