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Simple steps to organize your family with easy routines

bucket of cleaning equipment | family-routines

Being a mum is like taking on multiple demanding careers… You’re a chef, cleaner, Uber driver, events coordinator, teacher and basically anything else your family needs. It’s no wonder that your to-do list feels never-ending and you fall on the couch exhausted at the end of each day!

I used to feel just like this too… until I learnt how to unbusy myself. Unbusying yourself isn’t about giving up important things, it’s about prioritizing, delegating and looking after your own needs. 
You’ll need to evaluate and develop your family routine so you aren’t left doing all the work. Routines can take some effort to create. But once you’ve set them up, they have lots of benefits like:
    • Feeling organised and in control
    • Reduced stress
    • Sharing the workload
    • No more exhaustion
  • Extra time for yourself and the things you love
Convinced it’s time to create or review your family routines? Let’s break it down…

What are your families routines?

Routines are how families organize themselves to get things done, spend time together and have fun. Every family has its own unique routines. Your family might have daily routines for work and school mornings, bath time, bedtime and mealtimes. You might also have weekly routines for washing, cleaning, meal preparation and calendar organisation. A well-run routine helps family members know who needs to do what, when, and how often.  Daily, weekly and even monthly routines develop with repetition and practice.

mum doing chores | family-routines

Why are routines so important for children?

Routines let your children know what’s important to your family. These can help strengthen your shared beliefs and values and build a sense of belonging and togetherness. 

An organised and predictable home environment helps children and teenagers feel safe, secure and looked after- particularly in stressful times or during difficult stages of development, like puberty. Routines can be extremely useful for children with Autism, ADD, ADHD and other developmental delays. These children thrive with structure and predictability. 

Routines can be really fun! They help strengthen family relationships and increase quality time spent together. Routines have created special memories in my family. Both my children still love a story being read to them at bedtime and my son also enjoys going for a hot chocolate and lemon tart after playing football on a Saturday morning. 

It can be tricky to get your kids to keep up with household chore routines, but it’s hugely beneficial. It helps children and teenagers develop a sense of responsibility, independence, and time management skills. They’ll continue to use these skills throughout their life. My children select a new age-appropriate chore at the beginning of each year to add to their routine. My son’s new chore this year is to put up a new affirmation card on a Friday, whereas my daughter cooks something over the weekend to have in their lunchboxes. 

boy selecting affirmation | family-routines

Family Routines to start with…

Meal planning: Getting ahead of weekly meals saves you time, energy and money. Having routines around meals allows you to simplify the shopping process, food preparation and dinner time.

House maintenance: There are lots of small household routines that can be shared with the whole family. These routines help to reduce clutter and keep our homes organised so that everyone is more productive and less stressed.

Clothing: How else will you have clean clothes to wear each day? A clothes routine means less running around trying to get school/work clothes dry at the last minute! 

Activities: Caring for children involves routines like school lunches, helping with homework, after school activities, driving, and waiting and helping at activities. Following a routine makes all these extra activities feel like second nature!

children’s lunchbox | family-routines
Photo credit -www.therootcause.com.au

Errands: It can sometimes feel like there are hundreds of little errands every week like shopping, appointments and projects. Creating and sharing an errand routine makes it much more manageable.

Caring: There’s caring for pets, keeping up the families hygiene/washing, providing support for everyone and all that self-care like exercise, grooming and downtime. Sound like a lot? Not when it’s developed into a routine.

Ready to get started?

I suggest you select one area of routines to start with. Review how they are going after a fortnight and make minor tweaks before moving onto the next.

If you feel like you can never stay on top of things and are always frantically trying to keep up with that never-ending to-do list, my “Unbusy Checklist” will be a lifesaver. In just a few minutes, you can map out your family’s entire routines so that you know exactly who needs to do what and when… no more nights of you falling on the couch exhausted from doing it ALL.

Missed a post? You can check out my other Simply Happy blog posts like ‘Get your family organised with a command centre’ HERE.

Which family routine do you want to work on? Let me know in the comments!

Simple tips to make family meal planning easy

Meal planner | meal-planning-tips | meal - planning |

How often do you find yourself last-minute scrambling to find something good for your family’s dinner? 

Finding a healthy and manageable family dinner routine can seem impossible at times. However, with just a little bit of organisation and variety, dinner time can be a whole lot easier. My simple tips for family meal planning will save you money, time and energy; leaving the dinner time scramble a thing of the past.

Fresh is best

Planning your meals in advance gives you the time to provide healthy, fresh and delicious food! Your growing kids need a variety of healthy foods to get all the essential nutrients that help them grow up healthy and happy. Last minute dinners usually end up being ‘convenience foods’ of basic carbs, minimal fresh veggies or unhealthy take-away. The more time you spend meal planning, the more time you have to make a great dinner.

