Self-care advice for mothers

Let’s face it: being a mother is difficult. There appears to be an endless list of tasks, errands, housework, and kid’s activities. This can be made even more difficult if you have a job outside the home. With so much time spent caring for one’s family and exhaustion setting in, finding time for self-care appears to be the first thing to fall through the cracks in a hectic schedule. Self-care is the practice of looking after one’s own health, happiness, and well-being. It is an important part of stress relief and wellness. Making time for yourself may appear to be self-indulgent or selfish, but this is far from the case. Small acts of self-care or self-kindness can go a long way toward alleviating the exhaustion, burnout, stress, and even depression that many busy mothers experience.

Here are some quick self-care tips:

  • Delegate and seek assistance.

It’s difficult to admit you need help or that you can’t do everything on your own. An old adage says that it takes a village to care for a family, and this could not be more true. Find your village and ask for assistance. Accept assistance when it is offered. This may result in a few more valuable moments to focus on yourself. Don’t be afraid to say no to commitments that don’t interest you or take up too much of your time.

  • Stay organized.

Maintain a calendar, planner, or list of upcoming appointments and tasks for yourself and your family. Avoid stress caused by the unexpected, such as a school project that your child requires assistance with at the last minute. To avoid becoming overwhelmed, prioritize tasks. Begin by completing the most time-consuming or uninteresting tasks first, in order to get them out of the way.

  • Focus on the fundamentals of healthy living.

Set a goal of seven to eight hours of sleep per night. Try to get some physical activity in every day, with a weekly goal of 150 minutes. Eat a healthy diet that includes lean meats, low-fat dairy, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Avoid sugary drinks, alcoholic beverages, and high-fat foods. Every day, drink six to eight cups of water.

  • Make time for yourself.

Add a “date” with yourself to your calendar and mark it as “protected.” Schedule a fitness class, lunch with a friend, or coffee with a good book, for example. Once the date has been set, make every effort to keep it, just as you would any other appointment.

The most important aspects of self-care are to be realistic and goal-oriented. If your schedule is hectic and chaotic, it may be unrealistic to expect hours of self-care activities per week. Begin small and with attainable goals. For example, focusing on deep breathing, meditation, or positive affirmations for 10 minutes per day may be all that is realistic at this time. Build on the foundation you’ve already laid.

Mother’s health and well-being have an impact on the entire family. You will become an even better caregiver if you incorporate self-care into your daily routine.

Office Exercise: Add More Activity To Your Workday

Finding time to exercise can be a challenge. Why not work out while you work? Consider 10 ways to add physical activity to your workday routine.

1. Start with your commute

Walk or bike to work. If you ride the bus or the subway, get off a few blocks early or at an earlier stop than usual and walk the rest of the way. If you drive to work, park at the far end of the parking lot — or park in a nearby lot. In your building, take the stairs rather than the elevator.

2. Stand up and work

Look for ways to get out of your chair. Stand and walk while talking on the phone. Or try a standing desk — or improvise with a high table or counter. Eat lunch standing up. If possible, skip instant messaging and email, and instead walk to a colleague’s desk for a face-to-face chat.

3. Take fitness breaks

Rather than hanging out in the lounge with coffee or a snack, take a brisk walk, hike a few flights of stairs or do some gentle stretching. For example, face straight ahead, then lower your chin to your chest. Or, while standing, grab the back of one of your ankles or your pant leg and bring it up toward your buttock. Hold each stretch for 15 to 30 seconds.

4. Bring a fitness ball to work

Consider trading your desk chair for a firmly inflated fitness or stability ball, as long as you’re able to safely balance on the ball. You’ll improve your balance and tone your core muscles while sitting at your desk. Use the fitness ball for wall squats or other exercises during the day. Keep in mind that in some cases, an office chair may be more appropriate.

5. Keep fitness gear at work

Store resistance bands stretchy cords or tubes that offer weight-like resistance when you pull on them or small hand weights in a desk drawer or cabinet. Do arm curls between meetings or tasks.

6. Join forces

Organize a lunchtime walking group. Enjoy the camaraderie of others who are ready to lace up their walking shoes. You can hold each other accountable for regular exercise and offer encouragement to one another when the going gets tough.

7. Conduct meetings on the go

When it’s practical, schedule walking meetings or walking brainstorming sessions. Do laps inside your building, or if the weather cooperates, take your walking meetings outdoors.

8. Pick up the pace

If your job involves walking or biking, do it faster. The more you walk and bike, and the quicker your pace, the greater the benefits.

