By Erika Fehrenbach Prell
Confession time, DreamChaser. I took a big fall off the health wagon. I mean, like I fell off, the wagon kept going, and I was left sitting on the side of the road in the dust. The pandemic pandemonium started the initial descent, and the summer slide pushed it the rest of the way. Anyone else?!?
While it is true that any time is a great time to restart, August is a natural “do over” time in the calendar, especially if you have kids going back to school. As school approaches, all the parents need to start re-domesticating those wild, free range children with bedtime routines, regular showers and fresh underwear, and schedules. Take it from me, as in learn from my mistakes, starting this process before the first day of school definitely is helpful in being successful. Even with virtual school as a partial or full day option, getting your kids back to a regular schedule will be important for everyone’s success and sanity.
Guess what, parents? That also means it’s time for YOU to start taking care of yourself and getting back on a healthy schedule! We all need to feel our best to get through this next chapter. Let’s heft our butts off the side of the road, dust ourselves off, and walk towards that wagon. (Walk, because running is not an option yet...lol.) Before you start listing off all the things you are doing wrong, I want you to stop, take a deep breath, and stay with me. Your total health revolves around 3 areas; that’s it, just 3 areas. Focus on these 3 areas, and you will not only boost your health and general well-being but will also boost your energy.
Are you ready?!? Here we go…
Get Your Move On
Exercise, or as I prefer to call it, recess time, is a crucial part of your health and wellness. Seriously, it’s time to stop making excuses and putting this off and just start moving consistently, as in every day. Before you freak out, let’s get something straight. I am not talking about hours of commitment or signing up for expensive classes or hiring a personal trainer, although, if that’s your jam, cool. Per the American Heart Association, as little as 10 minutes of activity daily contributes to your heart health. 10 minutes is not a lot, DreamChaser, is totally doable and contributes to your health, well-being, and energy immensely. Find a physical activity that you enjoy and schedule it into your daily to-dos. Just to help you get started, here are a few ways to get your move on:
Choose How to Fuel Up
You’ve heard it before, and you are about to hear it again; food is fuel. While you have heard this, have you ever really stopped to think what this means? Your body uses the food you eat in two ways, either to run all the functions your body does all day long or as the building blocks to create cells. This means your food either fuels your body or is used to make your body. When you put it that way, do you want to run on and be made of chips or vegetables? The fuel you choose directly affects how you feel and what you are able to do, in the short term and the long term. Just like a Lamborghini, if you want peak performance, you need to choose premium fuel.
While you might only be thinking of food in this category, don’t forget what you choose to hydrate with. You are made of roughly 75% water. That means, in a day, 3 out of 4 beverages should be, you guessed it, water! If you want to feel better, be better, and do better, you have to choose to eat and drink healthy most of the time. I’m a realist; we all need to have cake or ice cream from time to time. Just make sure that is the exception and not the rule!
Get Your ZZZs
This is the area of highest neglect. We all want more of that precious time, so we seem to think we should decrease our sleep to make more time to do all the things. Seems logical but it is a big, ehhhh, wrong answer. Study after study has shown that you are less efficient, focused, and effective when you are tired. Want to get more done? Don’t cut your sleep short! An adult needs on average 7 to 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night. I can hear all the parents laughing; uninterrupted?!? I have children! You can’t control if your kid, or kids, wake you in the night but you can control if you go to sleep at a reasonable time. Check out these tips to set you up for sleep success, too!
Did any of these surprise you? I’m guessing, no. We all know what we are supposed to do to take care of ourselves, right? We complicate it by adding layers on top of each of these. All these layers do is cause our minds to lose focus, get confused, and fail to stick with it. You may have heard this before, a confused mind says no, resulting in that whole falling off the wagon spiral. Keep it simple, DreamChaser. Move, eat well, and sleep. Make a commitment to taking care of yourself and focus on making the best choices in these areas. DreamChaser, your future self is already thanking you! Shine on
Jackie White has been writing about life and its ups and downs for many years. With a degree in Industrial Psychology and a life-long student of personal development she is intrigued by how each individual chooses to live their life. Jackie feels strongly that truly living your best life is imperative to attaining peace and fulfillment. SoulShine was borne of her desire to inspire and teach others to live their best life. This is her mission and her dream.