Food preparation | meal-planning Photo credit www.tastesofhome.com

Saves money

All this healthy and fresh food sounds expensive doesn’t it? Nope! Planned meals are so much cheaper than take-away, eating out or last-minute meals. My favorite money saving trick is to batch cook healthy meals and freeze extra portions. This means I only have to shop once a week for staples and fresh food, and once a month for meat. When I go to the shops with a mission, I don’t add extra items to my trolley. I end up saving so much money!

More time

Time is one of the biggest benefits of meal planning. Batch cooking means you get to have nights off. No supermarket trips. No cooking. No dishes. With all the other hundreds of errands mums have to run every week, it feels great to know dinner is sorted. You might even get to have a little time left for yourself. 

Decrease mental load

Without realizing it, if you haven’t planned dinner, you’ll spend a lot of your day with the stress of dinner in the back of your mind. Having a plan decreases your mental overload, and gives you one less thing to think about during a busy day.

Healthy habits 

Creating a meal plan gives you and your family consistency and routine. Over time this will cement healthy habits for you and your kids. Your family will be more likely to eat together, and the kids will be encouraged to be involved in the meal process. Meal time = family time!

How to meal plan

It doesn’t have to be complicated. There are a number of different strategies, but I like to plan over a whole month. I’d recommend you start with a week and grow from there. These are the 5 steps I recommend:

    1. Have each family member select four favorite meals for a month. This allows them to be involved and excited for dinners.
    2. Select a theme for each day of the week, like Italian, Asian, one pot meal or BBQ. This reduces decision fatigue while creating variety.
    3. Add all events to the calendar, including extra curricular activities, sports, appointments and anything that might change meal requirements or cooking time.
    4. Put your families favourite meal selections under the appropriate themes. 
  1. Finally, fill in other meals for the rest of the month, making sure to have variety in nutrition.

Writing meal plan | meal-planning Photo credit – https://blog.adventisthealthcare.com

Tricks to save time

Recipes in one spot

In addition to following a meal plan, start by keeping your recipes organised. It doesn’t matter if you prefer books, online or family recipes; keeping all your favorite recipes in the one spot will make meal prep easier. I’ve started to use the app Paprika to organize my favorite recipes. It’s great!

On line groceries

Using the wonders of internet and apps are great tricks. Why not try doing your grocery shopping online? This saves time, and stops you spending money on eye-catching food in store. You only buy what you need. You don’t even have to pay delivery as Click n Collect is free to pick up. You can even save lists on your account for next time, make ordering really easy each week. 

Love your freezer

The best trick is to love your freezer! Freezers allow you to keep food fresh and save big batch cooks for weeks to come. I make time every weekend to do a big batch of cooking. This helps me get ahead with meal preparation so on the nights we’re home late, a healthy dinner is already organised, ready and waiting. Batch cooking sure beats making a big mess in the kitchen every night (dishes, argh!). It also saves time so I can be more present with my kids.

Batch cooking | meal-planningPhoto credit – http://www.denisegaylord.com/batch-cooking/

See, cooking isn’t so overwhelming when you’re prepared with meal ideas! A little extra time preparing will save you SO much time in the long run.

If you enjoyed these meal planning tips, but feel like there’s never enough hours in the day to implement them then download 8 Simple Steps to UNBUSY Yourself and share the load WITHOUT letting anyone down.

Missed a post? You can check out my other Simply Happy blog posts like ‘Get your family organised with a command centre’ HERE.

Which meal planning trick do you think could work for you? Let me know in the comments!

How you can benefit from restful Yoga Nidra

Women doing yoga nidra | yoga-nidra-benefits

Did you know that activities like reading, gardening, catching up with friends, yoga and walking are all active forms of self-care? These activities will NURTURE parts of your body, mind and spirit but they don’t allow your nervous system to slow down and to return to your basic 90 minute rest-activity cycle. 

As a mum, your entire way of being is focused on making sure everyone else is okay first. Right? You race between work, school pick up and after-school activities. You grab a coffee or sugar fix to get you through. The thing to keep in mind is that if you continue down the path of consistently overriding your rest-activity cycle you’ll burn out and not be able to support those around you. 

Over a year a go I started to practice Yoga Nidra, a form of mediation. I needed the rest so I could better support my family after my son’s autism diagnosis. I listen to a recording before I go to sleep each night. Sometimes, I fall asleep and other times I feel like I’ve fallen asleep but wake up right at the end. I feel less exhausted at the end of each day from regularly listening and are able to enjoy time with your family and be more present.

What is Yoga Nidra?

Yoga Nidra is a sleep-based, conscious guided meditation in which your mind is still active. Your body sleeps while your mind is awake taking in the guided instructions. It’s complete REST for both your mind and body. You get all the benefits of meditation as well as sleep. 

Don’t let the word yoga put you off. There are no yoga poses. You’re lying in a comfortable position and covered with a blanket. So there’s really nothing stopping you from giving it a go.

Casa Yoga Geelong | yoga-nidra-benefits

Benefits of Yoga Nidra

Relax the brain 

Your breathing in Yoga Nidra practice triggers the relaxation response. Your brain is guided to a delta brain-wave state where organs are regenerate and stress hormone cortisol is removed. 

