With International Women's Day is upon us we thought it would be a good time to recognise the unique challenges that women and mothers face in today's world, from societal pressures to juggling multiple roles and responsibilities. There are ways we can practice daily rituals to lighten the load.
By prioritising self-care and carving out time for these daily practices, women can cultivate resilience and strength that will serve them in all areas of their lives.
As a business owner, mother, and someone who has experienced PTSD and hormone related issues, I am learning the importance of prioritising my mental and physical health. It can be all too easy to get caught up in the demands of running a business and caring for my family, but I have come to realise that neglecting my own wellbeing ultimately does a disservice to everyone around me.
By carving out time for self-care, whether it's through regular exercise, therapy, or simply taking a few moments to check in with myself each day, I am better able to show up as the best version of myself. I have also learned to be patient and compassionate with myself, recognising that healing is a journey that requires time and effort.
I have also been luck enough to have been guided by Clinical Nutritionist Lynsey Koch (BSc Env. Sci./Nutr. Grad Dip. Edu) from Seed and Sprout Nutrition and co-owner of C-Biogenics. I sat down with this beautiful being to find out her story, why she loves helping women and asked her 10 simple rituals to start living our best life.
My journey into nutritional medicine began at 18 when an accident in Hawaii left me fighting for my life in the hospital. What was estimated to be a 6-8 week in hospital recovery became only about a 2 and a half week stay due to my family bringing in fresh, organic wholefoods from the local health food store. My body healed faster than any of my doctors could understand, and I truly learned the essence of 'food is medicine'. It was from this point forward that I knew that nutritional therapy was my path and I needed to spend my life paying it forward.
Fast forward 24 years and I now spend my days amongst several roles including wife and mum to two beautiful daughters Willow and Mililani, in my own Clinical Practice at Seed & Sprout Nutrition along with assisting The Aging Project with Shelley Craft and their sister platform You Must Try It, a resource for finding quality low tox healthy living products. Additional to this with my business partner Hayley and I launched C-Biogenics Nutrition, a functional food company making wholefood products called Gut Food and Calm Food, targeting gut health and stress response otherwise known as the Gut-Brain Axis.
After becoming a mother myself, I will forever have a soft spot for other women and mums. We truly need to learn how to better take care of ourselves because when we become mothers, the notion of self-care becomes even more foreign. I began to see the imbalances that so easily can creep in when you're trying to meet everyone's needs and maintain so many roles as a wife, mum, business owner etc. Too many women that are spread so thin they don't even know where to begin to take care of themselves and their health starts to degrade. Common health challenges can present itself in a range of conditions such as anxiety, depression, sleep disruption, hormone dysregulation, thyroid challenges, weight gain and mood instability.
It is time that we find that connection to ourselves again, hold a little bit of space for self-care and learn how and why our body responds in certain ways when our health feels like its falling apart. After all we are often the 'glue' of the family, and our loved ones need us balanced, well and happy. We also need to set the culture for the family and if we don't show our children how to take care of ourselves how will they ever know how to do it for themselves either?
10 Life Changing Rituals
1. Write a to do list at the end of your day before you go to bed. Clinical research has shown that if you do this simple practice of offloading your thoughts you will fall asleep faster and get into deeper more restorative sleep.
2. So many mums don't eat terribly but often just not enough! So, I always suggest that you pretend you have another child, buy an additional lunchbox and whilst you're making your children those incredibly wonderful, balanced and nutritious foods, put some aside for yourself too. It's no extra work and you will have your lunch ready for the day.
3. Your first meal should be your best one - aim to have at least 4-5 days of the week with a breakfast that has at 20-30g protein and colourful veggies. A little hack here is while you are cooking the family dinner, cook (in a side pan) your protein for the next day. It makes eating well easier.
4. Wake up slowly and ease into your day - the best thing you can do for healthy circadian rhythms is to wake up, grab a herbal tea and sit in the sunrise for 10 minutes. This sets your cortisol response to start in a healthy way.
5. Ashwagandha and magnesium are every womans friend! Ashwagandha (also known as Withania) is a beautiful adaptogenic herb that can buffer a little bit of stress physiologically and can be easily incorporated into your daily routine. Magnesium is a key nutrient that supports our central nervous system along with over 300+ other biochemical processes.
6. Stuff counting calories and NEVER diet. The only ways you should assess your meals is if it is full of whole foods and looks like it's going to give you life - a simple tool is aim to 'eat a rainbow' a day and include plenty of quality protein and good fats.
7. Try to understand that weight is more a sign of imbalances within the body - take the pressure off yourself and don't aim to lose weight but focus on regaining health. The weight will come with it once you find what changes your body truly needs.
8. The symptoms you are experiencing are your body's only way of communicating with you that it NEEDS change - please start listening.
9. Hydrate, but hydrate at a cellular level by adding a small pinch of salt to a 1L bottle of water - aim for 2L per day.
10. Make time to breathe and slow the mind - pick a restorative practice that resonates with you - it could be a walk, breathwork, art therapy, reading a book or anything that slows the pace of life for a bit. Non-negotiable restorative practices are the only way we can keep better balance.