GUEST POST: Mummy’s little helper – how to break your bad habits

break your bad habits

Break your bad habits

I think being a mum is one of the hardest jobs in the world.  It can be a thankless task most of the time, not that we have our children so they will be grateful.  Throw work, relationships and life into the mix and it can easily get really difficult at times.

When we are tired and life is difficult it can be all to easy to reach for the cake, chocolate, glass of wine and to slip into just not looking after yourself, getting into bad habits.

We all know that when we look after ourselves, we feel better. Exercise, sleep, eating healthy food spending time doing things we love with people we love, can all help, And the great thing is when you feel good, it rubs off on everyone else too. It’s a win win.

Having a child or looking after children can quite rightly take over your life. But when things slip, how do you get back on track?

I am going to bust out some cheesy quotes here, mostly because I love them, but also because they make total sense.

“If you want your life to be different, take action”

Basically, if things aren’t working out for you, do something, anything, then keep trying things until it changes.  It’s not going to change by magic, the fairy godmother isn’t coming, the knight in shining armour is on extended leave (trust me I have been waiting for him too).

Change starts with you

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result”.

This is one of my all time favourites.  Take action, do something, do different things.

Whatever it is you are doing: drinking too much, eating too much rubbish, just not looking after yourself or not doing anything to help yourself.  You can change it.

What is a habit?

A habit is a recurrent, often unconscious pattern of behaviour that is acquired through frequent repetition: Such as getting up early for a short period of time because you have to, but then after a few weeks you wake up early anyway.  Or going to the gym because you need to lose weight, get healthier or fitter.  Initially it’s a struggle and you have to force yourself to go.  However after a few weeks you look forward to it (well sometimes; well maybe that’s going a bit too far!), your body needs to exercise and you notice how good you feel afterwards.

When you manage to master a good habit it feels great and can really make a difference to your life, Take drinking less when you go out. Initially it might feel different, but if you stick to it, week by week it becomes easier to say no, drink soft drinks or maybe even do something different. Especially when you start to feel the benefits.

The thing that most people don’t realise though is that we are in charge of our habits – with some practice that is.  You are in control, you are driver of your own bus. Habits can be managed, you just need to be firm initially to get the habit locked in – don’t give up, be persistent.

Are you a  cause or effect?  Do things just happen to you and you are unsure why? Or are you in charge of your life and habits? Take action, train yourself, be strong, be persistent, don’t give up and before you know it, it will become a good habit and you won’t have to think about it so much.

I know I am making all this sound easy.  But start small.  If it’s exercise you need, then start with 10 minutes a day, do it everyday, until it becomes a habit. If it’s food, cut out one baddy first, do that for a week, then do the next one.

Or even better, make sure you have a healthy breakfast everyday, then move onto lunch and so on.

If its wine o’ clock, then restrict it to special occasions, treat it like a takeaway.  Would you have a takeaway every night? So why are you having a drink?  Alcohol is empty calories and there is nothing of any use in there whatsoever, trust me.

Remember if you feel good everything is easier. It rubs off on the kids, partner and family.  The other win is your kids learn from you, so if they see you living a healthy life (not super perfect) then they learn how to do this.  Be the parent you want your children to be.

Stephanie Chivers is a recognised behaviour change and addictions specialist. For more information, top tips and motivation see her website: www.ichange21.com and connect on Twitter and Facebook.  She is also author of There is no magic button available on Amazon here. 

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