Taking care of yourself may be something you think you prioritize, but for many of us, good self-care falls to the wayside when other things get in the way. Women tend to take care of themselves last, putting the needs of their children and family or job demands ahead of their health. Here are some tips to keep you on track and make 2018 your healthiest yet!
1.Remind Yourself Everyday that Maintaining Your Health is Necessary
Your health is essential to everything you want to accomplish! You should not feel guilty about prioritizing your health above other demands. Do you reschedule important doctor’s appointments due to work demands or your kids’ schedules? Do you skip exercising or pick up unhealthy fast food due to working late or driving kids all over town to sports practices? Skimping on sleep to keep up with housework is also detrimental. These things might seem like a daily small sacrifice but in the long-run they add up to a stressful life without good healthy habits in place to keep you going strong.
It is not selfish to prioritize your health. You must take care of your body and soul before you can adequately take care of anyone else.
2. Determine What You Need to Be Healthy
What do you need to do to eat healthy meals this week? If you need time on the weekend to plan out your meals for the week and shop for groceries, carve that time out of your schedule to get it done! Or divide and conquer these tasks with your partner so that you are not relying on fast food or takeout during the week. If you have many nights during the week where you are attending team practices or games with your children, plan some grab and go dinners to bring with you to the sports fields so you are not tempted to stop at a drive thru. Sandwiches, salads, and fruit are easy to pack and can be enjoyed on the go!
When will you exercise each day? Make your daily exercise a sacred time, don’t allow phone calls or other interruptions to get in the way of your routine.
Establishing a morning and evening routine can also help you tackle your day while staying healthy. Try to wake up at least 30 minutes before the rest of your family, giving you some time to get ready and spend a few minutes doing a quiet activity you enjoy like journaling or reading. This will also help your days begin less hectic.
Wind down at least an hour before bedtime by powering down technology. Spend some time reading in bed to help your body relax for sleep. Try to go to bed at the same time every night and get at least eight hours of sleep.
Feel free to take some time for yourself! Go for a walk, get a massage, or meet a friend for coffee! These activities refresh and restore us, letting us live more healthfully with a calm body and soul.
3.Learn to Say No!
Staying late at work, overcommitting yourself to volunteer work, and driving to children’s activities can be the little stressful details of our days that become detrimental to our health. Learning to say no to activities or commitments that will overwhelm you or that you do not enjoy can help you maintain your healthy lifestyle. Agree on a work schedule with your boss that is realistic with your and your family’s needs. Choose one or two volunteer activities per month but do not feel pressured to take on more. Let your children choose one or two activities to be part of but limit it to those since driving children to activities can place a lot of demands on your schedule. It is ok and healthy to say no!