Is staying healthy a priority for you? Or is it something that is important in theory, but in reality you don’t pay that much attention to it.
As moms, we tend to take care of our children’s health, and even our partner’s health, but our own health gets put on the back burner. So let’s talk about WHY and HOW we need to change that in order to have a more balanced life.
This is the first topic of the 10 part series where we will talk about life areas we need to address in order to have a balanced life. Check out the introductory blog on Life Balance as a Working Mom, if you have missed it.
Why is Health Life Area so important?
Why is health the first life area we are discussing? Because you can have everything else in your life but without health, you really don’t have much. Being sick will significantly affect your every other area of your life.
So why do we neglect it? Why do we put it on the back burner? Because we don’t notice how important it is until we start experiencing symptoms or actually get sick. For example, we eat an unhealthy diet until our doctor tells us that we have a high cholesterol level. Or we ignore regular check-ups at the doctor until something really starts to hurt. In other words, with health we tend to be reactive rather than proactive.
Especially when we just enter adulthood. We are so young that we think we are invincible. We eat fast food every single day and don’t think much of it because we don’t see any consequences right away. We drink energy drink after energy drink because we need that extra pick me up to study or work long hours to jump start our careers. The list is long. But I’m sure we all had (or have) some of those unhealthy habits.
What can we do to stay healthy as busy working moms?
Now, that we are moms, we have so many more responsibilities. We are busier than ever. So what can we do to stay healthy?
I believe there are four main things we have to address:
The first non-secret to staying healthy is a balanced diet. In other words, the food we consume.
The trick is to find what works for you.
It does not matter whether you are doing Keto, Atkins, Paleao, or simply eating more fruits and veggies and less processed foods. We all have different dietary needs and restrictions. Find what works for you. What does your body need. And yes, need not want – because if it would be ‘want’ I would be on a chocolate diet.
Make sure it fits your lifestyle. So don’t try to implement a diet that is very time consuming when you are working crazy hours and have a very limited time to cook of prep your food. I believe that this is one of the most common mistakes that prevents us from eating well.
Remember what we eat will impact both our physical and mental health.
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Which brings me to the second area, and that is mental health.
Let’s get real moms! Going through pregnancy messes up our hormones. Being sleep deprived for months or even years, will be not only physically but mentally draining. Worrying about our kids 24/7 can be mentally challenging. Trying to juggle all the responsibilities as moms can quickly become overwhelming. We might start feeling anxious. We might even start experiencing the first signs of depression.
But we tend to ignore all that because we have so many other things to take care of. And we think that what we are feeling is normal and will eventually go away.
But it WILL NOT!
We have to take care of our mental health in order to be able to take care of others. Our mental state will affect the way we raise our kids, our productivity, our creativity, and the way we dream and look at our future.
Staying healthy means taking care of our mental health. So don’t ignore the signs. Acknowledge your feelings. Join mom groups of social media to talk about motherhood struggles – we all have them. Seek help from a professional. Talk to your mom friends.
Remember that ignoring your mental health because you are busy and don’t have time will only cause you to be less productive and more importantly less happy about your life.
Another important aspect of our health that we often ignore as busy moms is self-care.
We often say that we don’t have time to read, take a bath, or sit down for a few minutes each day to drink a cup of coffee or tea in silence. And we don’t have time or money to relax in a spa, go to the movies with friends, or enjoy our hobby.
There is no magic wand that will create time for you to be able to do self-care. But if you make it your priority – you will ‘magically’ find time. You will become more creative and resourceful to make it happen. You will get up a few minutes early to enjoy that cup of coffee. Or maybe you will trade babysitting with your friends so you can go shopping by yourself.
Remember that self-care is not selfish. It is self-sustainment. Taking care of you will make you a better person. A better mom, wife, and employee.
Therefore, you are really doing everyone a favor by taking care of you.
RELATED: 7 Simple Ways to Self-Care
And lastly, in order to stay healthy we have to get regular check-ups. We have to go see a doctor for our physicals or the recommended preventative tests.
I remember after my daughter was born, I did not have a dental check-up for about two years. And one day I was talking to my husband about that and his response was: ‘just make an appointment and go’. And yes, it was that simple. The only thing that was stopping me was me. I was so wrapped up with everything else that I forgot about me.
I also did not have my physical for a few years until my dad passed away from heart disease and I realized that I’m predisposed to that.
Those preventative check-ups seem to always fall on the back burner simply because we think we are healthy. We don’t have any symptoms that would say otherwise (or we are in denial about the signs we have).
Check-ups don’t really take that much time! So let’s make a pack with ourselves that we will stay proactive with our health so we can stay healthy. For us and for our families.
Because ultimately we want to be here not only to see our kids grow up but also our grandkids.
What do you do to stay healthy as a busy working mom? Is there any area that you put on the back burner?