&Breathe: H is for HARMONISE

H is for Harmonise

Our founder, Clio Wood, created &Breathe because she needed to spend time on herself.  Of all the instalments in our mindfulness series, this is the one that resonates the most.  When you're staring at a new baby with not a clue how to look after it and you spend all your subsequent hours in its thrall, self-care might feel like a thing of dreams.  But it's really important to find some balance and take care of yourself, so that you can be your best you for everyone around you. 

Our Resident Happiness Coach, Olivia Horne, talks us through feeling HARMONISING and how to find time for you, because whether you realise it or not, you need it.

Go on - #BeYourOptiMUM

Olivia Horne for &Breathe - credit Melly Curtis


Because balance is the key to a contented and fulfilling family life. It’s essential for your happiness and wellbeing, and therefore essential for your children’s happiness and wellbeing. When you are in balance, you feel calm, grounded, clear, and motivated, and it can also boost your productivity, energy and quality of relationships. We are constantly bombarded with messages and pressures about all the things we should or shouldn’t be doing as parents – it seems whichever choices we make, we’re doomed to get it wrong. So take a step back for a bit of perspective, make choices that work for you, and release the need for everything to be perfect. “Some days you eat salads and go to the gym, some days you eat cupcakes and refuse to wear pants. It’s called balance” (Anon). Cut yourself some slack and give yourself permission: permission to look after yourself as well as everyone else, permission to get it wrong sometimes, and permission to say no. Be present to your own needs, be true to your own values and be kind to yourself. And release the guilt, because it’s really not serving anyone.

The question is, if you were choosing a child-care provider, and you had a choice between someone who seemed stressed, tired and overwhelmed versus someone who seemed rested, contented, happy and healthy, who would you want for your kids?
— Lindsey Roberts


Noticing that you need more balance in your life is the first step, and from there you can choose to take action that works for you. “Balance is not something you find, it’s something you create” (Jana Kingsford). So how to create it?

Well, start small. Choose one or two simple things and work up from there. Make a promise to yourself to do something for yourself, possibly by yourself, every single day. Some days it will simply be to take one long, deep breath. It might just be a hot (ish) cup of tea, or a solo trip to the loo. Other days you might start to notice more opportunities for other things that bring you joy, peace, fulfilment, energy, or whatever it is you’re looking for.

And over time these little top ups of good stuff will add up. It can be hard to know how to fit these things in when you’re constantly at the beck and call of small people. So choose things that you’re already doing, and start to do them more slowly, more mindfully, and with more awareness on your physical body, your breath and your senses. Ask for help and share the load where you can. Decide to have a no-phone zone – a time of day or area in your home, and honour this as a simple, restful time and place in which to connect with yourself and loved ones. Or try a creative outlet like a journal or a sketchpad, or just some colouring in with the kids, and remember to keep it playful. Spend time in nature, move your body, eat well, schedule a date night, have a good laugh and know that you’re doing an all-round fabulous job.

Spend time in nature, move your body, eat well, schedule a date night, have a good laugh and know that you’re doing an all-round fabulous job.

Try it now

Close your eyes and take a deep breath. Ask yourself “what do I need?” and just let some answers bubble up. Listen to your body, listen to your heart, and go feed your soul.

Olivia Horne is &Breathe's Resident Happiness Coach, because finding your best you is about the mind as well as the body.  She also offers one-to-one coaching and small group meditation classes in London, find out more here and here.


At &Breathe we believe in Being Your Best You to be at your best for everyone around you.  Our retreats and events allow you the selfcare time you deserve and through this Spring, we're sharing ways to #BeYourOptiMUM - what's yours?
Tag #BeYourOptiMUM and tell us!

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