Health is not merely the absence of disease, it is about living optimally. This can be extremely challenging when you are juggling children, a spouse, meal plans and career all the while striving to feel good. Becoming a mom myself, I can appreciate all the challenges being a multi-tasking mom can present. As an ND, I believe achieving and maintaining optimal health is an absolute 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.
- Set healthy boundaries between work and home life. As you can probably imagine, it is healthy to ensure proper separation between work and home life. Yes, this is easier said than done. With all the ease and convenience advancements in technology have brought to us now, it’s difficult to truly shut off and be present in your home life. However, it is more important than ever to make the strongest efforts to be mindful of your time and precious relationship with your kids. Simply put, when you miss the moments, you miss your life.
- Leaving technology at the door. We have a rule in our home that 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 as Facebook friends.
- Include your family in your physical activity. Your days of going to the gym for an hour or two of a great workout may be over or at least less frequent, so you must get creative with your physical activity. Find ways for you and your family to get active together. Our bodies are desperate for more physical activity and your children need at least an hour per day, so help them achieve this goal. Lead by example and teach your children how important physical activity truly is. Sitting on the couch is making you unhealthy, so get outside and play!
- Plan and prep your meals for the week. Why not grocery shop and cook with purpose. Our Sundays are dedicated to preparing for the week. Together, we decide what meals and snacks we would like to prepare. We bring our post-it laden cook books and buy only what we need. We then cook together. It’s a great habit that keeps us nourished with healthy food every day. We are what we eat and food=mood, so choose wisely.
- Pack your lunch. A great way to ensure that you eat healthfully throughout the day is by eating food prepared by you or a family member. You know what’s in your meal, you can eat when you are hungry and you will be less tempted by bad workplace snacks when you have options. Not being prepared makes those doughnuts twice as enticing because you are likely hungry, have low blood sugar and are not overly jazzed about having to pay for your lunch. Preparation is the key to success and decreases the likelihood of eating poorly or making bad meal choices.
- No is an answer. All those stressed out women (and men) say yeah… Yeah! We are all plagued by stress and many responsibilities. And yet for so many, it is easier to be pleasant and kind than to be honest and express that your current workload is more than enough. I see a lot of women who are mentally and emotionally unhealthy because of their inability to say no or ask for help. You are not “less” when receiving help from others or letting others know that, at this time, you cannot help although you would love to make them happy. Remember, when you do this you are sacrificing your health and nothing is worth that!
- Make yourself a priority… no, actually do this! It feels good to say, right? Well it feels even better to do it. Remember you cannot give others what you do not have or do for yourself. You will be a better mom, spouse, entrepreneur or 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 on all cylinders, you need to recharge the battery!
- Prevention is key! When you are feeling well, you’re less motivated to do what is required to keep you in optimal health. Your healthy habits can fall by the wayside when you are feeling 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! Spend a little time with your ND by making annual visits. The health of your mind, body and spirit is what we are educated and passionate about. Let us empower and keep you informed and inspired about your health and wellness. This is a long-term relationship, so choose your ND wisely; select someone who you feel cares and is invested in helping you achieve your health goals.
Stay tuned for part 2 of health in the midst of being a mommy!
Dr. Michelle Peris is a Naturopathic Doctor whose goal is to inspire health through educating, motivating and empowering people. She has a family based practice out of a clinic in Oakville, Ontario.
Contact Dr. Michelle today to book your 15 minute complimentary consult.