Reduce stress

In the practice of Yoga Nidra meditation, your nervous system is calmed and your thoughts slowed down. The hormone serotonin is released to help you feel more relaxed and reduce anxiety and depression. 

Create positive thoughts

During Yoga Nidra meditation we use an intention (sankalpa). It’s a positive statement or affirmation for yourself. Like ‘I am rested’ or ‘I am loved’. Your subconscious mind is very receptive when the body is relaxed and clears the nerve pathways to the brain to accept your intention.

Improved Sleep

Practicing Yoga Nidra for just 20-minutes is equivalent rest for your body to an extra 2 hours of sleep. Getting to sleep and staying asleep is also improved with a regular Yoga Nidra practice. 

Women sleeping |yoga-nidra-benefits

Better health

Yoga Nidra lowers your core body temperature which helps reduce inflammation. A lower body temperature helps with autoimmune diseases, allergies and other inflammation-related conditions. It’s also been found to lower cholestrol, improve symptoms associated with diabetes and improve hormonal function.

It’s easy to make excuses to avoid rest, especially when you have young kids. I hope these benefits will encourage you to take some time to try Yoga Nidra so that your body and mind have a chance to rest.
Download my 15 minute Yoga Nidra recording HERE
If you live in Geelong, I’m running a Yoga Nidra course over 8 weeks in term 4. Click HERE for more details. Maybe you’re interested holding Yoga Nidra sessions at your school, workplace, mothers group or community group. Contact me HERE and I’ll help you tailor something to meet your needs.
Which benefit motivates you to try Yoga Nidra?

Missed a post? You can check out my other Simply Happy blog posts like ‘How your family can benefit from you taking some time out’ HERE.

Winter holiday activities for kids without spending a fortune

Winter holiday activities | Boy using scratch junior app on a ipad
School holidays are here again! That means it’s time once again to organize endless fun activities or put up with that constant, “I’m bored mum!” As I mum, I know how exhausting this can be. This time of year the weather is dreadful and fun indoor activities can be expensive. Simply sticking your kids with gadgets and technology is not ideal for long periods of time, but what other alternatives are there?
Don’t worry, there are actually HEAPS of fun creative ways to keep your kids entertained AND learning this winter holidays. First things first, set up a ‘Bored Jar’. Get your kids to fill up a jar with suggestions of fun activities and every time they say “I’m bored”, pick out a suggestion and give it a go! Check out my Holiday Ideas Pinterest board for ideas. If that doesn’t work, I’ve got plenty more ideas…

Winter Holiday Activities-

Literacy & Numeracy at home

The learning doesn’t stop on holidays, it just becomes more fun! And nothing is more fun, stimulating and delicious than a good winter baking session. Cooking encourages your kids to use numeracy skills through measuring, and literacy skills through reading recipes. Cooking is also a life-long skill they will thank you for one day. Here are some recipes and fun activities that you can download from The Root Cause.

Once you’ve finished in the kitchen, crack open the board games, puzzles, cards and dice. Games encourage cooperation, problem solving and a love of numbers. They are also great value for money because they can be used time and time again, and be modified for adults and children. Invite some friends, or get the whole family involved!

Winter Holiday activity | Girl cooking in the kitchen

Get creative

Think back to all those fun science experiments you did as a child. Science teaches your kids about the world around them. It’s fascinating and fun! Try making your own play dough, kinetic sand, slime or bath bombs are great science experiments that your kids will love making and using afterwards. More fun science ideas here or you can even download my Bath Bliss Activity Booklet with 10 fun-filled pages that teach your kids about the world of science.

Children creating science experiments

If science experiments are a bit too messy for you, there are heaps of other creative activities to try. Got a bunch of old boxes lying around? Turn them into a cubby house!! Use large boxes or furniture to help make your kids a super cool hide-out. It’s a creative AND skill building. It’s also a great way to reuse old things lying around the house like towels and blankets. Just remember to pack up after! 

Holidays are always a good time for arts and crafts, and kids LOVE drawing. Instead of spending a fortune buying craft supplies that hardly get used, use technology to search how to draw your kid’s favourite things, and follow the online tutorial. Unicorn Pixel Art and Color Therapy are also great free apps that your kids will enjoy using. 

Be a creator

Coding helps to turn your kids from a consumer into a creator. Platforms such as Scratch & Scratch Junior on the iPad are free and come with self-directed tutorials. Your kids can create their own games and stories, so they learn to think creatively and understand systems.

I also absolutely love the online learning website ABCya. Kids get to practice a range of digital technology skills like basic keyboard skills and coding. There are also games to practice numeracy and literacy skills. Anything that is fun and helps with learning is always a bonus! I’ve also put together all my favourite websites in one place on a Scoop.it page. It’s a great way to save all your websites in one place.

See, holidays aren’t so overwhelming when you’re prepared with ideas. So set up that Bored Jar, fill it with all these ideas (and more), and maybe you can get to relax and have fun on school holidays too! 
Which idea do you think your kids would love? Let me know in the comments!

