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5 tips for thriving in parenthood!

Parenthood is undeniably a wonderful but challenging phase of life. Amidst the joys, parents may face hurdles preventing them from feeling their best. Difficulties like long days, poor sleep, stress, lack of time, and poorly children often get in the way of optimising your own health. When life gets hectic, your own health and wellness can often slip down the priority list. Its crucial to remember – you are important too.

By focusing on 5 key areas, you will see, thriving in parenthood really is possible!

1. Prioritise sleep

Disrupted sleep may be unavoidable during certain stages of parenthood, especially the early days. By prioritising the quality of your sleep you can support your body more effectively. Research has found poor sleep quality is linked to fatigue and irritiability.1 Having adequate energy is essential when you are on the go all day with little ones. Pay close attention to the areas that can positively impact your sleep quality; morning sunlight exposure, limit screen time in the evenings, keep caffeine intake to mornings only, support blood sugar balance, and assess if your sleep environment is supportive to good sleep.

2. Immune support

To feel great, a well-functioning immune system is key! As a parent, you are often exposed to various illnesses as your little ones immune systems develop. Did you know that 70% of the immune system is located in the gut? Addressing your gut health is a great way to support a robust immune system. Kefir is full of live beneficial microbes to support your microbiome and immune system to work more effectively. Kefir has a modulatory effect on the immune system2, keeping it in a state of balance. For immune support, we recommend a synbiotic approach, combining Kefir and Complete Prebiotic – the perfect duo to support the beneficial bacteria to flourish! Incorporating nutrient dense foods into your daily diet will also support optimal micronutrient intake and avoid nutritional deficiencies.

3. Mood-boosting foods

Certain foods contain important mood-boosting nutrients. Regularly incorporating these foods into your diet can support mood and overall wellbeing. Three nutrients that pack a mood-boosting-punch include; omega 3 fatty acids, probiotic-rich foods, and antioxidants.

  • Omega-3 fatty acids – There are three types of omega-3 fats; Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA), and Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). These fatty acids are essential, meaning your body cannot make them and you need to consume them through your diet. Increased omega-3 intake has been associated with a decrease in anxiety-related symptoms.3 For symptoms associated with depression EPA has been found to be the most supportive omega-3 fatty acid.4 Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids include salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel, anchovies, flaxseeds, chia seeds, and walnuts.
  • Probiotic rich-foods – refer to foods rich in microbes, that are beneficial to your microbiome. The gut and brain are closely linked via the gut-brain axis. Supporting the microbiome can have a regulatory effect on the central nervous system.5 Probiotic-rich foods include kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, miso and tempeh.
  • Antioxidants – Antioxidants are compounds that provide protection against free radicals. Free radicals are reactive and unstable, with the ability to cause damage to the body. If free radicals accumulate this results in oxidative stress6 Antioxidants can be found in abundance in natural, whole foods. Consuming a variety of colourful fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains, nuts, seeds, herbs and spices can ensure that your antioxidant intake is sufficient. Studies indicate that increased antioxidant intake may improve symptoms of anxiety and depression7

4. Exercise

Did you know, a lack of sleep can cause a range of negative effects on the body; including mood and memory issues? Exercise can be a great tool for parents, as it has a protective role against the negative effects of sleep deprivation.8 Physical activity may feel like the last thing you want to do when you are a tired parent but by finding an exercise you enjoy, you will be on your way to a happier, healthier you! At-home workouts can be a great option for time-poor parents, there’s lots of free online resources.

5. Meditation

Incorporating a regular meditation practise can be a great addition to your life, especially for parents who may struggle with increased levels of stress and anxiety. Meditation can help regulate the stress response.9 This allows you to manage your stress better, keeping overwhelm at bay. Calm and Headspace are great apps for guided meditations, this can provide the support you need when you are new to your meditation journey. Starting with as little as five minutes a day can really help incorporate meditation into a busy schedule. Find a time of day that suits you, this could be during your child’s nap time or as part of your morning or bed time routine. Check out How is your mental wellness connected to your gut?

By focusing on the these 5 key areas, wellness amid the chaos of parenting can feel manageable even for the busiest of parents! For more family nutrition inspiration, check out How to sneak healthy foods into your family’s diet

Any questions? Contact one of our Nutritional Therapists via live chat, weekdays from 8am to 8pm.


Questions? Talk to a Nutritional Therapist on live chat!

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