We all know that wellness is important for living your healthiest life, but sometimes things get in the way of making that a priority. Take motherhood, for example. Last month, we asked our Instagram followers what they struggled with most in terms of wellness as a mom or mother-figure, and the responses were fascinating; fascinating in the sense that we, as moms and mother-figures, have all gone or are going through similar - if not, the same - experiences. And since we are about building community, we gathered the top five mentioned motherhood wellness struggles and asked three of our favorite clean living brand founders for their real, honest advice. Keep reading to hear from our founder, Indie Lee; Nicole Rice, doula and co-founder of Countertop; and Lauren Kleban, celebrity trainer and founder of LEKFIT.
1. As a mom, planning - and actually eating - balanced, healthy meals has never been more difficult. Do you have any advice on doing so both for myself and my family?
Indie Lee: This is always a tough one for me, especially when I travel. The key to success here is planning. We make sure the fridge and freezer is full of healthy food and ingredients so we have options. It’s also definitely easier when the greenhouse is full of fresh veggies to pull from.
Nicole Rice: Use Countertop Golden Butter to cook proteins and vegetables, or start a soup. Kitchari is also a wonderful, plant-based meal that everyone needs to add into their weekly meal rotation.
Lauren Kleban: I want to empower women to know that they don’t have to sacrifice delicious, healthy, and nourishing meals while juggling family, a career, and everything in between. Making a conscious effort to have healthy and readily available food options is super beneficial to all, and mindful eating doesn’t require elaborate meals made from scratch every single time. Instead, I focus on having fresh produce and high-quality protein, like fish and meat, always stocked in my fridge. I also think taking advantage of various grocery apps and affordable, on-demand shopping options to have high-quality ingredients delivered direct to your doorstep is helpful for moms. It allows me to spend more time with my family while ensuring we’re always stocked with healthy meal options.
2. I want to exercise, but I can’t find the time! How can I squeeze in a workout during the chaos of the day?
IL: I know intuitively it’s about making it a priority and finding time. I’ll be honest, this is an area that I need to start making a priority.
NR: Take the stairs, park a few blocks from appointments, do some squats while you're on hold on the phone! It’s the little things that add up.
LK: Rid yourself of the mentality that you need to go to a physical gym or studio for a workout. Instead, get your workout done at home! LEKFIT Digital offers our same best-in-class, in-studio experience, all in the comfort of your home, on the go, in your hotel room during business travel, and more!
3. Being sleep-deprived is my new normal. What can I do to feel more rested (or even get more sleep)?
IL: Sleep is a priority for me. I know if I don’t get enough zzz my immune system starts to weaken significantly. I try and shut down for the day at a decent hour and build in time to relax at the end of a busy day. My meditation practice has also done wonders for me.
NR: Eat things that are easier on your digestion and make sure you add in spices that can really help with that. Plus, meditation has been proven to act like sleep on the brain - 10 minutes of good meditation can feel like a two-hour nap.
LK: Always make self-care and sleep your number one priority. You’re not being selfish - if you’re not taking care of yourself, you can’t properly care for anyone else. Rest assured knowing you don’t need to completely overhaul your life to do this, but that incremental changes can make all the difference. For example, set (and adhere to!) a time when you stop answering texts, emails, Slack messages, and social media. Most of these digital things can be tended to the following day with a refreshed mind and fresh perspective. Also, do what feels best for you! There isn’t one universal rule of thumb for self-care - listening to your body and mind is the ultimate indicator.
4. I am always feeling overwhelmed. What are your favorite ways to deal with stress?
IL: I meditate twice daily (morning and night), take hikes with my pups or bestie, and journal. I also like to apply our new I-Recover Mind & Body Gel on my temples to help relieve tension. It has incredible soothing and aromatherapeutic properties.
NR: Adding in Countertop Happy Honey to tea or hot water gives you support from adaptogens; these can really help [when you feel] overwhelmed.
LK: I make sure to sweat every day, as I view fitness just as much of a workout for the mind as it is for the body. To unwind, I take a hot Epsom salt bath and use my Indie Lee I-Recover Body Soak as a nightly ritual. I also schedule regular massages to help decompress, and mitigate the effects of working out.
5. With so many other people to take care of, my self-care constantly gets put on the back burner. How can I make sure I am taking time for myself?
IL: Baby steps. I think we feel that it needs to be this big effort, when in truth, a short walk, listening to relaxing tunes, or even reading a book of choice for 15 minutes can make a huge difference. I’d argue you will be more productive if you take those few moments for yourself.
NR: Schedule it in. Sometimes we have to make sure we schedule our self-care in just like dentist and doctor appointments.
LK: I think we as women, especially new moms, put so much pressure on ourselves to constantly take care of other people and put their needs first. I remember feeling so guilty leaving my kids when they were babies to get anything done for myself. The great thing is that there are many ways and opportunities to get your family, friends, and loved ones to be a part of your own self-care rituals, making them that much more impactful and rewarding. For example, my children are six and four now, and self-care is something we do together. We love visiting our favorite, non-toxic nail salon, tenoverten, for manis and pedis, and we have a nightly routine to read books together, talk about the day’s events, and slowly relax before bedtime.