BECOMING A MOM, I can appreciate all the challenges of a multi-tasking mom. As a Naturopathic doctor, I believe achieving and maintaining optimal health is absolutely essential for performing at your best no matter which hat you are wearing. So here are my tips for finding the balance in life and achieving good health mentally, physically and emotionally through all the days of your life.
1. Set healthy boundaries between work and home life.
Ensuring proper separation between work and home life is easier said than done. With all the ease and convenience of technology, it’s difficult to truly shut off and be present in your home life. However, it is important to remain mindful of your time and precious relationship with your kids.
When you miss the moments, you miss your life.
2. Leave technology at the door.
The rule in our home is — we leave our smart phones at the door when we walk in… and it has worked for us! We want our kids to remember us having conversations with them in person rather than via text or Facebook.
3. Include your family in your physical activity.
Your days of going to the gym for an hour or two may be over or at least less frequent, so you must get creative with your physical activity.
Find ways for your family to get active together. Our bodies are desperate for more exercise and your children need at least an hour per day.
Lead by example and teach your children how important physical activity truly is.
4. Plan and prep your meals for the week.
Why not grocery shop and cook with purpose?
In our house, Sundays are dedicated to preparing food for the week. Together, we decide what meals and snacks we want.
We pull out our beloved cook books and buy only what we need. Cooking together is a habit that keeps us nourished with healthy food every day. We are what we eat. Food influences your mood, so choose wisely.
5. Pack your lunch.
Only eating foods you prepare will ensure that you eat healthfully throughout the day. You control what goes into your body and avoid the temptations of workplace snacks.
Not being prepared makes those doughnuts twice as enticing, especially when you are hungry or have low blood sugar and need a quick energy spike. Preparation is the key to success and decreases the likelihood of eating poorly or making bad meal choices.
6. No is an answer.
We are all plagued by stress and many responsibilities. And yet for so many, it is easier to be pleasant and fake a smile than honestly admit that your current workload is more than enough. I see a lot of women who are mentally and emotionally unhealthy because they can’t say no or ask for help.
You aren’t any “lesser” when you receive help or let others know that, at this time, you cannot help (although you would love to make them happy). Stop sacrificing your health, nothing is worth that.
7. Make yourself a priority
Remember, you cannot give others what you don’t have or do for yourself. You will be a better mom, spouse, entrepreneur and employee when you spoil yourself, healthfully. So go to that yoga class or take that vacation, there is no need to feel guilty. In order to fire all your cylinders, you need to recharge the battery.
8. Prevention is key
Visit your ND.
When you are feeling well, you’re less motivated to do what’s needed to maintain optimal health. Your healthy habits can fall by the wayside with all those good feeling hormones and endorphins coursing through your body. Once you achieve it, you must actively maintain it, otherwise you will slowly slip back into ill health or suboptimal living.
You are too fabulous to settle for anything less than the best.
Yes, you are trained and educated, but you can’t effectively be your own doctor. Put effort and time into regular visits and do your homework. Select someone who you feel cares and is invested in helping you achieve your health goals.
9. Express love and gratitude everyday.
Don’t you love when someone shares his or her love and positive feelings about you, with you? It feels so good! But, guess what? It feels even better to express your love and gratitude for others while improving your mental and emotional health.
10. Nighttime preparation.
Set yourself up for success everyday by preparing for it the night before.
Take a few minutes before bed to get everything ready for the morning. There is nothing worse than starting your day in a panic. It’s hard to keep that inner calm when every day starts in chaos and high levels of stress.
11. Sweat daily.
We all know exercise is a key foundation to health, so make time for it. Walk or bike to work, take a dance class, only use the stairs and get yourself out of the city.
Sweating is important for daily detoxification, reduction of stress hormones, increase of the “feel good” hormones, etc, etc… you know enough facts. Now do it.
12. Sex with your partner.
What a great way to exercise and connect with your spouse at the same time. Sex is a healthy and fun way to get physically active on a more regular basis.
There are so many benefits for partners who engage in sexual activity 4-6 times per week. Statistics demonstrate that most couples are not near this number, so it’s time to get down and dirty.
13. Sit down to dinner.
Research shows that children of families that sit down for dinner (without TV) have better diets, eat more fruits and vegetables and consume less fried food and sodas.
This also means they are less likely to be obese. It is so important to sit down and reconnect with your family on a daily basis. Doing this over a healthy dinner positively associates these memories with nourishing meals.
I think I just heard you groan.
Sometimes, with all we do, it just doesn’t feel like there are enough hours in the day to get it all done AND get a restful sleep.
But sleep is so essential to health. Many chronic diseases can be attributed to lack of sleep. We all know that when we don’t get what our bodies need, we aren’t able to function optimally.
Aim for a 10 p.m. bedtime and ideally 8 hours of sleep.
15. Avoid eating late at night.
Want a quick and easy way to achieve optimal health and maybe even shed a few unwanted pounds?
Stay away from the late night snacks.
That’s right, back away from the kitchen when you hear the call of the cupboards or fridge. The body needs a period of ‘fasting’ on a daily basis to ensure proper digestive and metabolic health.
Many patients often report that they’re not hungry when they wake. Feeling hungry is a very important signal to start your day off right. You are supposed to be ready to eat when you wake. If you do not want to eat when you wake up, you are likely eating too close to bedtime.
16.Hydrate, hydrate and hydrate some more.
One of the most consistent pieces of advice I give for any health-related issue is to hydrate. We need water! Yet so few get enough.
We need water to manage blood pressure, regulate temperature, support bowel health, hydrate the skin and so much more.
How many ounces do you need? You individual amount can be calculated by multiplying your weight by 0.65.
Generally, most people need between 2-4 litres per day, but will increase with activity.
Feeling hungry? Often, hunger pains are confused with dehydration and what you actually need is water. So the next time you’re craving a snack, try drinking a glass of water and then wait to see if your hunger diminishes.
Did you know glass of water before each meal can result in a five-pound weight loss? When we fill our bellies with water, we feel full faster and tend to eat less. It’s an easy portion control method to help you stay healthy and maintain a healthier body weight.
These 16 tips are very simple things you can do that, when put together, can really pack a punch in your life. But the most importantly, remember to not beat yourself up or ‘should’ yourself.
Change takes time and the road to health is a journey that starts with making habits of the little things. Do the very best you can today and move on to have an even better tomorrow.
Incorporate more alternative and preventative lifestyle habits, committing daily to living healthfully. Small changes and efforts do add up… start now.