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Soon we'll be celebrating our beautiful mothers for giving us birth and putting up with our relentless teenage years. And if you're a mom, you'll spend the day with the loves of your life as they shower you with loads of overdue attention. You might even get an hour to yourself to nap, wash your hair, read a book... sigh, one can only dream.

But if you are so lucky as to have an hour (or more) to yourself, try not to let the mom guilt set in.

I see that sheepish grin behind those devilish eyes.

"Who me, mom guilt? Never."

If someone offers to give you a break this Mother's Day, and any day for that matter, take it and run like hell.

But don't use it as an opportunity to catch up on laundry. No. Use it to catch up on your seriously overdue beauty rest.

You need it. Here's why.

1. Mommy Brain is Real and is Made Worse by Life's Overload

Pregnancy isn't the only time your brain leaks information. Stress and a lack of sleep and relaxation can have the same effects.

Sleep helps the brain retain new information through a process called memory consolidation. Studies have shown people who have slept after learning a new task did better on tests later.

The key to staying on top of everyone's schedules? Get some rest on the regular.

2. Weight Management is Easier When You're Rested

Ugh, the battle of the bulge can be so annoying. At VitalityMD we talk a lot about calories not being the only factor contributing to weight management struggles. Little R&R can have a huge impact on your dress size.

Finding your clothes a bit snug, yet you're eating right and exercising? Ask yourself, am I getting enough rest?

3. Is it PMS, Menopause or Lack of Sleep?

We hear it all the time, husbands and children rolling their eyes as they mutter under their breath, "must be that time of the month."

As if.

Maybe if we were the ones who got to sleep in until noon on the weekends and have someone else do our laundry and clean up our mess we'd be less moooooooody.

Seriously, if you find your mood changes dramatically from moment to moment, it might not be the hormones. It's time to take a mommy break and get some rest.

3 Other Ways to Rest Besides Napping

If you're like me, you're not much of a napper. I find when I nap in the middle of the day I wake up more tired. Instead, I like to find other ways to relax my mind, body and spirit.

1. Restorative & Yin Yoga Classes

Balance is more than being able to stand on one leg. When your mind and body are connected and functioning symbiotically, your life seems to flow much more smoothly.

We can achieve this state of being through deep breathing, fluid and gentle movement, and conscious relaxation all of which can be achieved in a restorative yoga class.

2. Massage & Infrared Sauna Sessions

We hold so much of our tension and exhaustion in our muscles. Massages help to melt those physical stresses away and lift us into a euphoric state of mind. The Infrared Sauna gives me a similar feeling. Something about sweating out toxins and sitting quietly in my own private space with only my energy to contend with...sheer bliss.

Getting a massage and then meditating in the Infrared Sauna, well, that's what I like to call heaven in the city.

3. Nature Walk

Nature and fresh air can make the worst days blossom into something magical. Getting away from the noise and craziness of city life for a few hours can put your mind at ease, lift your spirits, and activate your parasympathetic nervous system (relaxation responses).

We're lucky in Toronto because nature isn't too hard to find. We are a city in the park after all and can take advantage of the many nature spots close by. It's also easy to high tail it out to cottage country or take a stroll through one of our many national parks and conservation areas.

Next time you're feeling overwhelmed and exhausted, grab a picnic basket or day pack and go for a nature walk. The break will do you, and your family, some good.

Kara-Lee Burke,

Serenity Coach

New mom and anxiety survivor, Kara-Lee, is our resident Meditation Specialist and Serenity Coach. She is a Certified Advanced Reiki Healer and Yoga Teacher who uses her own success, experiences, yogic philosophy, and mindfulness training to help others manage and overcome anxiety and depression.

#sleep #weightloss #weightmanagement #relaxation #hormonebalancing

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Integrative Medical Center, Toronto

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