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Inspired living

What have you done for YOU today?


HOT-LEMON-WATER

The hardest thing about being a busy Mum is finding time for you. We all know that.

We aren’t being martyrs, or complaining about it (much) – it’s just the reality of parenthood. But if we want to make sure we still recognize the person in the mirror in 18 years time – let alone the person lying next to us! – then we really need to set up practices now to nurture ourselves. Even if it’s one little thing, just for us, each day.

Like a cup of warm water and lemon, for example.

I started to have a cup of warm water and fresh lemon juice before I reached for the standard coffee and breakfast every morning years ago. I’d read somewhere that it was what the super models did, or something like that, and thought it could help flush out the toxins in my body and refresh my skin. Since then, as my priorities have moved from looking like Helena Christenson to more wholistic pursuits, I’ve discovered the practice of starting your day with a warm water and lemon is encouraged by everyone from Ayurveda practitioners to dietitians.

But what about parent wellbeing bloggers like me? Well, on top of all the health benefits you get from starting your day with a splash of citrus (which I will outline in a moment, in case you still like the idea of looking like Helena Christenson), I believe that this one little practice can help you stay calm and connected as a parent.

Here’s my experience: starting with a hot water and lemon helps you immediately connect with how you and your body are feeling. Because it’s a little bitter, and gives your system a little jolt awake, you are so much more aware of every sip than if you were just slurping down that coffee. How many of us actually savor every sip of our caffeine in the morning? I know I often drink it unconsciously, not realizing I’ve even finished my cup till I reach for it again and find it empty. And so I make another one.

But when it is a warm water and lemon, every sip is savored. Every mouthful is mindful.

Also, knowing that starting my day with a hot water and lemon will kick start my metabolism, wake my system up, and prepare me for the day, encourages me to eat a better breakfast, and follow it up with more water later in the day.

Start the right way, and it’s easier to keep going – right?

In an ideal world, I would be able to wake up before my children, spend ten minutes meditating, then 20 minutes of downward dogs and salutes to the sun.

Ha!

Instead, I’m lucky if I can spend five minutes in the shower by myself.

Therefore, a hot water and lemon can sometimes be the only thing I do that is for me, my health, and my sanity. Even if I am sipping at it while changing a nappy and making porridge, it still feels like I’m doing something for me.

And if you’re still not convinced that a hot water and lemon will give your wellbeing the kick start it needs, here’s that list of health benefits –

1. Boosts your immune system.
Lemons are high in Vitamin C and Potassium. Vitamin C is great for fighting colds and Potassium stimulates brain & nerve function and helps control blood pressure.

2. Balances pH
Lemons are an incredibly alkaline food. Even though they are acidic on their own, the citric acid does not create acidity in our bodies. And an alkaline body is a healthy body.

3. Helps with weight loss
We all love this bit! Lemons are high in pectin fiber, which helps fight hunger cravings. It also has been shown that people who maintain a more alkaline diet lose weight faster.

4. Aids digestion
The warm water serves to stimulate the gastrointestinal tract and peristalsis—the waves of muscle contractions within the intestinal walls that keep things moving.

5. Acts as a gentle, natural diuretic
Lemon juice helps flush out unwanted materials and toxins because lemons increase the rate of urination in the body.

6. Clears skin
It’s been shown that Vitamin C helps decrease wrinkles and blemishes. Lemon water purges toxins from the blood which helps keep skin clear as well. Hello Helena Christenson!

But, as far as I’m concerned, it’s the very act of doing this one small thing for yourself every morning that has the biggest benefit when you are a busy Mum.

We may not get to that yoga class as often as we want, or we don’t have time to meditate everyday, but by starting your day with this one simple cup of hot water and lemon, you can still feel like you are doing something for you.

Even if that’s the only thing you get to do all day.

What other things do YOU do each day to help you stay connected with your body and yourself?

I’d love you to share your ideas and experiences below!



 

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz is a journalist with more than 15 years' experience, specialising in health, mindfulness and motherhood. She is also the best-selling author of Happy Mama: The Guide to Finding Yourself Again, and is the creator of the website Happy Mama.