Organisational tips to support your families immunity in winter

Womens hands holding a cup to keep warm
It’s that dreaded time of year again- cold and flu season.
Every mum knows the feeling when a cold or the flu hits the family. It can spread so quickly and causes chaos to your already busy schedule. Unfortunately, you can’t always avoid it. Viruses are a part of life. However, a little preparation can improve your bodies immunity in winter! Follow my organisational tips to support your families immunity this winter and beat that dreaded winter slump! First, let’s understand a bit more about winter viruses…

Organisational tips to boost your families immunity this winter |Simple ways mums can beat the winter slump with some organisation and planning.|https://simplyhappy.com.au/winter immunity/Photo by Pixabay.com

Why we get more viruses in winter?

It’s more than just cold weather. In Winter we escape the outside weather and retreat indoors with heaters. The heaters circulate air around the room, sharing the viruses and germs between people. Viruses are also very sensitive to UV light. In summer, the UV zaps the virus away, so without all that glorious UV in winter, there are more viruses to catch. Summer’s got more than just powerful UV. There’s also a gene responsible for slowing down the body’s response to inflection that is more active in the warmer months. You can see how colds and viruses are almost inevitable in winter. But, there are a few things you can do to reduce the odds of catching one…

Love your gut

Gut health is the go-to for healthy immunity! It’s easy to fill your gut with probiotics and other goodies that build up your body’s strength and boost your bodies immunity in winter. Fermented foods contain probiotics and encourage the growth of good bacteria for a healthy gut. They help to eliminate toxins and boost your immune system. Fermented foods and drinks will decrease inflammation in your gut, improving your overall gut function. Think sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, pickled vegetables, gelatin jelly and even the gelatine in homemade stock to add to your families weekly food and drink routine. Easy done!

Organisational tips to boost your families immunity this winter |Simple ways mums can beat the winter slump with some organisation and planning.|https://simplyhappy.com.au/winter immunity/Photo credit https://theworldnewsgazette.com

Get some vitamin D in winter

Give your immune system a boost with the goodness of the sun (even in winter)! Your body absorbs vitamin D from the sun. It helps to boost your immune system as well as being essential for bone health. Just because it’s cold and the sun isn’t always out, it doesn’t mean you can’t get some much-needed vitamin D! 30% of Australians don’t get the recommended amount of vitamin D. All it takes is a few hours in the sun every week during winter to get your vitamin D dose. Make the most of any sunlight, and organise your day so you can spend a small amount of time outside. A short walk is all you need to take in some sun. Try walking to work, walking the kids to or from school or eating your lunch outside. Fatty fish like salmon are also great sources of vitamin D if you need an extra boost.

Organisational tips to boost your families immunity this winter |Simple ways mums can beat the winter slump with some organisation and planning.|https://simplyhappy.com.au/winter immunity/Photo credit https://www.rei.com

Start with breakfast in winter

We’ve all heard that ‘breakfast is the most important meal of the day’. It may be tempting to stay in bed that extra 10 minutes every morning, but making a healthy breakfast will help sustain you through winter. Breakfast is important to maintain your sugar levels and reduce stress. Excessive sugar and stress can leave you in a state of ‘fight or flight’, which will ultimately lower your immunity. It only takes a little bit of organisation to ensure you have enough time in the morning for that breaky boost. You could set your alarm 10 minutes earlier, or even prepare your breakfast the night before! Try soaking oats overnight, making bircher muesli or prepping smoothie ingredients and freezing them in bags.

Organisational tips to boost your families immunity this winter |Simple ways mums can beat the winter slump with some organisation and planning.|https://simplyhappy.com.au/winter immunity/Photo credit Pixabay.com

Restful sleep

Ever feel like your body feels more tired during winter? That’s because of the hormone melatonin, which is released during darkness and helps to promote sleep.  This can help you get some much-needed Z’s. A good night’s sleep is often just what your body needs to tackle all those winter bugs. Your body repairs and renews cells during sleep, so missing sleep increases the risk of catching a cold. The quality of your sleep is just as important as the amount of sleep. Try switching off bright lights from computers and televisions and avoiding sleeping with your phone on, to eliminate disruptions and create an atmosphere for rest.

Cold and flu season isn’t so overwhelming when you’re prepared with good immunity habits! Even if you do catch a cold, these healthy habits will also help you recover and get back to your life quicker. These tips are also great to try with your whole family, so everyone can be as healthy as possible during the colder months.
Which winter immunity idea do you think could work for you? Let me know in the comments!
If you enjoyed these tips, but feel like there’s never enough hours in the day to implement them. If you want to feel more in control of your to-do list and less exhausted then download 8 Simple Steps to UNBUSY Yourself and share the load WITHOUT letting anyone down.

Missed a post? You can check out my other Simply Happy blog posts like ‘How your family can benefit from you taking some time out’ HERE.

