CANDLE BURNING ISN'T FOR WUSSIES.
HOW TO FIT LIFE AROUND HEALTH CHOICES
It is hard to find the balance of living when the list of “to dos” seems to get longer and more convoluted every single day. For me, this time of year is one of the busiest times. Next in line comes the holiday season and then comes the end of the school year.
Since these events seem to come at the same time every year, it behooves us to master the ability to firstly prioritize what is important and secondly to learn how to be mindful in each moment.
Most of us already know how to prioritize. We know what is important. We know what is most important, and we know how to categorize and follow a list right? Prioritization is only part of the task that needs to take place when learning how to live in the moment and juggle responsibilities AND stay healthy in the process.
One of the consequences of a frazzled moment or day is that we eat out of emotion and mindlessness. Learning how to control our busy times without them controlling us is what we strive for. I have a great saying…. we strive to come to a place where our healthy choices are not structured around our life…but our lives are structured around our healthy choices. 🙂
What are those healthy choices? Eating for nutritional balance, sleeping 7 to 8 hours a night, being emotionally aware and having doable workable coping skills, relational health with social interaction, economic well-being with having the abundance to live, to give, and to serve, these are to name a few.
Let’s face it, we often spend more time planning for a vacation than we do strategizing our lives for health. With the choices that we make daily, consequences follow, not only for ourselves but for our loved ones.
Here are some tips that you can put into practice:
- Delegate when you can
- Get your rest. Structure your life around 7 to 8 hours of sleep. If you have trouble sleeping, I have a book that will help you in sleep preparation. Sleep preparation is just as important as the habit that you have developed by brushing your teeth everyday and just as easy…it’s simply a habit that you create.
- Plan and prep meals on Sunday. Put your meal times, hydration times, fuel times and snack times on an alarm.
- Fit your life around consistent exercise. If that means that you do 3 sets of squats for 5 minutes a day…do it. Research suggests that short bursts of exercise are more beneficial for you anyway.
- Set aside quite time before bed or wake up earlier…even just 5 minutes will help you. Start at 5 minutes and then work up.
- Scale back. If there is something that you can in clear conscience take off your schedule permanently, do it. Don’t let the guilt trip stop you.
- Learn how to meditate, get into bible study for instruction, prayer, music therapy, dance therapy, massage therapy, self-care like pedicures/manicures, hair, etc. Get these done professionally. We take a lot of time worrying about how we look. This gives us confidence to focus elsewhere.
- Develop relationships with your neighbors. Have a soup night or a night where the families can potluck or take turns keeping children so that the other parents can trade off giving you a date night or a night to yourselves.
- Let your children be involved in packing their own lunches. Don’t try to be super mom or dad in this area…what they pack…they will most likely eat because they have invested their time in doing it. Supply them with healthy food choices.
- Think of ways that you can save time. I personally like to get on the treadmill while I color my hair. Make your lists while you are waiting in the doctor’s office or in the car for a child or at a stoplight.
- Get out the door earlier to help relax during rush hour to and from work.
- Be mindful of the moments that you are with family. Put distractions aside like your phone and have them do the same for some period during the night. Devote a night or two to eating with family at the table…putting phones in a basket. First person that reaches for their phone must do a chore for someone else.
- Do a self-emotional assessment. This can be done by using an emotional assessment tool. I find that sometimes we are bothered but don’t know exactly what emotions are fueling us to have anxiety, frustrations, anger, increased irritability, sadness, which also takes away from our well-being and very often cause us to make unhealthy decisions. Usually these unhealthy decisions cascade into something even bigger.
- See your physician. Make sure that your hormones are within working order. Use supplementation for nutritional balance if you need it. Your physician should be able to tell you what you are deficient in. Sometimes our drain in energy is simply due to hormonal/nutritional imbalance.
- Breathing techniques. Educate yourselves on the proper way to deep breathe. These can be done anytime, anywhere…even in a bathroom stall or stop light!
While some of these solutions seem to be common sense, very few of us do them and most certainly don’t do them all. We are all works in progress.
Our problems all have workable solutions, but those solutions usually require proven methods of practice to create a habit. It is only until we realize that our lives are literally being sifted like sand and that more sand goes out of the bottle, the more stressed that we are, that we get the gravity of this subject.
In closing, to put this into perspective, I like to think of end of life people…those that are in hospital beds literally in their living rooms, on hospice with only months to live. I can assure you that they are not thinking about "little darling's" next dancing practice, their next vacation, the unpaid bill, trying to keep up with the Jones's, or how to climb to the next rung in the corporate latter. They are all wishing that they had spent more time with their friends and family while they were healthy. Nothing else matters. Alas, we find ourselves right back to Priority. What takes precedence in your life? Start with your health first because everything else in your life hinges on it.
I had the opportunity last week to hear a message that resonated with me. "It is not happiness that we need to be pursuing…it is purpose and meaning." If we pursue happiness…we will be pursuing it until the day that we die. It is purpose and meaning that automatically prioritizes our lives. Sometimes the solution is just as simple as pressing a reset button.
My name is Polly Vance, I am a Certified Health Coach. I am also an RN with experience in interpersonal relationships. I have doable, workable solutions for your health needs. I look forward to hearing from you in the future.
This month’s book of the month is: “The Power of a Parent’s Blessing” by Craig Hill.