As a mom, partner, and individual, you need to cater to your own wants and needs and those of your family. This can become extremely draining, so making your life as easy as possible by incorporating productive habits may seem like an additional chore at first.
However, once you reap the benefits, you'll never want to return to your over-tired, stressed, and somewhat unorganized self. Your family's mental and physical health greatly depends on yours, so take a look at eight simple strategies that will help you stay healthy and give you a zest for life.
Eat tasty food and lose weight with Unimeal app!
Take a Quiz – Get personal meal plan – Achieve your weight goals!Start Quiz
While you may think that spending a couple of hours meal prepping will waste your time, this strategy saves a lot more time that, first, wondering what to eat, running to the store every second day, and still serving healthy, balanced meals to your family. In short, meal planning really makes your life easier.
First, set up your menu for the week. Do you want to prep lunch and dinner? Then, compile a grocery list containing all the ingredients and other foods like milk and fruit you and your family need. Do you pack lunch for your kids? If you do, add the items to your list. Prep your food, freeze or refrigerate it, depending on what it is, and you'll arrive home in the evening knowing you don't have to cook!
Regular physical activity and keeping up your NEAT are some of the most vital things you can do for your health. Being physically active can help you manage your weight, improve your brain health, reduce the risk of illness, strengthen your muscles and bones, and improve your overall ability to get things done.1Center for Disease Control and Prevention. June 16, 2022. Benefits of Physical Activity. CDC.gov. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/pa-health/index.htm
Physical activity is one of the most critical components influencing and improving your overall well-being. And, if you're running around from dusk 'til dawn, sneaking in an express workout can help you reap these benefits without taking a chunk out of your day.2Magutah K, Thairu K, Patel N. February 28, 2020. Effect of short moderate intensity exercise bouts on cardiovascular function and maximal oxygen consumption in sedentary older adults. Open Sport Exerc Med. DOI:10.1136/bmjsem-2019-000672If you don't know where to start, you can find easy and accessible workouts on YouTube that you can do in the comfort of your living room. Before you start your day, try a 10-15 minute dance routine, a quick strength session, or try yoga to become physically stronger and mentally prepare you for your day.
If you need to lower your stress levels and up your resilience to juggle work and family life efficiently, meditation is a great option.
An eight-week study found that meditation reduces inflammation caused by stress. Additionally, regular meditation can improve conditions caused by stress, including digestive issues, PTSD, and fibromyalgia.3Goyal M, Singh S, Sibinga EM, Gould NF, Rowland-Seymour A, Sharma R, Berger Z, Sleicher D, Maron DD, Shihab HM, Ranasinghe PD, Linn S, Saha S, Bass EB, Haythornthwaite JA. March, 2014. Meditation programs for psychological stress and well-being: a systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA Intern Med. DOI:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.13018
If your mind is all over the place, it may take some discipline to get into the meditation groove, but once you know how to shut down the racing thoughts and get your brain focused on relaxation, you'll experience a transformation in your mind, making you both calm and more alert. Again, starting with shorter sessions is key, allowing your mind to get used to the calm and introspective approach. Make sure your surroundings are quiet and tranquil, and position yourself into a relaxing pose.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults aged between 17 and 64 need at least seven to nine hours of sleep and no less than six hours.4Lichtenstein GR. December 11, 2015. The Importance of Sleep. Gastroenterol Hepatol (N Y). PMID:27134595
Sleeping enough helps curb cravings for carb-rich foods because you're feeling low on energy, which is crucial for managing stress.
It's' not always possible to get a good night's sleep, but making it a priority will benefit your overall health.
This may sound like a no-brainer, but when you're really busy, getting in the nutrients you need in the right proportions can be challenging, especially if you're running around all day.
A balanced diet is proven to enhance your overall health, including reduced stress levels, fatigue, and heart health.5World Health Organization. 2022. Healthy Diet. WHO.org. Retrieved from https://www.who.int/initiatives/behealthy/healthy-diet What you can do is make sure to carry healthy snacks in your bag, including fresh fruit, if you don't have time for lunch. A granola bar may seem healthy, but these often contain a lot of sugar, and they're not particularly filling. Adding an apple or banana makes the on-the-go snack more nutrient-dense and adds extra fiber.
Self-time can be classified as a form of self-care where you take time to feed your body and soul by doing things you love. Practicing self-time can involve anything from taking an hour to read your favorite book, spending time with your partner, or connecting with nature.
Studies on individuals with busy schedules and stress have shown that making time to focus on yourself and doing what you enjoy can increase your overall quality of life. 6 This is because you'll feel fulfilled mentally and spiritually, which will spill over to your physical health.
Keep yourself whole by scheduling time to do what you love.
Whether you're an introvert or extrovert, connecting with friends and individuals with whom you share a close relationship has healing powers. The goal here is not to spend all time unloading but rather to also to focus on having fun and strengthening your relationships.
Meet up at your favorite spot, have a drink or dinner, and enjoy each other's company. Or, if you're unable to do that, a phone call or video chat also works wonders.
See also: Top 5 Ways to Find a Fitness Buddy
Most of your body is made up of water, so it only makes sense to maintain healthy hydration levels. Staying hydrated contributes to homeostasis in your body, which is the ultimate level of harmony that allows all body processes to function optimally.7Popkin BM, D'Anci KE, Rosenberg IH. August, 2010. Water, hydration, and health. Nutr Rev. DOI:10.1111/j.1753-4887.2010.00304.x.
Although drinking water is a great way to stay hydrated, you can also consume water-rich foods. Vegetables like cucumber and fruit like watermelon and grapes all help contribute to healthy water levels in the body. Also, make sure to avoid drinking too many beverages that are high in sugar and caffeine.
Becoming a healthier, happier parent will help you to raise healthier and happier children. Incorporating small but transformative habits into your routine will ultimately help you to become clear-minded, resilient, and physically fit, and you'll start enjoying life more.
If eight new habits seem a bit overwhelming, try to incorporate them one at a time, starting with the one you feel will make the most important changes first.
Unimeal does not diagnose or suggest treatments. Any description of the diet, training plan or supplement should be discussed with your current physician or nutritionist. This article does not address specific conditions and is simply meant to provide general information on healthcare topics. Following any advice is at your own initiative and does not impose any responsibility on the blog authors for your health and safety.
By choosing high-quality sources, we make sure that all articles on the Unimeal blog are reliable and trustworthy. Learn more about our editorial processes.