You’ve heard the expression, “you can’t pour from an empty cup,” but have you ever stopped to consider what that really means? It’s a repeated phrase that means we can not give to others if we are not taking care of ourselves. Self-care has become a buzz word lately adding one more thing to our already hectic to-do list. It’s hard to prioritize self-care in a world that values hustle over self-care and nourishment.
As a society, we tend to celebrate the idea of pushing through whatever challenges face us. This often means expending more energy than we take in, which inevitably leads to burnout, exhaustion, and poor health. Like a phone that never gets fully charged, eventually we stop working. We stop feeling joyful or being effective in our roles as parents and caregivers or, worse, resentful of these roles.
The Importance of your Health
There are only 24 hours in the day, so finding time for yourself can feel challenging between work demands and family commitments. If it sounds daunting, or downright impossible, to simultaneously excel in your career, breathe life into your relationships, and ensure your kids are emotionally and socially well-adjusted, all while carving out time for self-care, exercise, hobbies, and the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep, you are not alone.
However, establishing healthy habits and sustainable self-care rituals can foster a better environment for the entire family, including yourself. It’s important for kids to see their parents prioritizing their own needs and taking care of their health. And a healthier you translates to having more energy, which you can use to keep up with the rugrats and the ever expanding to-do list of parenthood!
So what are some simple things you can do to start improving your health now?
Eat slowly and chew your food well. Stop mindlessly eating scraps off your kid’s plate and make a plate for yourself. Give your full attention to the act of eating and remember that digestion begins in your mouth so chew your food completely.
Drink Plenty of Water
Drink more water and less soda, sugary beverages, and even that extra cup of coffee (we all do it!). Proper hydration is critical for so many bodily functions including carrying nutrients to cells and oxygen to the brain, flushing toxins and waste, and regulating body temperature.
Eat Real Foods
Eat real food and less processed food. Filling your plate with fresh fruits and vegetables will ensure your body is getting essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients, and fiber.
Move daily and try to exercise at least 3 times a week. Try and pepper in more movement each day: take the stairs, park farther away, bike to do errands, walk the dog … it all adds up! And, aim to make fitness part of your routine by adding an exercise class or joining a fitness studio (Like Ohana!).
Get Some Z’s
Get some sleep! We often skimp on sleep as our solution to finding more time to meet our growing list of demands. But sleep is critical for hormone regulation and keeping our immune system strong so try and get 7-8 hours a night.
Making Time to Workout With Kids
It’s not a huge surprise that exercise made the top 5 list of healthy habits to adopt in order to optimize your wellness, but how are you supposed to find time for fitness as a busy parent?
Ohana Yoga + Barre offers free child care for members with our Little Lychees playgroup and is the perfect solution for both parent and child. You can focus on your well-being and choose a yoga or barre class that best suits your needs while your little one explores the textures, sights, and sounds that are part of our safe and interactive playroom.
In case you need more convincing as to why you should make exercise part of your self-care routine, here are the top 5 benefits of fitness:
- It increases the flow of oxygen to your brain which leads to improved mental clarity and more energy.
- It releases endorphins which are neurotransmitters that increase your feelings of happiness and slows down the release of stress hormones.
- It positively affects insulin sensitivity and thyroid hormone function which helps improve your metabolism.
- It helps improve relaxation and boosts sleep quality.
- It supports your immune system and helps flush bacteria out of the lungs, reducing your risk of cold, flu, or other illness.
If you prefer to workout in the privacy of your own home, or your schedule dictates that you must, Ohana’s on-demand library of workouts provides you with hundreds of options. If you are pressed for time, choose from one of many classes that are around 20-minutes in length.
Don’t let time or lack of childcare be the reasons you neglect your wellness routine – join the Ohana family and have access to unlimited classes and free childcare!
Erin Entlich is a certified yoga instructor, personal trainer, holistic health coach, and writer. She believes doing good starts with feeling good, which is why she loves helping people weave movement, mindfulness, and healthy eating into their daily lives. Find out more at www.erinentlich.com.