Perhaps this is nothing you haven’t read about before, yet perhaps it is something you need to be reminded of, especially this time of year. As women, wives, mothers, and grandmothers, we are generally the caregivers. We think of and take care of everyone else during the holidays making sure the perfect gift is found, the house is decorated to bring joy to the season and the perfect parties and meals are prepared. And then there’s the clean-up afterwards. I hope that you’ve had help and your efforts have been appreciated.
So NOW it’s time to think of you, yourself. Time to rejuvenate and replenish the energies that were used. It’s time to take care of you, for if we are not on top of our game, it will be harder to take care of those who need us. It’s important to assess how much energy you have to do what you need to do.
Here are some suggestions for you to focus on in 2017 to help you maintain your health and sanity. They may not all seem so simple at first but stay with it and it will get easier!
1. Visit your Doctor. Stay up to date on your annual wellness check-ups with your primary care physician, gynecologist, dentist and ophthalmologist. Schedule a mammogram based on the recommendations for your age.
2. Reduce Risk. Many health problems can be avoided by reducing your risk of developing them. Make lifestyle changes such as quit smoking, reduce use of alcohol, maintain a regular sleep pattern, get regular physical activity, eat a balanced diet and take vitamins to fill in the nutritional gaps. It’s not always easy, so connecting with others or using a health coach for support helps.
3. Know your body. Perform monthly self-breast exams. Talk to your doctor if you notice any abnormalities in your body. It is also a good idea to know your family’s medical history and share it with your doctor. Pay attention to how certain foods make you feel after you eat them.
4. Eat a healthy, balanced diet. A balanced diet is easier and more beneficial than a low-fat or low-carbohydrate diet for most people to maintain. It should include lean & plant sources of protein, plentiful amounts of fresh fruits and vegetables and limited quantities of processed foods, added sugar or excess fat.
5. Get moving. If you aren’t exercising, now is a good time to make the commitment to start. Getting adequate exercise is one of the most important things you can do for your health. Exercise controls weight, reduces risk of diseases and cancers, and improves your mental health and mood. Any amount of physical activity is better than none when you are starting out. Strive for at least the recommended amount of 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity every week (ie. 30 minutes 5 times per week).
6. Sleep Well. Sleep is also an important activity the we most often sacrifice. Those who sleep less than 7 hours per night are more likely to have weight issues and other health problems. The recommended amount of sleep for adults is 7 – 9 hours per night.
7. Manage stress. Stress is unavoidable but you should not let it control your life. In order to achieve a healthier lifestyle, you must be able to manage your stress level. Having a stress management strategy is a great place to start. Be positive. Surround yourself with positivity and remove negativity from your life. Find joy in what you do, live in the present moment and be grateful for what you have. Recognize that we all have certain talents and that it’s okay to have a person or a team of people to rely on when you need them.
8. Supplementation. Our bodies are composed of many complicated systems that require the proper amount of nutrients to stay optimal. Even some of the most balanced diets are filled with nutritional gaps. Nutritional supplements (vitamin, mineral, essential oil, or herbal) can help keep these systems running properly and promote healthy aging, improved metabolism, weight management, stress management and sleep, also increased energy and athletic performance.
9. Me Time. Take time just for you each week. It’s vital to living a fulfilling life. Read, get a pedicure or massage, learn something new or find a hobby you are passionate about. Take time for a daily meditation break. Self-time is not selfish – it’s necessary for self-care!
10. Show you care. Show others you care about them and their health by encouraging them to do the above-mentioned suggestions too.
As a 62-year-young mother and grandmother, I have learned to incorporate these suggestions into my life and now live a full and fulfilling life helping others as a health and wellness coach. Please contact me if you would like more guidance towards incorporating these suggestions into your life. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 585-748-7552.
WRITTEN BY VICKI PRESTON