Our mums know us better than anyone - so what does she tell us to do when it comes to looking after our mental and physical wellbeing? The GTG team share the motherly advice that really made a difference
The adage that mums are always right has been proven time and time again - from the beauty tricks she taught us ( stop plucking your eyebrows, and always, always moisturise ) to the relationship advice we didn’t ask for but needed to hear, she’s always spot on.
But what can we learn from our mums when it comes to our health and wellbeing? In celebration of Mother’s Day the GTG team have thought back over all those nuggets of wisdom our mothers shared with us during our childhood and beyond, and picked out the top pieces of wellbeing and health advice that have really helped. We hope they’ll help you too…
"Write down your worries"
Gemma Bellman, Managing Director
Growing up I always was a worrier – going to bed every night with my mind whirring. Whether it was worrying I'd forget to (triple) check my homework in the morning, piano concert nerves or playground politics replaying in my mind, it made getting to sleep a nightly challenge (which in itself, was quite a worry)! On my 12th birthday, however, my ever thoughtful mother, presented me with a small, heart shaped box. She told me that from then on, I should write down all my worries before bed and shut them inside the box, only to be reopened and addressed in the light of day the following morning. Aside from a fleeting worry that the box might not be big enough(!), I soon got into my stride and it really did work. Whirring thoughts were safely stowed until morning, allowing me to relax with a quiet mind into a peaceful night's sleep.
"A little self-love and care goes a long way"
Sarah McGinnis, Art Editor
The most important things I've learnt from my mum are that life is short so do what you love; travel far and wide (30 countries before hitting 30 is my current target!); quality time is precious; and a little self-love and care goes a long way. We always set time aside for a little pick-me-up and quality time together at a spa, whether it's a weekend swim, a monthly massage or the full works, it de-stresses, calms our minds, leaves us feeling rejuvenated and gives us a little girl time together, which in my mind is the best way to spend my time. Thanks mum for reminding me that the simplest things in life can be the most valuable and reiterating that self care is essential.
"Be gentle with yourself"
Anna Hunter, Senior Features Writer
My mum is a nurse, so technically I have a LOT of wellbeing advice come my way, from the remedies that actually work to take the sting out of hayfever to which painkillers to take on a hangover (ibuprofen, FYI) and ‘have I gotten my flu jab yet because I really need to’. More holistically, it sounds cheesy, but she’s always encouraged my sister, brother and me to be really kind to others, but gentle with ourselves as well. She’s a huge advocate for hibernation where required, long walks without phones and dedicating time to recharging when we’re overworking ourselves or if we’re trying to power on when ill (I had arthritis when I was younger and she was brilliant at putting in ‘healthy’ boundaries to prevent me from having an energy breakdown). She’s always got the kettle on, will discreetly hold your hand if you’re feeling low and creates a little sanctuary when you need it.
"Never go to sleep on an argument"
Alexandra Harrison, Administration Assistant
My mum is full of great advice when it comes to life, family and relationships. But the one piece of advice that she has given me and that has stuck in my mind is to never go to sleep on an argument. At the end of the day life is too short to drag things out, and you never know what’s round the corner so you should always try and sort through things before bedtime. I try and stick to this rule in my everyday life and it does work wonders in sorting situations out quite quickly, and makes you feel so much happier not waking up in a bad mood because of an argument the day before.
"Always cook food from scratch"
Victoria Woodhall, Editor
My mum came over to the UK aged 21 from Germany pregnant and with very little English. She’d buy packets of food in shops and wait until she got home to solve the mystery of what was inside; goodness knows what my elder sister ate as a baby. But what she did bring with her was her family’s muesli recipe (aka Bircher muesli though we had never heard of the term). We were weaned on this combination of milk, oats, apples, yogurt nuts and raisins, while our peers were molar deep in Frosties and Alpen (dry ‘fake’ muesli). We learned very young how to make it ourselves (bung everything in blender, remember not to shred fingers, and press ‘on’). We would often bring it to mum at weekends as breakfast in bed. Barring the odd Findus Crispy Pancake, she always cooked food from scratch (pressure cookers are back, mum!) and frequently followed her instincts over parenting manuals. She’d occasionally give me a shot of brandy if I couldn’t sleep because of exam stress. I don’t think this counts as a health tip (and I’m probably not passing that one on to my daughter) but her attitude was sometimes you just know what works. I didn’t turn out an alcoholic, btw!
"Think about your own needs"
Judy Johnson, Digital Editor
My mum is pretty old school when it comes to anything wellbeing-wise; I spent my childhood being told to ‘cover up your kidneys’ (a brief spell in which crop tops were cool) in order to avoid a cold, to ‘take your coat off else you won’t feel the benefit when you go outside’ (truth) and ‘think nice thoughts’ every time I woke from yet another nightmare (a phrase which has stuck with me and helped many an upsetting situation). Most of all though she encourages me to think about what I really need, even if it means letting someone down; I’m a people pleaser, and have always struggled to say no which often leads to stress or exhaustion (apparently even as a child I was always extremely ‘busy’) so my mum will be the first to tell me to take that nap, have that lay-in, take a holiday or simply ‘see how I feel’. I’m getting better at it, but even at 32 I often just need to hear her tell me it’s the right thing to do. Oh, and my kidneys are very much covered these days…
"A hot bath fixes everything"
Kully Buhal, Head of Business Development
My mum is full of great advice, such as “Always smile as it doesn’t cost anything’’ - she’s so right of course and we are a family of ‘’smilers’’ as a result, which is also probably why I have an unhealthy obsession about teeth… thanks mum! However I think the advice that really resonates with me is ‘’There’s nothing that a hot bath and a good night’s sleep can’t fix’’. It wasn’t until I was in my 20s and stressing about work and relationships that her advice really kicked in. As the GTG team know, I am the biggest advocate of how beneficial a bath in the evening before bed is. I have one most nights and I can easily languish in a hot bath for over an hour, especially I might add during this current cold spell! It’s my ‘me time’. It’s calming, relaxing and never fails to help relieve any stress or anxiety in my body from the pressures of the day. Add in some Epsom salts or aromatherapy oils and I really am in my happy place.
What wellbeing advice did your mum share with you? Let us know in the comments!