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How I find time for my health & fitness as a busy working mum

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I wished I lived in a different time. One where things weren’t so bloody chaotic and things were just that little bit simpler!

But no, we’re in the 21st century and we’ve got social media notifications pinging every second; we’ve got people constantly video-calling us, we’ve got kids that need ferrying from one club to another to another, we’ve got bars and restaurants to get bookings at (good luck with that at the moment), we’ve got trips to organise; houses to renovate….. There’s always something to do and having a break seems like a complete luxury, one that we often feel guilty about.

So how do I fit self care and exercise into my routine when it’s just always super hectic? I’ll be honest and say it’s often a struggle, and I have to make a concerted effort because of that. It does require being organised!

I map out my week on a Sunday – firstly log in all my client sessions/classes, any meetings I have and any regular activities that need to happen. Then I pop in the child logistics and work out what time I then have to play with. I often don’t have much time left in the school day (it flies by doesn’t it?!), but I do make sure that I have a proper lunch break, where I (if possible) go outside for a short walk, or even just have a quiet cuppa in the garden for 10 mins. I think it’s so important to just carve out a little time to be alone and not trying to multitask. And honestly that really does only need to be a few minutes, so don’t tell me you can’t find that time to look after yourself!

When it comes to exercise I try and fit in a bit of cardio, strength and flexibility (definitely key to get all elements in your week), and generally I try to do these first thing, before everyone gets up. It’s a real struggle getting out of bed when the alarm goes off – I’ll be honest and say that working out is the last thing I feel like doing at that time! But, I know that life gets in the way later in the day so I power through. It’s definitely a case of telling yourself you’re going to feel so amazing afterwards. And that is very true! Your workouts really don’t need to be long and they don’t need to be grueling – I generally don’t do anything longer than 30 minutes, as that’s enough to get me going and to feel the benefits. My workouts tend to be YouTube videos or with the strength part, I put together my own programme to follow. I am also doing a handstand conditioning class, so I keep Tuesday lunchtimes free for that live zoom class. At the end of the day I also do some stretching, as I’m still on my journey to doing the splits! It’s a slow process, so I’ve got to be consistent with this (only about 10 mins) – I have a recurring reminder on my phone to tell me to do this every evening! And, that’s something I would definitely recommend – commit your workouts to your diary as you would a meeting! That way you get alerts and you’re less likely to sack them off. As I said earlier, life gets in the way, so I know that if I don’t schedule it in and I just say ‘I’ll do something this afternoon’, it’s so vague and it’ll just get pushed aside.

Ok, on to nutrition as that’s part of self-care. So, it may be a bit anal but I spend time each week going through my recipe books (I have loads to choose from) and drafting up a menu of lunches and dinners. I try to pick recipes that use some of the same ingredients so to minimise waste – sometimes this works, but I do have an issue with left over feta or mascarpone!! I do my shopping list for it all at the same time. This organisation then prevents me from stressing about what to eat and then grabbing something highly nutrient-free! I am however, not strict about food. If I want cake, I have cake. If I want a gin, I have a gin. I don’t see the point in demonising foods, as I know it makes me want things more when I say I’m not having them. Granted I’m not talking about people with medical intolerances here, but saying you’re not going to eat something as it’s ‘bad/ unhealthy’ is not a good relationship to have. It’s all about making sure you’re getting all the nutrients that you need, and then having a donut here and there if it makes you happy. Don’t feel guilty about it. Just don’t eat a whole tray of them in one sitting!!

So in summary:

  • Get organised

  • Pop time into your diary for exercise and self-care

  • Don’t feel guilty about time for yourself

  • Do different forms of exercise to ensure all-round effectiveness

  • Tell yourself you’ll feel MUCH better having moved

  • Meal plan

  • Don’t demonise any foods


If you need any help with your fitness and wellbeing then come and talk to me. I offer both personal training (if exercise is your priority) or wellbeing coaching (if you want something more!). Book a call with me

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