Five ways busy mums can find time to exercise

Five ways busy mums can find time to exercise |Simple ways mums can incorporate exercise into a busy life with some organisation and planning.|https://simplyhappy.com.au/mums-find-time-to-exercise/

We all know how great exercise is for our health.

Just by adding a bit of exercise to your routine you can enjoy amazing benefits including weight control, diseases prevention, more energy, better sleep, improved confidence and increased productivity. Sounds great, right?

I know what you’re saying, ‘when do I have time as a mum for exercise when I’m juggling kids activities, school drop-offs, work and running a house’??

Finding the time as a mum to make exercise a permanent part of your lifestyle takes a bit of work. A great place to start is by focusing on your motivation and setting a clear goal. You can always return to that goal to keep focused.

Benefits of Exercise

For me, the goal of completing the Surfcoast Trek 40km walk has kept me motivated and accountable for the last couple of months. Having an end goal encourages me to focus on my weekly exercises to maintain progress. I’ve been lucky enough to have three other mums to train with. Not only has this kept us all accountable but we also look forward to the chance to ‘walk and squawk’ while training 2 to 3 hours each week.

Five ways busy mums can find time to exercise |Simple ways mums can incorporate exercise into a busy life with some organisation and planning.

But you don’t have to have a specific training goal to stay motivated. There are simple things you can do to make exercise a part of your routine. I’m going to share with you how you can incorporate exercise into your busy life with some organisation and planning.

Exercise first thing in the morning

I find the best time to squeeze in a workout is before the day begins. I get everything ready the night before so I am mentally prepared and follow through with my plans. I know the thought of setting the alarm clock an extra half-an-hour early might sounds daunting! But when you prepare the night before it makes the process a whole lot easier. Once you’ve done it a few times it feels like no extra work at all! Preparation and routine are key.

Five ways busy mums can find time to exercise |Simple ways mums can incorporate exercise into a busy life with some organisation and planning.|https://simplyhappy.com.au/mums-find-time-to-exercise/

Photo credit Thatsquatbot.com

Include your kids

When you have kids it can feel harder and harder to find time to exercise. The good news is, your workouts don’t actually have to be solo or isolating! Exercise can be a whole range of different activities that can be very flexible. When my kids were babies I’d take them in the pram for walks around the park with other mums and babies. Another great way to include your kids is in a baby seat on your bike. Now that my kids can ride we usually go on a family bike ride each weekend. Kids don’t have to be an exercise burden, they can be your exercise partners! It also teaches your kids to value exercise. Win, win.

Find a creche

It’s amazing how many gyms offer affordable creche services. I joined a gym that had a creche when my first child was only 6 months old. When we moved to Geelong, I joined a gym that also had a creche. There are also netball & basketball stadiums that have creche facilities, so there’s always some kind of support in almost any sport! Make a few calls to gyms or sport centres in your area and see if there’s something that will work for you.

Use an online program

Rather exercise in the comfort of your own home? No worries! There are so many wonderful online programs that you can use without ever leaving your front door. I highly recommend the Merrymaker sisters MerryBody Studio that combines yoga, pilates and mindset for a monthly fee. If you’d like a high-intensity workout I recommend Sharee Anne Fitness Project Body Happy a 13-week program that requires minimal equipment that you can do anywhere. There are endless programs you can find online, and even simple YouTube tutorials for mums on a budget. Set a reminder on your phone once or twice a week reminding you to do your online program to help with accountability and routine.

Five ways busy mums can find time to exercise |Simple ways mums can incorporate exercise into a busy life with some organisation and planning.|https://simplyhappy.com.au/mums-find-time-to-exercise/

Photo credit Henryfordlivewell.com

Trade off workout times with your partner

Create a system and share the workout time with your partner. You can work together to create time in your schedules and maximise productivity in your quieter times. My husband and I take turns watching the kids on the weekends to carve out some exercise time for both of us. We also take it in turns during the week in the mornings.  Once a week we’re both able to fit in 30 minutes each before even our kids bounce out of bed! It only takes a little bit of communication and coordination, and the benefits are well worth it.

Five ways busy mums can find time to exercise |Simple ways mums can incorporate exercise into a busy life with some organisation and planning.|https://simplyhappy.com.au/mums-find-time-to-exercise/

Photo credit dailyexcelciser.com

It’s easy to make excuses to avoid exercising, especially when you have young kids. If you can use little tricks and strategies to create time for exercise, you’ll be able to enjoy the amazing benefits that come with being fit and active. You can be a great role model for your kids when it comes to exercise. When they grow, they’ll take your good habits with them. These five strategies to incorporate exercise into your busy life will help you get started.

If you enjoyed these ways to find time to exercise but are feeling like there’s never enough hours in the day to implement them. You’re always wishing you could just have a bit more time. Then grab 8 Simple Steps to UNBUSY Yourself and share the load WITHOUT letting anyone down.

Missed a post? You can check out my other Simply Happy blog posts like my ‘How your family can benefit from you taking some time out’ HERE.

Which idea do you think could work for you? Let me know in the comments!