9. If you travel for work, plan ahead

If you’re stuck in an airport waiting for a plane, grab your bags and take a brisk walk. Choose a hotel that has fitness facilities — such as treadmills, weight machines or a pool — or bring your equipment with you. Jump-ropes and resistance bands are easy to fit into a suitcase. Of course, you can do jumping jacks, planks, crunches and other simple exercises without any equipment at all.

10. Try a treadmill desk

Consider a more focused walk-and-work approach. If you can safely and comfortably position your work surface above a treadmill — with a computer screen on a stand, a keyboard on a table or a specialized treadmill-ready vertical desk you might be able to walk while you work.

In fact, research suggests that overweight office workers who replace sitting computer time with walking computer time might lose weight and increase daily physical activity. The pace doesn’t need to be brisk, nor do you need to break a sweat. The faster you walk, however, the more calories you’ll burn. Although, you’ll probably need to keep the speed at 1 mph, as it’s more challenging to type if you walk faster than that.

Want more ideas for workplace exercises? Schedule a walking meeting to brainstorm ideas with your supervisors or co-workers. Remember, any physical activity counts.

COVID-19: Children and masks

Should Children wear a mask?

WHO advises that people always consult and abide by local authorities on recommended practices in their area. An international and multidisciplinary expert group brought together by WHO reviewed evidence on COVID-19 disease and transmission in children and the limited available evidence on the use of masks by children.

Based on this and other factors such as childrens’ psychosocial needs and developmental milestones, WHO and UNICEF advise the following:

Children aged 5 years and under should not be required to wear masks. This is based on the safety and overall interest of the child and the capacity to appropriately use a mask with minimal assistance.

WHO and UNICEF advise that the decision to use masks for children aged 6-11 should be based on the following factors:

  • Whether there is widespread transmission in the area where the child resides
  • The ability of the child to safely and appropriately use a mask
  • Access to masks, as well as laundering and replacement of masks in certain settings (such as schools and childcare services)
  • Adequate adult supervision and instructions to the child on how to put on, take off and safely wear masks
  • Potential impact of wearing a mask on learning and psychosocial development, in consultation with teachers, parents/caregivers and/or medical providers
  • Specific settings and interactions the child has with other people who are at high risk of developing serious illness, such as the elderly and those with other underlying health conditions

WHO and UNICEF advise that children aged 12 and over should wear a mask under the same conditions as adults, in particular when they cannot guarantee at least a 1-meter distance from others and there is widespread transmission in the area.

What type of mask should children wear?

Children who are in general good health can wear a non-medical or fabric mask. This provides source control, meaning it keeps the virus from being transmitted to others if they are infected and are not aware that they are infected. The adult who is providing the mask should ensure the fabric mask is the correct size and sufficiently covers the nose, mouth and chin of the child.

Children with underlying health conditions such as cystic fibrosis, cancer or immunosuppression, should, in consultation with their medical providers, wear a medical mask. A medical mask controls spreading of the virus and protection to the wearer and is recommended for anyone who is at higher risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19.

How should children wear a mask?

Children should follow the same principles as adults for wearing masks. This includes cleaning hands at least 20 seconds if using an alcohol-based hand rub, or at least 40 seconds if using soap and water, before putting on the mask. Make sure the mask is the right size to cover the nose, mouth and chin. Children should be taught how to wear the mask properly, including not touching the front of the mask and not pulling it under the chin or into their mouth. They should store the mask in a bag or container, and not share the mask with others. `

Should a child wear mask at home?

Any child who has symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 should wear a medical mask, as long as they can tolerate it. The child should be isolated, and medical advice sought as soon as they start to feel unwell, even if symptoms are mild. Family members/caregivers who come within 1-meter of the sick child at home should also wear a mask.

A household member who is sick or has tested positive with the virus that causes COVID-19 should be isolated from everyone else if possible. If the child comes within 1-meter of the sick person at home, the adult and child should wear a medical mask during that time.

Should teachers or other adults working with children wear mask?

In areas where there is widespread transmission, all adults under the age of 60 and who are in general good health should wear fabric masks when they cannot guarantee at least a 1-meter distance from others. This is particularly important for adults working with children who may have close contact with children and one another.

Adults aged 60 or over, or who have any underlying health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes or lung cancer, should wear a medical mask because of their higher risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19.

Should children wear a mask when playing sports or doing physical activities?

Children should not wear a mask when playing sports or doing physical activities, such as running, jumping or playing on the playground, so that it doesn’t compromise their breathing. When organizing these activities for children, it is important to encourage all other critical public health measures: maintaining at least a 1-meter distance from others, limiting the number of children playing together, providing access to hand hygiene facilities and encouraging their use.

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