The Importance of Self-Care

The Importance of Self-Care

I know this is a little confronting but it’s only 92 days until summer hits us. That’s right, only 92 days….eeek!! That also means it’s only a little over 15 weeks until Christmas! I’m serious! And with term 3 school holidays just around the corner, it got me thinking about how there never seems to be enough hours in the day, especially when it comes to looking after our own needs.

Our days just seem to get busier, amiright? Between the kids, partners, part-time or full-time work, the shopping, the cooking and the cleaning a mum’s work is never truly done. We also seem to be the only ones doing it! Did you know that the recent 2016 Australian census showed that Aussie women on average do up to 14 hours of unpaid domestic work per week whereas men do less than 5 hours? That hardly seems right, does it – add a couple of kids to your happy home and suddenly, you’re not just caring for their needs but doing the majority of the domestic stuff as well!

It makes sense that in this time of our lives – when we are at our busiest – we should be more vigilant of taking care of ourselves and investing in our mental health and wellbeing. The sad truth is, though, that we don’t. Sometimes it’s just too hard to find the time (with the amount of washing I do each week, I swear there are people living in my house I haven’t met yet) and if you do find the time, it’s not as simple as just walking out the door with your keys and wallet anymore.

But here’s the thing so many mums struggle with – we are so busy focusing on everyone else’s needs we just don’t prioritise ourselves, or worse, we feel like we shouldn’t take that time out (oh, mummy guilt, you insidious creature). I don’t know how these feelings came to be such a common theme for women (I’m certainly not immune), but so many of us truly think that we can’t take the time for ourselves (there’s so much to do! I need to iron! I have to be there for bath time!) because our family’s needs come first. The simple truth is that making that time for yourself is not going to bring your family’s world crashing down around their ears and they will be able to carry on without you for a few hours. You, on the other hand, may not…well, at least your mental health may not.

Let me put it this way. In the safety presentation at the beginning of any flight, you will always be told that if an oxygen mask drops from the ceiling, you need to fit your own mask before helping others, even your children. It makes sense, right? Get yourself sorted so you can EFFECTIVELY help others. There’s no point helping everyone get their mask on if by the time you get to yours, you’re ready to pass out! And that’s the crux of it. If we don’t take time to look after ourselves, then it makes it harder for us to look after others. If you’re exhausted and stressed, it makes looking after your kids that much harder. Your temper is shorter, your attention is split and our bodies and minds become run down. Self-care gives us the opportunity to re-energise ourselves and treat ourselves as worthy and deserving of that care.

One great way to commit to self-care is to join a community, whether it be a book club, a fitness group or a regular scheduled catch up with your friends. This not only provides you with an activity to look forward to and participate in but you will be doing it with a bunch of people who will notice if you’re not quite OK and will listen if you need to talk or require support in other ways.

Other great ideas are taking some time out for yourself with a massage, a movie (kids movies don’t count) or going for a run. Just sitting in the park on your own enjoying the sun with a book is another great option. You don’t have to spend a lot of money, but you do have to spend the time. It goes without saying that looking after your physical health will benefit your mental health which is where BounceBack Fitness comes to the party, but sometimes we also need to just look after ourselves with a good mani/pedi and a trashy mag. So please, make some time for yourself ASAP! Oh, and tell your hubby it’s his turn to cook dinner – there’s half an hour right there 😉

Love,
Nic x

What does your self care look like? Comment in the box below

Why train in Winter? By Joan Markwell

Why train in Winter? By Joan Markwell

Why should you train in Winter? By Joan Markwell

Why not?

As the weather cools, more and more excuses cross our lips as to why we can’t train, especially with little ones in tow. So even though you may have heard some of these before I am going to remind you why the top 5 excuses mean jack.

It’s cold

Well yeah it is cold but only compared to our summer. Compared to the rest of the world (which more and more Australians now come from) Australia’s winter is relative mild and a great climate for outdoor training. When the sun is shining, its actually quite pleasant outdoors, especially if you are working hard enough. And btw, fitness apparel has come a long way, you can buy all kinds of long sleeved, thumb loops, ear warmers, long tights, anything to keep your pokey bits and extremities warm.

Too cold for the baby outside

Really? Why?

I think being outside in the winter sun with appropriate clothing for an hour or so could arguably be considered healthier for them than being cooped up in heating and stale air all day long.

Besides they love it. There are so many fabulous pram sleeping bags, suits, beanies, pram covers than there used to be, babies can be snug as a bug in a rug in the outdoors now.

I’m lazy

Well at least you’re honest. But the feeling of going always outweighs the feeling of not going, if you’re looking to feel good. I’ve never heard anyone say I’m so glad I didn’t go workout”, have you?