Mums retreat are more than just a girl’s weekend away

Mums retreat are more than just a girls weekend away |Mum retreats are more than just a girls weekend away it’s an opportunity to give back to yourself and take on new ideas. |https://simplyhappy.com.au/mums-retreat-2/

Don’t know how to prioritize yourself? That’s no surprise. As a mum, your entire way of being is focused on making sure everyone else is ok first. Racing between work, school pick up and after-school activities. Worrying about where everyone needs to be and what they’re doing. Not to mention running a house and juggling your own career or business.

What happens if you don’t prioritize yourself? Unless you make that time for yourself, there’s no way you’ll be about to continue giving to others around you. Ever heard the saying, ‘you can’t pour from an empty cup?’ That’s exactly what it’s like!

A mums retreat is a great way to fill back up your cup. It’s so much more than a ‘girl’s weekend away’. It’s an opportunity to give back to yourself! The benefits of a mums’ retreat include…

1. Building well-being through connection

Mum’s retreat is a great way to meet friendly faces, build strong bonds and learn from one another. Having a relaxed environment, sharing meals and doing fun activities creates plenty of opportunities for connections to grow. Not a single team building game was used just good old fashion talking and laughing. You can also actually have a proper meaningful conversation, without your kid’s interrupting (imagine that)! Because you don’t have to rush off to anything, you can enjoy the benefits of being present in the moment.
Connecting with others will help build your own well-being. Personal growth happens when you have support, accountability and connection. You’ll have your very own team, cheerleading you on every step of the way. They’ll be there for you when you need some encouragement over the weekend, and when you go back home.

Mums retreat are more than just a girls weekend away |Mum retreats are more than just a girls weekend away it’s an opportunity to give back to yourself and take on new ideas.  |https://simplyhappy.com.au/mums-retreat-2/

2. Introducing you to new ideas

It can be so hard to try new things for yourself when you’re caught up in mum duties. Mums retreat introduces you to new activities like yoga, yoga nidra and meditation. You get the chance to really unwind, let go and rest. These activities also provide you with new mindful, calming strategies to add to your toolbox when you return.
There are interactive nurturing workshops and activities which introduce mums to a variety of other strategies to help them better cope when life feels overwhelming. Here you will develop life-long skills to help make you are a super mum AND a self-care hero. It’s all about balance!

Mums retreat are more than just a girls weekend away |Mum retreats are more than just a girls weekend away it’s an opportunity to give back to yourself and take on new ideas.  |https://simplyhappy.com.au/mums-retreat-2/

3. Relaxation and enjoyment

It can be hard to find the time to release all the tension of your busy life. On retreat, you can finally let go of the mental load and worry that you have as a mum. It’s so important to give yourself a break once in a while. Imagine carrying all that weight around forever? You’d barely be able to walk!
Mum’s retreat is all about YOU. You’ll have no-one else to worry about and nothing that needs organising apart from what to wear each day. This break will leave you feeling energised and more focused on what is really important in your life. You’ll have the chance to refuel so you can get back to managing all those amazing things you do for your family.

Mums retreat are more than just a girls weekend away |Mum retreats are more than just a girls weekend away it’s an opportunity to give back to yourself and take on new ideas.  |https://simplyhappy.com.au/mums-retreat-2/

4. Giving back to yourself

Say THANKS to your mind and body for giving you the gift of yourself! Giving to yourself is just as important as giving to others. If you don’t, how can you expect to be able to keep giving so much? Take the time to think just about yourself, and give your mind and body just what it’s asking for.
Mums retreat are more than just a girls weekend away |Mum retreats are more than just a girls weekend away it’s an opportunity to give back to yourself and take on new ideas.  |https://simplyhappy.com.au/mums-retreat-2/
Mum’s retreat is an opportunity for you to start giving back to yourself through relaxation, connection, laughter and learning. It’s not just about the weekend of the retreat, it’s about developing new skills and habits that are making your life easier and more enjoyable. Unless you start to prioritise yourself, life will carry on as it is and you’ll keep finding yourself burnt-out.
Take time. Breathe. Rest. Re-fuel. Re-take your life!
The 2019 Mums’ Revive Retreat is open. Click HERE to find out more.

Thanks to Ange from Ange Rae Photography for all the beautiful photos. Thanks to Tess from Bella-Esque Dance for the surprise and delight Saturday night activity.

How your family can benefit from you taking some time out

Do you ever just want to run away by yourself, no kids for a day or two? I’m sure you’d love to sleep in, wake up read a book and have the whole day to do something for yourself. Maybe you’d just love to sleep in a bed all by yourself. No one crawling in during the night and taking up half the space. You just need some time out from mum life.

I know what you’re saying, ‘how could I leave the kids behind? I’d feel so guilty’. Here’s something you might not realize, a mum’s entire way of being is to focus on making sure everyone else is okay first. But unless you start to slow down and prioritize yourself, take some time out, you’ll burn out and not be able to support those around you.

I’m going to share with you how the whole family can benefit from you taking some time out.

