What’s that thing they say on an airplane? Make sure you put your safety mask on first before you help anyone else? Well, the same wisdom can be applied to parenting — especially during these strange times in which we are living.
If you’re a parent during this pandemic, you will be intimate with the challenges of juggling working from home while homeschooling kids, and playing the role of chef, psychologist, and playmate. Take care of our own mental and physical wellbeing at the same time? Who has time for that?!
Well, it turns out that Hannah (Joy) Jackson from Hannah Joy Fitness does, and she has an 11 month old baby to boot. Hannah is a Certified Personal Trainer and a Pre and Post Natal Fitness Specialist who lives in L.A., and works with many celebrities. She is proof that a happy and healthy mom makes for happy and healthy kids (or a particularly cute baby in this case,) so we thought we’d check in with her to see how she manages to run a business from home, provide baby Indigo with all the care he needs, and still stay on top form both mentally and physically.
Here’s what Hannah has to say about putting on that oxygen mask and taking care of everyone’s needs.
You have already been facing big changes in your life as a new mom. How did this pandemic (and social distancing) further impact you?
After I became a mother, I have tried my best to keep some sort of “normal” life even among all the changes. Pretty quickly after Indigo was born I started to once again make sure that I still had “me time” by prioritizing a day or night each week to still have alone or away time with friends or a date night with my husband. The biggest difference this pandemic has placed on me is that now my alone time has to be more strategic, because I am not leaving the house or having a night out with my girlfriends etc. I thrive off of routine and stability, yet there is a big part of me that loves adventure and mixing it up a bit! So being more creative in filling those needs has been the challenge I face during this pandemic.
How do you make sure you take care of your own needs while running a business and taking care of an 11 month old, especially during this time of social distancing?
I have been surrounded by hard working women my whole life, however it was rare that I also saw self care in the mix of that great work ethic. I see a lot of women sacrifice for their family, loved ones and work, and in the end they forget their own needs and burn out. I truly believe that in order to be the best version of myself for my son, husband and those I love (and work with) I need to continually be catering to my own needs and desires as well. I have had to work really hard at time management so that I can not only take care of my 11 month old and run a business, but also fit those small moments in my day where I do things for myself that helps me feel whole! Every morning I write out what I need/want to accomplish in my day from work goals, to mama goals, to partner goals, and I adjust my day according to those needs. I keep an hour open for my own time which is usually spent tackling my own workout and sitting in my infrared sauna where I not only get to cater to my health, but have quiet time to read or listen to a favorite podcast. Also, because I believe in living a life of balance, one of my wind down relaxing moments is at the end of the day when I pour myself a glass of wine and either cook, or watch a show with my husband once the baby is in bed.
It seems you typically run life at a fast pace. Can you share how this current climate has forced you to slow down (and how do you feel about that?)
Normally my days would be filled juggling my time between in person training sessions, motherhood responsibilities, running errands, meal prep, and working on my latest fitness eBook, web site or anything work related to my company: Hannah Joy Fitness. I’ve always piled my plate super high with responsibilities and goals to achieve, and being forced to slow down during quarantine has been such a blessing in disguise! I have been trying to take advantage of the home stay by adjusting my work/life balance to a healthier place by prioritizing what is truly important. I didn’t realize how much time I would spend running into a grocery store, or a “quick” errand while I was in between training sessions or meetings. In order to support local business and also stay home as much as possible during this time, I have begun to have all my groceries shipped to the house and I am getting my produce delivered from local organic farms every few weeks. There are definitely times I still have to run to the store, or an errand that cant be delivered, but the time I am saving by focusing on work and family at home has truly been amazing. I feel like I can be much more present with Indigo with the time I spend with him, which in return allows me to be hyper focused on work and training when I am in those moments as well.
We love watching the videos of you working out with (baby) Indigo crawling over you, or you using him as weights during squats. What would you say to other moms of young children who are finding it hard to work out right now?
Any time you can spend moving your body is worth it! You may not have an hour or even 30 minutes of consecutive time, but if you can fit in a walk with your kiddos, or a quick 15 minute workout while the baby is napping, any movement you can do daily will help you feel better physically and mentally, having gotten those endorphins going. On the days I am super strapped for time, or Indi isn’t napping well, I’ll give myself a goal of 4 sets of 25 squats and jumping jacks that I need to accomplish throughout the day and throw in a set, between laundry loads or while I’m cooking dinner.
Has this time of “sheltering-in-place” changed your outlook on life in any way?
This season of life and “sheltering-in-place” has changed how I view the constants in my life. I have had to change how I manage my life, and it has taught me to be more flexible and adapt to change in a positive way. In the beginning weeks of quarantine I kept trying to make my “normal” schedule work for me, and over the past few weeks I have realized that if I accept change as a positive, I can accomplish a lot more because fear is no longer driving me.
What tips do you have for mothers who are struggling to take care of themselves (both physically and mentally) because time is limited and there is so little opportunity to get personal space?
This goes alongside the advice for finding time to workout. If you are not taking care of yourself mentally and physically, there will come a time where you are not able to be your best self for those relying on you. Communicate with your partner of your need for a few moments alone a day, or if all responsibilities fall on you alone, push the laundry aside when the kids are napping or playing by themselves and prioritized one thing for yourself daily. If having beautiful nails makes you happy, set aside time in the mama schedule to give yourself a mani/pedi. If working out is a priority, then have a handful of short workouts ( I have plenty on my Instagram page!) set up so you know which one you can tackle at a moment’s notice. Write your needs into the mix of everyone else’s, knowing that your mental and physical health are a priority.
Follow Hannah on Instagram @hannahjoyfitness for workouts & inspiration, and find out more about her journey of recovery from hypothyroidism at https://www.hannahjoyfitness.com/