It’s too hard

Nothing worth having is easy. If you want to feel energised, look good, lose weight, build strength, trust your body, feel like you again after baby, you have to do some work. The upshot to that is, the more you do it, the easier it gets.

I’ll start again in spring

Why? Winter is a great time to start. The hard work and basework are done by spring and rather than try to remove the winter bulge you can immediately see the benefits of your training.

Point is, there is no need to stop once it cools, on the contrary now is the time to commit to start or stay on track. If you would like to see how enjoyable winter training can be, email us to get started today.

Worth more than your productivity? By Joan Markwell

Worth more than your productivity? By Joan Markwell

Yes you are, but reading that how do you feel? I love this and it couldn’t have popped up at a more relevant time for me. Yesterday I took the ‘day off’ to accompany my daughter to her school swimming carnival. Of course, I had at least 48 other things I coulda, woulda, shoulda been doing but as she is 9, and explicitly asked me to go with her I figured my invites are going to be ever decreasing as she discovers the embaressment that parents seem to bring as they age.

Let me say I had a feeling too. My daughter is one of the most determined girls I know. Honestly I love this about her. She decides she will do something and there is no holds barred, she goes for it, all in. Anyway, she had been extremely excited for days and kept telling me she was going to win some ribbons at this carnival. She asked me to go but I had work plans and a training ride I wanted to do that day so originally thought I couldn’t attend.

The morning swung around and I heard her voice in the dark explain to her daddy that she had to go to the toilet but didn’t turn the light on as she didn’t want to the light to wake her up. She needed to get back to sleep so she had energy for her carnival tomorrow. No sooner had she left the room but my alarm went off signalling the beginning of my long list of what I wanted to do that day. But I considered her words, thought of her little face, her excitement and wondered how many more carnivals I would get begged to go to. How much longer would she want me around. So I got up, put the kettle on, tucked her in and hit some of the work I had planned for that day at 5.15am.

We went to the carnival and she loved having me there. I watched her come second in the heats of freestyle, back and breaststroke. I got to see her little face when she touched the wall and hug her when she got out. I talked her through some strategy for the finals and when the time came screamed her name till my voice was hoarse. My little determined girl claimed first place in the final. We were both absolutely thrilled. I was proud as punch, she set her sights on something and went for it – boom!

I fucking love that kid. She amazes me. My heart has a physical solid feeling when I write that. Its tangible.

Anyway, the point is my day was not ‘productive’ as per the definition so many of us define our lives by. I missed my training ride that I had planned for two weeks prior, I made no headway in my studies, there were no business updates or progress as planned. But my daughter and I had a solid day. We made wonderful memories and I am so grateful. I will never forget that little face when she realised she won. Her eyes when I was giving her some tips, taking it all in. Her overflowing joy and self-assuredness as she trotted off to the marshalling area. Giving the winner a high five before she even got out of the pool. Her rallying her friends, giving and receiving support and congratulations. Her nerves as she approached the finals. I’ll take that over productivity any day.

Productivity is great, especially if you have a goal in mind. Productivity gives direction and measures your performance which can provide a great sense of achievement. This is all positive and most people feel a productive life is a satisfying one I get that. If some of this productivity is balanced with some down time and “lets throw plans to the wind” time it’s all good. I wholeheartedly believe it’s the non-productive times in your life that will be your favourite memories. These times will be what makes you smile, laugh and feel loved when you reflect on your life.

The post final face!

Invest in yourself. By Joan Markwell

Invest in yourself. By Joan Markwell

So often as mums we put all our efforts into our bub putting our own needs last, if at all. We think this makes us a good mum or don’t even think about it at all we just respond and do what we think we need to for baby without a second thought. Everything we have, selflessly goes to the baby. This happens with money too. We happily spend every cent we have on bub. We won’t think twice about spending if we think the baby needs it, or it will help with sleep, feeding or let’s be honest make them look cute!

But when it comes to spending money on ourselves we struggle. We forgo spending on ourselves even if we actually need something and In flies the guilt and the questions –
“Do I really need it?”,
“ I shouldn’t spend that on me when I’m not earning”,
“We are only on one income”

For the most part, these questions could field spending on ‘stuff’ that maybe no you don’t need like a house item or another set of something you have. But to cut spending on your own health, fitness, peace of mind, sanity, and sense of self is just ludicrous. Devoting time and money to your health and wellbeing is essential, not a luxury. Our health and happiness should be a priority over pretty much everything else.

A happy mum is far more important and beneficial to a bub than the latest thing or the most fashionable and expensive pram. A happy mum is in a better mindset to handle all that baby throws at her with a smile. A happy mum doesn’t cost much money. A group fitness class, a yoga class, a pair of runners to walk with the pram or start running with a friend, pool entry and coins for the crèche are all a happy mum needs. Whatever gets you moving, gets your bloody pumping and endorphins flowing is time and money well spent. For a happy you and a happy baby.

