Hi there friends!! It feels like a lifetime ago since I last posted…
COVID-19, pregnancy#3, becoming a mother to my second girl boss, Ava – to say that life has changed is an understatement! Through it all, I have been reminded of the joy in simple things (space, fresh air, the beach, bubbles, smiles) and equally learned to weather the challenges (tantrums, juggling two kiddies, routines thrown out the window). Five months into being a baby mum all over again, I am finding my groove and reminding myself to make the most of this last stint of maternity leave.
With Sydney in the midst of another surge in COVID-19 cases, I felt like it was time to send a little dose of inspiration your way on simple wellness acts that I have incorporated into my very full life. Gone are the days when I had endless hours to dedicate to self-care, self-help courses and cooking complex raw treats (note: if you do have the time, then good on you!). So here are a few things that have been helpful to me during these times of change:
1: Efficient exercise: During isolation I was forced to swap my gym sessions for garage workouts. With the help of Kayla Itsine’s SWEAT app and a few rubber floor mats, mirror, dumb-bells, exercise bands and a little bluetooth speaker, I have been able to continue exercising during pregnancy and beyond. I now exercise during Ava’s naps and there is no excuse to miss a workout when the gym is across the driveway. Even 15 or 20 minutes makes a big different to my mood. I have been extremely impressed by the quality of online programs (the SWEAT app has pilates, strength training and HIT sessions) and am starting to feel like my old self again. In fact, I feel even better than my old self!
2: Fresh air: When Zara was born almost four years ago, we lived by the beach and I would take her for walks every day for hours while she napped. When Ava was born, I put those walks in the “too hard” basket because we had to get in the car. However, once I realised that this was an excuse and picked a day to drive to the beach straight after dropping Zara to daycare, it has now become a fulfilling part of our weekly routine. Now both Ava and I get to enjoy being by the ocean.
3: Home brew: A morning coffee is a non-negotiable for me, but leaving the house can be difficult at times when you have to coordinate multiple kids and activities. Having abandoned our inbuilt coffee machine for takeaways long ago, recently I was determined to try it out again. After playing with the settings and purchasing our favourite beans and MilkLab almond milk, I am now very happy with making a coffee at home. It saves us money and makes having a cafe coffee that little bit more special.
4: Simple cooking: Are you someone like me that loves the idea of cooking nice meals but eyes glaze over if the recipe has more than 5 ingredients? Look no further than the free monthly magazines from Woolworths and Coles (also available online). Each week I pick something new and I have not been disappointed, particularly vegetarian and curry dishes that were never on my radar. We now have a freezer full of leftovers that I can whip out on those hard days. In addition, I can’t live without our airfryer (hello crispy fries) and slowcooker (lamb shoulders are so delicious and tender) – these have both been well worth the investment.
5: Wardrobe revamp: With my office clothes temporarily out of action, I took the opportunity to spring-clean our wardrobe. Matching coat-hangers and storage baskets made a big difference to the space for very little cost. It also helped me identify gaps in my wardrobe – I have plenty of activewear but my casual wear was non-existent! I now have a new pair of black jeans (children-friendly!), a denim jacket and even a sold-out Lorna Jane sweater which I spotted on someone at the shops and managed to find on eBay for half the price. It is amazing what you can find on the pre-loved market and equally a great way to re-home items taking up space. I recently sold my first set of golf clubs to a lady via Gumtree and it was so satisfying to see them in the hands of someone who will love and use them!
6: Creative projects: I am a little embarrassed to admit that I started crocheting a blanket when I was on maternity leave with Zara and it is STILL unfinished. Given Zara has grown in height I am determined to finish it this winter before the size needs to be increased again! While we don’t really need another blanket, I am finding the task of making it very satisfying and a form of relaxation because I have to concentrate on the stitches. I am also taking the opportunity to go back to my old photography course materials and further master my DSLR camera to take better photos of the kids. Do you have any unfinished projects or skills you want to master? I challenge you to stop making excuses and get cracking on them!
I really hope the above ideas give you some inspiration to focus on your wellness, no matter what that might look like for you personally. When doing these things, I am reminded that it is sometimes the simple actions and activities that have the most impact, so never let excuses get in the way. I would love to know what you do to maintain your wellness, or please reach out if you need any encouragement to make a start! We all need to support each other during these challenging times.