Simply Happy Wellness Coaching | Simply Happy Wellness Coaching can help boost energy | https://www.simplyhappy.com.au//How your family can benefit from you taking some time out | Taking some time out for self-care as a mum can benefit the whole family. |https://simplyhappy.com.au/mums-take-time-out/

Positive role model

When you’re good to yourself, you show people how to respect and care for themselves too. It tells others that you’ve worked hard and deserve a break. It’s that the type of influence you’d like in your family?

Self-care is a very important skill to both learn, and pass on to your kids. Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean you’re teaching your kids to be selfish or lazy! Taking time for yourself isn’t selfish or lazy at all. In fact, it’s the opposite. Taking that bit of time for you makes getting on with the tasks of week SO much easier. It can help everything slow down and appear much more manageable.

Being able to know when to take time out can help you be a great role model for your kids. Show your kids it’s OK to take time for yourself! You can demonstrate how to put yourself first sometimes, while still managing to keep up with all the essentials. This will help show your kids how important you are and that you deserve your own time to unwind.

Change in routine is as good as a holiday

You don’t need to fly to an exotic island or an expensive destination to have a holiday. Changing up your routine and finding that time for self-care is just as good as a holiday, maybe even better! By changing up a few things and increasing your ‘me time’, you’re giving yourself a break LONG-TERM, not just a short-term holiday. 

Not only you, but your kids will enjoy the change in routine. And as for your partner? Well, we all know ‘dads are more fun’. Changing the routine could give your partner an opportunity for some new responsibility. This can strengthen the family dynamic and ensure everyone gets the chance for responsibility AND relaxation. Mum’s can be fun too you know! How your family can benefit from you taking some time out

Photo credit pixabay

A relaxed Mum is more fun to be around

How much happier do you feel after a night of uninterrupted sleep? Or a long hot bath? Or even a great workout? That release of tension will provide huge benefits to your mental health and self-worth, but it’s not just you that will benefit.

A happier mum usually means a happier family. Do you know how stress can be contagious? Well, thankfully, so is relaxation. When you’re relaxed, people feel much happier when they’re around you. Imagine a calmer house where everyone is just that little bit more relaxed. How amazing would that feel?

Taking some time out for self-care as a mum can benefit the whole family Photo credit dailyexcelciser.com

Mum’s take on a lot of demanding duties. It’s OK to let others help with some responsibilities or to take some ‘me time’ regularly. When you prioritize yourself you’re saying ‘yes, I’m just as important as everyone else’. Your family will notice the change and enjoy some of the benefits too. Don’t for a second think that taking some time away means letting anyone down! Take a minute, put your feet up, kick back, and enjoy!

I hope these reasons for taking some time out minus the guilt will help you to prioritize a day or weekend for yourself so that everyone in your family can also benefit.

A Mums’ retreat is the perfect opportunity for you to start giving back to yourself through relaxation, connection, laughter and learning. It’s not just about the weekend of the retreat, it’s about developing new skills and habits that are making your life easier and more enjoyable. The 2019 Mums’ Revive Retreat is open. Click HERE to find out more.

Missed a post? You can check out my other Simply Happy blog posts like my ‘Get your family organised with a command centre’ HERE.

Which benefit resonates with you? Let me know in the comment below.

How decluttering and simplifying can help you create more time

How decluttering and simplifying can help you create more time | Decluttering and simplifying can help you to get organised so that you create more time and feel like you have a few more hours in your week. | https://simplyhappy.com.au/decluttering-and-simplifying/

Decluttering and simplifying are both buzz words at the moment. They help you to get organised so that you create more time and feel like you have a few more hours in your week. When everything has it’s own place there’s less chance of things going missing. You’ll waste no more time or energy searching and looking for things. No busy mum has the time or patience for missing shoes, keys or permission forms.

There are so many other benefits from decluttering and simplifying your home. Living in disorganised chaos can affect your mental and physical energy.  When you move things in your cardboards you move energy in your home and in your body. You’ll feel motivated and make space for new opportunities. To help keep everything in a place you need simple systems. I’m sharing three of my favourites systems.

Lost Property Boxes

We have a box for each child in our laundry. I throw in items I find laying around the house including shoes, toys and school work. When washing needs to be folded we use the boxes to store all the clean laundry. They’ve been really useful for keeping things neat. They’ve also saved everyone time. The kids go to their box when they are looking for something. I just go to one place to put their things away now. I’ve even used a lost property box in the classroom when teaching to help manage my time.

How decluttering and simplifying can help you create more time | Decluttering and simplifying can help you to get organised so that you create more time and feel like you have a few more hours in your week. | https://simplyhappy.com.au/decluttering-and-simplifying/

Designate a ‘Drop Zone’

A drop zone is somewhere in your home where you drop everything when you come into your house. We have a ‘drop zone’ in our kitchen pantry and a small desk in the kitchen. Another great place is near the front door. We place our keys, phones, wallets or bags in the pantry as soon as we walk in the door. There are also powerpoints to make it easy to charge our phones and other items. In the pantry, we also have a place for bills and prescriptions. On the small desk, we have a box for mail that has been actioned. We have a tray on top for mail when it first comes in. By having a designated spot for incoming mail, you’ll be able to cut down on mail clutter elsewhere in your house or like most houses on the kitchen bench or table. By reducing visual clutter your brain will be so much happier and you will feel calmer. There’s also less stress and more time because there are no more frantic calls for help “Where are my keys?” or searching through yesterdays clothes or retracing your steps when you last saw your phone.

