I remember the exact moment it happened. I’d returned from dropping the kids off at school. My partner was away at a conference and I had to clear up the mess of breakfast before racing off to give a work presentation. I had 23 minutes to get there. I crammed some dry cereal in my mouth, gulped down a bitter coffee and was just flying out the door when my mother-in-law rang, asking for help with her computer. To my shame I snapped, telling her I didn’t have time. Stressed to the eyeballs and burning with indigestion, I arrived at work to give a less than perfect performance.
It was then that I decided: no more. Juggling a high-pressured job with family life was taking its toll. I couldn’t remember the last time I’d just sat somewhere, emptied my mind and savoured the moment. I used to love going to the gym – I hadn’t done a spin class in years. I felt flabby and unfit. I was short-tempered with my family and the only time I met up with my friends it was for a rushed couple of hours at a bar, where I generally drank too much and felt awful the next day.
The time had come to change. I wanted to bring wellness back into my life. I wanted a healthy body and healthy mind. More patience, more family time, more living in the moment.
I started by opting out of drinks with my crowd, but suggested we got together for a stroll in the park instead. They weren’t thrilled to begin with, but at the end of an hour of fresh air, chat and a take-out cuppa, they seemed happy enough. A couple of my friends messaged the next day to say they loved our catch-up and actually preferred it!
I took up pilates, booked a series of deep-tissue massages and made time for long, mineral-rich bathing sessions. I stocked the family fridge with nourishing food and started juicing, packing in superfoods like kale and wheatgrass. I made sure to include one wellness ritual a day, even if it was literally just drinking a spinach and blueberry smoothie or staring at the sky for 10 minutes.
Yes, I had to get up slightly earlier, but I went to bed earlier too. Why sit zombie-like in front of the TV, finishing off the last dregs of wine just because the kids had gone to bed? I sorted out my diet, going easy on the spicy takeaways that gave me indigestion, and took time to prepare and eat proper meals – TV and phones off to allow for conversation.
My partner had been sceptical, worrying I was at risk of becoming dull. But he changed his tune when my energy levels rose, my spirits lifted and my skin started to glow. My brain even functioned better. I got through my workload more efficiently, which meant fewer late nights toiling at the office. Before long I noticed he’d taken up jogging again…
I can’t stress enough how daily wellness rituals turned things around for me. I’ve become the fun mum I once was, the caring daughter-in-law I always strived to be, the friend who listens without slumping and slurring, and the partner who embraces life again.
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