How to De-stress Like a Pro
Posted by Adam Meads
Always connected? Struggle to switch off? Tension building? We’ve all been there. We got an honest download from author, midwife, blogger & mother of 4 daughters (a true pro in juggling it all) Clemmie Hooper on what HER stress-relief tool-kit looks like...
...Including drinking a fresh hot cuppa, the importance of a digital detox, saying no, and simply just doing it in the midst of the chaos!
Q So, you’re an author, midwife, blogger & mother of 4 daughters. Amazing, hectic and challenging all rolled into one. Tell us first of all about your book, “How to Grow a Baby and Push it Out”. What was the inspiration and how on earth did you find the time?
A The inspiration came from my job as a midwife and my blog as I felt there wasn't quite enough information with any of the books currently available. I felt that 'modern women' needed a more modern approach to pregnancy and birth. Time, gosh I'm not really sure how does anyone find the time?! Late night typing, in between feeds when there's a book deal over your head…. you just do it!
Q We have mothers in the office who are juggling it all too. How do you keep it together?
A Good question I have the same struggles as all working mothers, guilt, worry and always being tired! I have a very supportive hands-on husband, we share most responsibilities with the children to make it work for us all. Now I'm back at work we have a nanny 3 days a week which is a huge help.
Q What do you do to ‘switch off’?
A Sleep! Run a bath, go for a mani/pedi, all the usuals, but most importantly turn my phone off!
Q If you had an entire hour to yourself what would you do?A Make a cup of tea and sit down and actually drink it hot, not reheated in the microwave!
Q Do you/have you ever find the balance of it all tipping? How do/did you work it out?
A Of course, we all have melt downs usually over having taken on too much and not being able to cope with the demands, whether that’s from work or children. The most empowering thing you can do is say no. Pull back, say 'I can't make that deadline, after work drink or early morning breakfast meeting'. I often say you can’t pour from an empty cup, self care is so important.
Q The S word - Stress affects us all. If you could give our readers 3 quick tried-and-tested tips that help you manage everyday tension what would they be?
A Breathe, how many of us really know how to breathe properly? When I feel really stressed I step away from my laptop/phone and just concentrate on my breath. I use this app called ‘Mindfulness’ which has a great section on parenting. I also really recommend looking at alcohol/caffeine intake especially in the evenings. Try and have at least 4 evenings when you don't have caffeine or alcohol get into bed an hour earlier than you usually do and see how much better your quality of sleep is.
Q Our mantra here at NEOM, is Small Steps, Big Difference. The little things each day which make a big difference. What’s the small step which helps you?
A Try and reduce your screen time in the evenings, we preach about this to our children but how guilty are we as adults? I try and remind myself that no one will die if you don't send that email by 10pm. Instead grab a magazine/book run a bath and leave your phone downstairs. Oh and always light a candle!
Q Do you believe in ‘having it all’?
A Having it all for one woman is different to having it all to another. Everyone has different goals for me it's about balance, some days even for an hour I think yes I've got this, then it can all fall apart in the space of 30 seconds. I don’t have all the answers and I would never want anyone to think I'm having it all. I try and show all sides of my life on Instagram for this very reason.
Q Who is your inspiration?
A So many! Midwives who work hard to achieve better for women, my Mum for being my rock and helping with the children and my husband for hardly ever losing his cool!
Q Best exercise you find rids tension when you’ve ‘just had enough!’?
A I'm terrible when it comes to exercise, I use to run lots after my 2nd daughter was born but since I've had the twins my back has been playing up. I hear Pilates is a good one - find me the time and I'll be there!
Q How important is it for you to connect with other like-minded women?
A Connecting either on or offline is so important for all like-minded mums, being able to off load without feeling judged or criticised - because let's face it we all know how amazing motherhood can feel one minute and crap the next.
Q You once Instagrammed ‘baths are good for the soul’ - what’s in your tub and on a scale of 1-10 how important is it for you to schedule that time, for you?
A Haha did I?! I love a bath and a gorgeous smelling candle it also really helps that there’s really bad phone reception in my bathroom so I can't take my phone in with me! 10! Self care is the key to all of this!
How to Grow a Baby and Push it Out by Clemmie Hooper is published by Vermilion, £14.99