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There is only one YOU

There is only one YOU

As a mum, we are pulled in so many directions. We have to support our kids physically with cooking, making lunches and being a slave to the snack - then there are their emotional needs which are forever changing.  After that comes household, partner and then finally comes our needs. Now this isn’t a blog to be ‘poor us’ it's about reminding us mums that we do alot for everyone and sometimes we forget to look after us but the thing is, if our bucket is depleted how are we going to fill others buckets.


At the start of the month I stepped away from all of this and headed down to Wilsons Promontory National Park (if you have followed me for a while you will know that this is one of my favourite places in the world. I feel very connected and grounded down there.) I joined ‘Women’s Nutrition & Hiking Retreat’ organised by Amanda from Holistic Hikes and Alison from Alison Tehan Nutrition. It meant 3 days/ 2 nights away being mindful, learning about nutrition, eating nutritionally balanced food and definitely experiencing things that I wouldn’t normally.


This was my first time away from the boys, by myself and not doing work. Patty is 7 now so it’s been a long time. I limited my phone usage and really surrendered myself in the magic of this weekend. There were 11 women who attended and I only knew 2 and that was just from a couple of work catch ups and functions. I arrived late on Friday night because in true ‘me style’ I accidentally took the car and house keys in my handbag and had to drive back to meet up with the hubby and kids to give them to them.


Once I finally got to Wilson’s Prom I have to say I felt very uncomfortable. Why? I walked into the room, everyone was waiting and they were all ‘hikers’. They had the look, the style and they all had a friend with them.  I was there in my running/ activewear and felt very out of place. I completely judged myself and the other women before getting to know them.


Before sitting down for dinner we all went for a night walk down to Norman beach and stood with our feet in the sand, no torches on, looking up at the most amazing star filled sky and at that moment I gave myself a break. I told myself that just because I don’t hike or never done this before didn’t mean I couldn’t. I have no doubt that this is something all of us have done at one time or another. We walk into a room and judge others or ourselves without actually looking at the purpose of why we are there. We judge the book by the cover not what is inside 


The weekend ended up being one of the most energising weekends I have had. I challenged myself physically by walking 21.5km on Saturday. This was part of 3 walks over the day -  all with their own bit of magic from the different scenery. We did nutritional and value workshops that opened my eyes to a few things within my life that aren’t connecting but can be easily changed.


Sunday we woke before sunrise and headed to the water for an ocean sunrise swim. To put it into context the beach we went to I frequently go to with the family in summer and don’t normally go in because of how cold it is. The experience of cold water ocean swimming wasn’t just about jumping in, we had to practice our deep breathing and how to control our reaction that our body when it feels cold. Then came the moment, we all walked down and dived under the waves and WOW!!! It was cold. I could feel my body saying ‘what are you doing and wanting to hold me breathe but i continued to breathe deep. In my nose and out my mouth (similar to what you are told to do in labour) and to my surprise my body did relax. This act of deep breathing can be used when feeling stressed and overwhelmed and I will definitely be using it.


By the end of the weekend I was ready to come home to my boys but felt so grateful having had the chance to experience such a beautiful weekend with amazing women.


What I learnt:

  • I need to give myself a break and do something that recharges my batteries.
  • I need to fuel my body better. Every morning I think about what I am putting in the boys lunches but then I forget about myself. So when it comes to lunch time I am always just grabbing whatever I can. 
  • I discovered that I don’t like that I am pulled in so many directions (kids, business and life) and not being able to give 100% to what I am doing.
  • Values. It was really good to stop and look at what I value in my life and with my family.

What I am going to change moving forward:

  • I am going to start scheduling my time better. Working from home and having the younger boys with me makes it hard but if I can make ‘work hours’  I can then put my phone and laptop down I can engage and connect with my family.
  • It's ok to step away from my kids, business and life and work on me. Funny enough the kids and hubby survived without me.
  • I'm going to start thinking about the food I cook and how it will nourish and fuel my body. Be more prepared with making extras and freezing it so I have snacks and lunch ready.
  • I'm going to focus on my core values and really try to focus on them.
  • I'm going to stop and breathe.

You may look at all of this and think ‘too hard basket’, ‘I'm too busy’ but the thing is it's not about changing everything at once but it's about starting the process of feeling good and to think about YOU. There is only one YOU. One YOU and if you aren’t functioning at your full potential then how are you meant to give and share with others. If you bucket is low and depleted how are you meant to fill others?


So my challenge to you this week is to plan to do ONE thing just for you




Jessica Haley

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