As part of our ongoing interview series with those doing great work in the employee wellbeing space, we spoke to Meg Murray Jones, founder of Postpartum Plan and our main partner for our Wellbeing for Working Parents offering.
SWW: Tell us more about your business Postpartum Plan. How did it get started and why is it important to you?
Meg Murray Jones: Postpartum Plan is an online resource for expectant and new parents, providing all the experts we should have access to; physio, doula, nutritionist, yoga and breath-work, GP, emotional health therapist and so much more. I created Postpartum Plan after years of seeing my reflexology clients, friends and family burn out postpartum; I realised that our society did not do enough to nurture and support new parents in those crucial first few weeks. So Postpartum Plan was born in May 2021 and now offers corporate packages to companies looking to enhance their parenting benefits.
If you had to give one piece of advice to Mums re-joining work after maternity leave, what would it be?
MMJ: Take some time before you go back to work to read up on your rights. It is incredibly empowering to go into your negotiation meetings with facts rather than just what you feel you need. Emotion and instinct are, by the way, also very important. but they make the meeting more emotionally led rather than a factual negotiation). Pregnant then Screwed has some amazing content to help you.
The Wellbeing for Working Mums and Dads webinar you deliver for Shine is always well received. What is your favourite piece of advice / insight from it?
MMJ: I love the Pomodoro technique and use it regularly for my own tasks as it really focuses the mind. This is where you set an alarm for 20 minutes and work solidly on one task until the alarm goes. For a mum with a million things going on this really helps me to not get distracted by small things (like house stuff!).
You are a mother of two with her own business. How do you manage to balance work, parenting and looking after your own wellbeing?
MMJ: I don’t think I manage it that well to be honest! I just have a very good understanding of when I am starting to burn out so I adjust accordingly. Life as a business owner and parent is all about compromise and juggle. There is no set recipe for success and your path will be different from the entrepreneur next door.
When it comes specifically to your own wellbeing, what are your non-negotiables / must do activities that you turn to to maintain your wellbeing?
MMJ: Cold showers. They sound awful but they are amazing for your endorphins and really energise me. I swam in the sea on New Years’ Day and plan to make cold water swimming a little hobby this year. Breath-work. We have all lost the ability to breathe fully and this has a major impact on our mental and physical health. I try to do five minutes of box breathing every day. Gratitude work/ journaling. Journaling is one of the best forms of free body therapy out there, proven to release stuck emotion better than typing can ever do. So I write 2 – 3 lines every night before bed. It is such a small thing that makes such a difference to my mental health.
How do these activities make you feel personally?
MMJ: It isn’t so much what I gain but what I lose. I lose intrusive or stuck thoughts; I lose that busy mind in the morning; I lose negativity. And since journaling I haven’t woken up at 2am with a whirring mind which is a massive plus!