As a full-time working mum of two, sometimes it does not feel like there are enough hours in the day.
When trying to prioritise, exercise and health sometimes fall by the wayside. Self-care becomes more of a chore than a joy.
However, Sarah-Jane, 38, is on a mission to help women and mums get back on track with their goals and feel better about themselves through her new business.
Sarah-Jane – who has been working as an accountant and project manager for the past 13 years – says: ‘I think physical health is crucial for your overall mental health and wellbeing. Lockdown has shown us that movement is fundamental to feeling good.
‘Before I had children and when I was in my 20s, I had all the time in the world to exercise but never did.
‘Whereas when I had children, all I wanted was some time to work on myself and get back into shape.
‘I started by doing the Couch To 5k because it was easy to follow and manageable. When you’re a new mum, it can be quite uncomfortable to move and I fully understand that.
Sarah-Jane admits that she often felt depressed and anxious, with it being a mission to even get out of bed some days. It is common for many women to struggle with body confidence and anxiety after birth, but Sarah-Jane says there weren’t many resources to help.
Through the discovery of holistic practices, mindfulness courses, fitness and nutrition, Sarah-Jane pulled herself through and now wants to encourage others to do the same.
As well as learning more about the right foods to feed her little ones, Sarah-Jane, from Clanfield, became interested in trying out new recipes. She explains: ‘A lot of these slimming groups focus on cheat foods or calorie counting but I wanted to learn more about wholesome foods and nutrition.
‘I had a toddler and a child weaning so I was trying to explore different options. It was about being mindful about the foods I was using and eating.’
Years of mindful eating and learning about exercise eventually cultivated into Sarah-Jane starting her own fitness and holistic platform, which began on the evening the UK went into lockdown on March 2020.
‘It started right at the beginning of the pandemic,’ says Sarah-Jane. ‘On the night Boris Johnson locked us down, I had my android phone in my tripod and was doing a marching challenge on Facebook Live.
‘I gathered a few followers and it grew daily. I offered free sessions and started simply by marching on the spot while having a cup of tea and chatting to the people that joined.’
Since then, Sarah-Jane has grown her business to the point she now offers fitness training, life coaching and holistic practices. She says she can relate to how most of the women and new mums feel when they contact her.
‘I have transitioned into being a holistic energy practitioner as I found the majority of women want to feel good about their bodies, want to focus on themselves but struggle to overcome emotional obstacles,’ says Sarah-Jane.
‘Putting yourself first is hard and most women feel guilty for prioritising themselves. So their health and fitness suffers and they end up in a cycle feeling like a failure which spirals into anxiety and body confidence issues.
‘I help women through life coaching, reiki, meditation and breathwork to work through the emotional, physical, mental and spiritual obstacles.’
After working for months in her kitchen, she has created mindful recipes which are available as part of her plans and coaching. And they have not only been popular with her clients, but also her children.
She says: ‘The recipes started to help current clients with ideas to keep them motivated to fill their body with wholesome foods. My favourite recipe is definitely home-made chicken nuggets – the kids love them!
‘I am trained in nutrition for weight loss and the recipes are designed to give a balance of the important macro nutrients, packed with vitamins and minerals and easy to make at home for one or the whole family.’
Sarah-Jane now offers 1-2-1 life coaching, online courses and meditation masterclasses working out of her home at Clanfield. Go to sj-lewis.com.
What are holistic therapies?
The word ‘holistic’ originates from the Greek root ‘holos’, which means ‘whole’.
Holistic treatments are therefore understood as any healthcare therapies and practices that treat the entire body and the whole person, rather than curing conditions or ailments in isolation as modern medicine aims to do.
The importance of treating the body as a whole is because holistic practitioners view the human body as one, harmonious system. Therefore optimal health can only be achieved if the mind, body and spirit are balanced. This harmony is achieved via natural and often remedial treatments.
Examples of holistic therapies include reflexology; massages; meditation and hypnotherapy.
Holistic therapies’ popularity increase began in the 1960s in response to anxiety about Western medicine’s focus on drug-related treatment. That sentiment remains today, especially with lengthy NHS waiting lists. Therefore, many seek an alternative in holistic therapies.
Sarah-Jane Lewis adds: ‘I now incorporate life coaching, reiki, meditation and breathwork. All forms of energy work to improve your overall emotional, physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing.’