I’m super excited to have Miriam on the blog today to take part in this month’s #SelfCareDiaries interview.
Miriam is a hypnobirthing expert and hosts courses, events and shares her wisdom to instil confidence in parents from birth and beyond. Read on as she shares her wealth of knowledge on her self care routine, tools that help her, the importance of breathing and how she makes time for herself as a busy mum with a business.
What does self care mean to you?
Recognising when I’m not connected to myself, my children and the world around me. When life seems to be passing me by and I’m not noticing it, I take stock and reset. The two go hand-in-hand; once you learn to respect and acknowledge the importance of self-awareness, the happier you can be. To quote Suzy Reading, “Self care is healthcare”.
Do you have any self care rituals/practices that really anchor your day?
Yes, I have quite a few! Breathing is so important to me. Learning HOW to breathe has been a total game-changer for me as a mother. As a hypnobirthing teacher, I teach women how to breathe during labour but it’s also an invaluable tool to take through with you into motherhood too. Recognising the importance of oxygenating the cells in your body and lowering your stress hormones can make all the difference to any situation.
I also drink a lot of herbal tea throughout the day. There’s something so nourishing about preparing and drinking a little bit of nature! I love choosing the tea I feel in the mood for (we have an array of different flavours in our house). It’s a moment to ask myself how I’m feeling – am I in the mood for something to awaken the senses or to calm, or something to cleanse and renew. That’s self-care right there and takes the time needed to boil the kettle.
Yoga is very important to me and totally transformed my life after postnatal depression came into my life. At the end of the day, I’ll try to fit in some yoga practice at home, if the children’s bedtime routine will allow (!). I also get to at least two yoga classes a week – I prioritise this under ‘essential’. I’m usually in bed by 9pm most nights, unless I’m teaching, and I’ll spend 10 minutes every night writing my gratitude list and journalling. It really helps me to clear my mind and process the day I’ve had. I feel like my mind is clear and calm ready for sleep. I then read a page or two from my In The Moment or Breathe magazine which I just adore – it’s something for me and feels like a real treat.
What does your morning routine look like?
My children are early risers (5:30am is standard!) so, before self-care became a big part of my life, it would be really easy for me to wake up with them, head downstairs, make a coffee and mundanely browse instagram until it was a respectable time to start the day. This needed to change. It was a dreadful way to start the day – both physically and mentally. So, now, before I go to sleep, I put my phone on airplane mode and leave a large glass of water by the side of my bed.
When my children climb all over me at 5:30am, rather than grab the phone and head downstairs, I put a drop of doTERRA lemon essential oil in my water and drink it slowly. The lemon oil cleanses and detoxifies the body and gives me a beautiful uplifted feeling. I’ll then head downstairs (the phone stays upstairs until we leave the house for the day), and I make myself a ginger & green tea. Whilst the kettles boils, I take 10 deep breaths to awaken the senses and oxygenate every cell in the body. This also helps my body dispel sleep-induced toxins. Try it for yourself: Stand with your arms by your sides. Inhale deeply through your nose, slowly bringing your arms up over your head and your palms to touch, then pull up on your toes, as far off the ground as possible. Hold the breath for the count of five. Slowly exhale through the nose, releasing all the breath, slowly lowering your arms to your sides and replacing your heels to the ground. Repeat 10 times.
When I take my shower each morning I will set my intention for the day. Do I want today to be full of joy? Do I want to feel connected? Do I want to feel calm? It’s a great way to give focus and positivity to your day. As well as the water, herbal tea and deep breathing, I also make sure I have ten minutes to myself if I can get it. If that means putting on the TV for the kids whilst I get ready then so be it. I’ll always put a podcast on whilst I’m getting dressed – there’s always a nugget of wisdom that I’ll hear to take me through the day. I love The Motherkind, Happy Place, Practical Magic, The Guilty Feminist, Mothering The Mother.
How do you make time for self care?
Before I became a mother, I never saw self-care as a priority. Now it is. I’Il prioritise it every day – whether it’s a few breaths, putting an essential oil in the diffuser or taking myself off to a yoga class (even if i’m exhausted and not feeling in the mood. I’ve never regretted going to a class…ever!).
During a challenging point in your life what key things got you through?
Communicating with those close to me. It’s so important to remember that you don’t have to battle on alone. Those people can make sure you then prioritise yourself more. Sometimes we need that reassurance that it’s OK to put ourselves up there with our children’s needs.
What’s in your self care toolkit? Which items bring you the most comfort?
Number one would be cuddles with my children – if you want to release lots of the happy hormone then nothing else comes close! Then it’s yoga and doTERRA essential oils. They both invite me to tune in, listen to how my body is feeling and ask what it needs. We have a diffuser in most of the rooms in our house! Whether we’re lifting moods, balancing emotions or boosting immune systems, there’s always a diffuser on! I also love to wear my AromaLove London diffuser jewellery so I have my oils “diffusing” wherever I am. I carry 5-6 oils in my handbag so I can call on them when needed throughout the day. I’ll put a drop in the palm of my hand and breathe in deeply three times. It’s amazing the effect this can have on me whilst I’m in the midst of softplay madness!!
What quote really resonates with you and why?
Goodness, I have so many! I love a good quote! Today this one is really resonating for me; “Nothing can dim the light that shines from within”. I also love Suzy Reading’s quote “It’s not me first, it’s me as well”.
What are you currently working on? Anything that you would like to share?
We have some exciting things happening in 2019! At Parent Tribe, we’re not only passionate about all things birth, but we also care deeply about preparing and supporting women as they adapt to the fourth trimester…and beyond. From May 2019, we’ll be hosting workshops and events to bring you the most empowered and connected experience to parenthood – from pregnancy, birth, mothering, and all the pursuits of your passions and wellbeing alongside it all. Whatever stage you’re at, we want to bring you closer to your inner connection with yourself and reveal to you your own brilliance and capacity. To be the first to find out about our events, sign up to our newsletter via the website.
If you’re pregnant, we run FREE hypnobirthing taster sessions every six weeks in Surrey. Head over to the website for all our upcoming course dates, taster sessions and essential oil workshops.
Also, if you’re struggling to fit self care into your daily routine check out my recent blog post with 10 Ideas To Practice Self Care In Under 10 Minutes and check out these Smartphone Apps to Supercharge Your Wellbeing. Do let me know if you try any of them as I would love to hear what you think and how they made you feel.