After all the excitement at Christmas, it really does feel like January is going on forever… We promise the end is in sight but as Blue Monday approaches, we totally get that you might need a little extra dose of Monday Motivation. So, here are Cat’s top tips for beating those blues – baby in tow.
Embrace those endorphins
Okay, so you already know exercise is good for you physically, but what about the fact that it also has huge mood-boosting benefits?
As the founder of Piccolo, Cat knows that sometimes it’s hard to find the motivation or time to squeeze in some exercise, but also how you can reap the benefits from even a little bit of movement.
This can be anything from some baby-on-hip dancing around the kitchen (somethings gotta make this never-ending tidying more entertaining), a 15 minute walk, or if you’re feeling especially energetic, joining one of the pre or post-natal classes at Frame Mumhood!
Did you know that laughing is a really powerful mood booster? So practice your raspberry blowing and perfect your peek-a-boos to start your little one laughing and we’re sure you’ll follow suit – is it just us or is babies’ laughter super infectious??
Take it outside
Ah, the great outdoors… Being outside has been proven to have so many benefits which can perk up even the bluest of Mondays. Even if it’s wintery and cold, getting some fresh air and vitamin D (the sun is there somewhere, we swear) can really help improve our mood.
If you want to hit 2 birds with 1 stone, why not sign up to a Buggyfit class? When Juliet was younger, Cat was a regular at Buggyfit because it was such a fun activity to get you outside and bring your little one along to.
Cook up a storm
Eating well balanced, nutritional and flavoursome food is what inspired Cat to create Piccolo and at the heart of what we do. Cat believes in the importance of cooking at home as a family because, not only does it mean you’re sure of what’s in your meals, but it’s also a chance to spend time together and instills a good understanding of food and nutrition – and let’s face it, recruiting your toddler as a sous-chef is a great use of their energy!
Nurture those talents
Before you say it – we know a room full of little ones and instruments or paint doesn’t exactly sound like the most mood-boosting of ideas, but getting creative actually has amazing calming effects on your brain and is often compared to meditation.
And by joining a class with our friends at Creative Station or Gymboree, the pressure is taken off you to be in control! As well as being therapeutic, these kinds of activities help develop your little one’s sensory and motor skills, and encourage them to explore the world around them.
Plus who knows, you might have a budding musician or artist on your hands!
A little down time
After all of that excitement and exertion, we’re sure you’ll both be in need of a rest. This can be anything, from a little nap to 10 minutes of mindful meditation. Taking a moment to reflect and recharge is super important so you don’t end up getting run down.
Your baby will also be really receptive to sound and touch, so they’ll love it if you spend this time talking to them and cuddling or stroking them – relaxing for the both of you and at the same time reinforcing your bond.
After such a busy end of year, seeing an empty calendar for 2020 can be a bit disheartening. Embrace the fresh start and seize the opportunity to make some exciting plans for the year. Cat loves having weekend trips, fun activities and baby brunches to look forward to!
Building confidence and bonding
Cat also recommends going to classes which will help with your baby’s development, like Water Babies – these classes are a great opportunity for you to bond while teaching your baby water safety and building their confidence and trust. There’s also research to show that swimming increases social, academic and personality development. Honestly, the benefits are endless – be right back, just getting ready to jump in.
Cat is passionate about giving back so, at Piccolo, we donate meals and essentials to charities which help local families, as well as 10% of our profits.
Helping others has been shown to reduce stress and feelings of isolation, and builds a sense of belonging and community, and confidence and perspective – so if you needed any more reason to get out and find local charities to help, there you have it!
Last but not least…
Don’t think we forgot about you! It’s super important that you also have time to take care of yourself, so once your baby has been put down for the night, spend an hour listening to music, meditating, reading a book or having a long bath and relaxing!
We find that taking time for yourself improves your overall happiness and confidence, helping you to be a better parent – a win-win for parents and babies.