Stress is a normal part of human life.  We thrive and grow under a certain balance of stress but you are probably aware that Motherhood can throw the balance into over drive.  I don’t have to tell you that stress WILL take its toll emotionally & physically


When you get stressed do you start to take less care of yourself?  Does exercise go by the way side and bottom of the priority list? Do you start to eat poorly? Do you get moody & emotional?


When it comes to exercise, most people under exercise when stress takes control but there is also the extreme of people who overexercise when they are stressed (being a time poor Mum, I am assuming most of you are not the later!)


You know the benefits of exercise right? Improved energy, endorphin boost & clear headed.  So why is it, when we are stressed we do less of it?


Finding a balance within the realms of motherhood is challenging.  It is not a fixed equation and something you always need to reassess.


I noticed stress creeping into my life from being an overly busy Mum.  Too many activities, commitments, growing my business, swimming lessons and Yip, exercise was suffering too.  How can this be? I am a trainer, I love to move, its my thing.. but the Mum guilt & managing priorities can become a hazy cloud.


One of the best bits of parenting advice I ever got from my Mum was ‘You will never regret spending too much time with your kids’.  This always rings in my head & is such a priority for me.  I had to change something because although my kids were always with me, when I became a stressed Mum it didn’t make me a fun/intuative/nurturing Mum


I had this moment of wanting to be Super Woman, but I noticed I was becoming the Mum I didn’t want to be. I was getting snappy with the kids and the kids were responding to our stressful life with more whinging!


So things changed quickly.  We dropped commitments, rearrange priorities and now have this amazing sense of being able to breathe through the week.  I enjoy being with my kids.  Walking slowly.  Looking at every leaf on the ground.  Move more as a family.  Maintain the vision & actions of a healthy active family.


So what should you do, when you can’t drop a commitment, you want to exercise more to reap those insanely good benefits and be the Mum you want to be?


  1. Write down 5 things you love about exercise or how you feel after you exercise. Next time you are convincing yourself that you should do something else instead of exercise, I want you to look at this list and mind yourself how much you want and need these 5 things right now.
  2. Plan your exercise earlier in the day. Then it is done and your endorphin boost will keep you going through stressful situations that approach you that day.  Once witching hour hits at your house it is easy to see how exercise gets bumped further and further down the priority list.  You can multi task your exercise by having a walking Mothers group catch up, walking to the shops instead of driving, playing games WITH the kids or squatting while you brush your teeth
  3. Find something you love so you have something to look forward. Even if you hate all forms of exercise, keep trying different things until you do.
  4. Don’t take life too seriously. When sh*t gets tense, my husband and I have a ‘Lemon face, Lion Face’ moment.  Sounds ridiculous right… but we stand in the kitchen and pull faces at each other until we laugh.

Philippa Bowman
Pre/Postnatal Fitness Expert & Founder of Nurtured Fitness

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