Prioritise and budget YOU into your life. Start today. You wont look back and you will be surprised at how big a difference such a little shift can make.

Awesome sense of achievement

Awesome sense of achievement

On reflection of my recent trip to 2016 World Triathlon Championships in Mexico I have had a bit of time to process and reflect on my achievement there.

Getting to world championships was a three year dream for me. Making sure all the pieces were in the right place, kids, business, money, training, life. I had people telling me I wouldn’t make it, my own head doubting my ability, others seemingly doing much better than me, sickness close to the race, not quite enough money, guilt about spending the money on all that was required in the lead up as well as whilst there. And the training. Months of winter training well years really to lay the ground work to be in a place I felt confident and capable enough to go and do myself, my family and even my country proud. Most of my worlds campaign training was done on my own as winter is off season in Australia so my triathlon buddies weren’t keen to come out in the cold. Cold, early mornings riding or running on my own. Swim sessions at night when most normal people are at home in front of the heater. It was commitment 101 that’s for sure.

But there I was. Mexico. I could hardly believe it.

The morning of the race was quite a long one as my wave was second last starting at 8.10 after a 6.30 race start. I filled my time chatting to team mates, watching other waves swim and fare welling my friends one by one for their race. As my start approached and the waiting came to an end, I felt extremely emotional and suddenly quite overwhelmed.

Time was slow waiting for my start as I was second last wave staring just shy of two hours after the first wave. As my start crept closer I began to feel the emotion of what I had finally achieved. I didn’t have the words, just tears and a huge grin. Team mates were kindly checking I was ok, but I was more than ok. I was smiling and nodding and just taking it in (and hoping the tears would stop before the start so my goggles wouldn’t fog up!). I really tried to just go with the emotion, embrace it and enjoy it all.

Well those tears, the race experience, wearing the Australian Green and gold, my name on my uniform, pushing through the hottest most gruelling race I have ever competed in, finishing, the feeling of completion, elation, pride, amazement, achievement, exhaustion! The time of my life for sure. (so far!)

Three years – breaking down goals, ticking them off, just achieving one little thing at a time. But Mexico was always in my mind. Now obviously we all have different dreams, goals and motivations, and really if you don’t know me well or do but haven’t figured out yet, I am very strong willed. When I set my mind to something, well let’s just say it usually happens. So although World championships may have seemed like a big goal, especially to an old training buddy who laughed at me when I said I wanted to go. I set my sights, laid down a plan and I did it. I’m laughing now with happiness and an amazing sense of accomplishment and pride. That achievement is mine. I earnt it and I own it.

I really want you guys to start feeling that great sense of achievement. I want you to set your sights on something and tell me. I can help you reach it. The weather is better, easier to train, less excuses, more enjoyment, easier to do some homework and easier to enjoy the rewards of all your hard work.

Why do you train? What drives you to get out of bed, come to sessions and feel the burn. How do you feel after training? Are you still getting results? Is there something you have slow burning in the background that you “always thought you would like to do” but haven’t yet? What’ important to you?

Give it some thought, say it out loud. Make the dream small and achievable or big bold and bodacious. Nothing is too big or small. Anything is possible I promise. Just say it. Share it. Tell me and together let’s make it happen. Make it yours and make it now.

Making the time and reaping rewards

Making the time and reaping rewards

This mum.
She could have stayed home.
She could have found excuses.
She could have put her babies first for all the hours of her day.
She could have spent the money on countless baby classes available that have little to no flexibility to accommodate the ups and downs of a mums life.
She could have stopped after her second child was born, I mean it is hard to wrangle two kids out the door. They do have different sleep times. The babies sleep time is right on class time.
She could have stayed home.
But she didn’t.
Felicity decided she was worth it. Felicity decided the little bit of organisation required to get her and two kids to class on time was well worth the energy gained from completing the class. Felicity decided the friends she made at class weren’t judging if her or her kids had an ordinary day. She knew they would all go home happier for the effort. Especially Felicity. With a nice shot of endorphins she is armed for all the hiccups, speed humps and energy required for her to be the patient, caring mum and active healthy role model that she wants to be. She thinks money spent on her health is an investment. An investment in her future and her babies. She also loves the way she feels, the way she looks and that she is stronger than she has ever been. She loves the feeling of lifting weight she hasn’t lifted before, running further than she has before and the feeling of power that gives her. She loves that she can share this with her husband as well as stories about the kids and their day. I love this pic of this fabulous woman. I love what she has done for herself and her kids. Love your work Felicity.

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