• Kay Johnston

Rossendale Mums Matter

On Saturday 23rd February I was asked to speak and run a workshop at the first Mums Matter event in Waterfoot in Rossendale.

This was a free event aimed at improving the health of mums in Rossendale. The afternoon was designed so that mums could learn about new ways to stay healthy and happy. It also gave them the opportunity to connect with other mums and health professionals in their local community. All the speakers gave up their time for free.

The speakers included a GP, Health Visitor and Practice Nurse, a Nutritional Therapist, a Personal Trainer, a Yoga Teacher and finally me.

All the talks were aimed at how to help mums stay fit and healthy. There was a range of areas discussed. The first speaker at local GP talked about the benefits of intermittent fasting and how to get healthy gut bacteria.

Next, we had a talk from a Health Visitor on family well-being and the need to build our tribes and look at our lifestyles in a holistic way.

We were then all asked to take part in a quick warm up. This was followed by some great fitness advice from a personal trainer, who had worked in a nursery and subsequently found a love for exercise following the birth of her two children. Then followed a talk on the benefits of yoga and how it can help with anxiety, even if you only do it for a few minutes each day.

After a tea break, including homemade healthy flapjacks, we were then treated to a talk on nutrition. We learnt that by making small changes to our diets, that these can have a big impact on our health and mind. The speaker gave some examples of case studies. She gave us practical advice on what we should be eating and drinking, and how to incorporate a healthy balanced diet into a busy lifestyle.

We then had a presentation on smear tests, why we all need to make time to go for them. We all got to handle the equipment used in a smear test. The speaker a local Practice Nurse said that smear tests are the highest DNA for all the appointments she has in her clinic. She is actively looking at ways to encourage ladies to attend, including opening the practice just on Saturday mornings for smear testing.

I then finished the afternoons presentations by talking about my experience of becoming a mum for the first time and my struggle with post-natal depression. I then went on to talk about anxiety and what we can do about it.

After all the presentations had finished, there were then four workshops. One for yoga, another demonstrating mindfulness, an exercise session and my session learning three simple steps to control anxiety.

There is another Mums Matter event schedule for May and the next one is focusing on children’s health and well-being.

It was a great afternoon, in a lovely supportive atmosphere. It was wonderful to see so many local mums making some time for themselves.

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