The majority of patients we see at Kate Johnson Osteo are busy mums, so we understand the importance of educating and practicing self care whilst acknowledging how hard it is sometimes to make this a priority.
Did you know that our pain response can be impacted by increased levels of stress, inactivity, poor diet and inadequate sleep. Activities such as; mindfulness or meditation, exercise, participating in activities you enjoy eg. reading a book, a nutritious diet and a good sleep routine are all important in maintaining a balanced lifestyle, but also in managing any pain complaint.
I know at times it is very difficult to stay on top of our physical and mental health but I hope some of these tips may help:
Establish a regular fitness routine, think of activities that you enjoy and aren’t too taxing time wise. This will ensure you can still squeeze exercise in no matter what your schedule. Join a team competition or sign up to a fun run, this will increase your motivation to commit to regular fitness goals and you’ll be less likely to make excuses. Exercise isn’t just beneficial for your physical health but is also important for stress relief and feeling generally refreshed. Getting active also provides a great opportunity for socialising, especially if you’re exercising in a group or a team sport environment. Establishing a routine can be the hardest part, so even starting out with a ten minute walk around the block each day is better than nothing!
Take some time out for yourself a few times throughout the week; whether it be reading a book, taking a bath, journalling or buying yourself a treat. Rewarding yourself is important when you are often having to prioritise others first.
In this day and age we seem to have so many things to do in a day, combined with modern technology, we don’t seem to get a chance to switch off. This means we are often racing around in the ‘fight or flight’ response. A simple tip I often give to patients is to check in with themselves regularly (every half hour or so) and stop to take some slow deep breathes in and out. You can also add in some shoulder shrugs and simple body movements regularly throughout the day which can also help relax tired muscles, especially if you are confined to a desk.
Mindfulness practice can be another way to take some time to relax and slow down. Apps such as Smiling Minds and Calm are free and run short mindfulness programs. I often suggest trying them at night if you are finding it hard to wind down after a busy day, to assist in obtaining a good nights sleep.
Happy Mother’s Day from Kate Johnson Osteo!