How decluttering and simplifying can help you create more time | Decluttering and simplifying can help you to get organised so that you create more time and feel like you have a few more hours in your week. | https://simplyhappy.com.au/decluttering-and-simplifying/

Go-to Drawer for Essentials

We have a top drawer that is the go-to drawer for things we use all the time. You could also use a box in an easy-to-access space for your essential items. Within the drawer or box group similar items together in a small container or tray. Things we have in our go-to drawer are a few pens, highlighter, black texta, scissors, sticky tape, stapler, sticky notes, tape measure, bandaids, calendula cream for bites and scratches, sunscreen, tissues and affirmation cards. Make a list of all the things that you regularly use. Also, think about the items your family ask for all the time to help create your go-to drawer or box.

I hope the simple systems help you create more space in your calendar, reduce stress so that you can actually have time for the things that YOU want to do.

If you enjoyed these decluttering and simplifying tips but are feeling like there’s never enough hours in the day to implement them. You’re always wishing you could just have a bit more time. If you want to feel more in control of your to-do list and less exhausted then download 8 Simple Steps to UNBUSY Yourself and share the load WITHOUT letting anyone down.

Which simple system would you like to start using with your family? Let me know in the comment below.

Get your family organised with a command centre

Get your family organised with Command Centre | Family command centre help you feel more organised and are found in one spot in the home.| https://simplyhappy.com.au/family-command-centre/
A command centre can help organise any busy family.
You’re running late for work. You thought you were organised then you hear.
‘Mum, where’s my permission form?’
‘Did you get me a new drink bottle?’
‘Isn’t there any milk?’
Does this sound familiar? You’re trying to remember and coordinate everything but it’s a full-time job that you don’t have time to do on your own.
My secret to being able to juggle a family, work and run a house has been organisation. One of the main strategies I’ve been using to feel more organised and share some of the load is a family command centre. It’s one spot in your house to organise everything. It’s also helped solve scheduling conflicts, save time and money. Sound like something you could use?
Here are tips to help you create your own command centre. I also recommend Pinterest for ideas and inspiration before you start.

Select the perfect location

I chose a wall in the doorway into our kitchen for our command centre. I’ve used clipboards and folders to store paper. You may have a small bench area, cabinet in the kitchen or even a desk in the entry hallway that you could use. Make sure it’s in a central point that everyone passes through.

What do I include?

Make a list of all the things you need from a command centre. Some of the things to consider are:

What type of calendar do you need?

I wanted one that was big enough to hold everyone’s activities. It was really easy to make using a large whiteboard and coloured tape for the lines.

I also wanted to use a visual schedule for my son who struggles with unstructured activities. He is becoming more independent and developed greater self-esteem since using his visual schedule. I purchased pictures of daily home routines from Teachers Pay Teachers. Then I laminated them and used self -adhesive magnet tape from Officeworks on the back.

Are you going to store bills and mail in a file box or tray on a bench or the wall?

I’ve added a pocket on the wall for all the kid’s letters from school and other activities. We have a box on the desk for our other mail and bills.

Are you going to include a place for a meal plan and shopping list?

We plan our meals for a month to save money, feel more organised and to stop hearing the dreaded ‘What’s for dinner, Mum?’ Next, to it, I’ve also put a small whiteboard to write grocery items.

What type of board (cork, magnetics, white or chalk) will you use for leaving notes, holding invitations, photos or any other paperwork that you need to see?

I’ve got a clipboard for our families expectations and a small whiteboard for notes with amazingly strong magnets called mighties. They can hold up to 10 sheets of paper, a small pair of scissors or a set of keys. We also started to add a daily affirmation card from either Musings from the Moon or Affirmation Farm on our whiteboard. Affirmations encourage positive thoughts, resilience, confidence and mindfulness.

Do you need reward charts, visual to-do lists, chores or cleaning schedules?

I’ve used a magnet board for a rewards chart and visual to-do list for my son. He especially loves to move his to-do magnets across to the done column throughout the day. There is also no more nagging from me ‘Have you brushed your teeth yet?’. At a quick glance, I can now see what he still needs to do.

I hope this list of what to consider will help you to create your own command centre that works for your family. It takes a bit of time to set up but it’s worth it to take some of the stress of your shoulders and calm the morning chaos.
If you want to feel more in control of your to-do list and less exhausted grab 8 Simple Steps to UNBUSY Yourself and share the load WITHOUT Letting Anyone Down.

What do you think you would need in your command centre? I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments below.