A health scare in the first quarter of this year propelled me to create habits to become a healthier mom. Because my body is preparing for menopause, my monthly periods have been irregular.
Eight months post-procedure, I am determined to continue to mind my health. I have taken the holistic approach to health by including spiritual, mental, and emotional aspects of my life.
Moms are the primary caregivers in the family and when a mom is unwell, who gets to do her job? Whatever stage you are in the woman’s reproductive cycle, it is good to create habits to become a healthier mom. Remember, we are doing this for ourselves first, then for our families.
What are habits, and why do we need them?
James Clear, the author of Atomic Habits, defines habits as actions we do every day based on the small decisions we make. It starts with a choice and propels us to action. He adds that our life is the total of all our habits, both good and bad.
Our financial status, health condition, and even our happiness meter result from our habits. If you haven’t read his book, I highly recommend you get a copy. It is transformational.
1. Start the Day Right
How do you start your day? I start my day with my phone. My Bible app is on my phone, but that’s not what I open immediately. I got you there, didn’t I? Yes, I fall into the trap of checking my messages as soon as I wake up. But that doesn’t last long because I have to prepare breakfast for my husband who goes to work.
When my husband leaves for work, that’s when I read my devotional by Chris Tiegreen. Then I express my thoughts to God quietly through prayer. I have not gotten around journaling lately, but I remember to document a praise item or an insight. I used to listen to my favorite podcasts by Craig Groeschel, Emily P. Freeman, More than Small Talk, and many others after my personal time. But now I replaced that with workout time. So now I spend my afternoons listening to different podcasts, reading, and training.
It’s not about being spiritual. It is about building a firm foundation of your faith by creating a healthy habit of connecting with our Maker every morning. Mornings remind us to be grateful for God’s graciousness to undeserving humans like you and me. Start by giving thanks for another day, another chance to be better, and another day with our family and friends. We cannot fool God with complicated words and lies. He knows us more than we know ourselves.
2. Filter Negative Thoughts
We receive hundreds of messages every day from people, the internet, and social media. Unfortunately, not all of them are worthy of our time. Many are too foolish to believe and too unhealthy to imbibe. No wonder the incidence of suicide rose to almost 26% in 2020 and 3.3 million Filipinos have different depressive disorders.
If we don’t have mental filters in place, we can have an anxiety attack or a nervous breakdown. We may also experience physiological manifestations of stress like migraines, sleeplessness, difficulty breathing, digestive problems, body pains, and many more.
How do we create a healthy mental habit? Educate yourself, especially in science and history. Know what are facts, backed up by evidence and proof. Don’t be a spreader of fake news to your chat groups or on social media. Spread good cheer and positivity.
Quit listening to people who are quick to judge. Unfollow friends and family on social media if it helps clean up your news feed. You choose what you want to get into your head and not.
Know who you are. There will always be people who won’t believe you or support you. They don’t because they are uninformed or misinformed. Let them go. Connect with people in the same industry or enjoy the same things you do.
3. Choose to Nourish our Bodies
In our busyness, we often neglect cooking meals for our family. We opt to order takeout or open canned food. However, this quick route is not the healthiest. Preparing home-cooked meals is the simplest and cheapest way to improve our health. We start by planning a weekly menu and listing all the ingredients for our supermarket run. Remember to include the essential macronutrients (fats, protein, carbohydrates, and water) and micronutrients, which include your vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in all your meals.
Why do we need to be conscious of the food we take in daily? Because the body absorbs everything we consume- from that chocolate bar to the fresh salad greens. The first and minute parts of our bodies that take in those meals are our cells. We learned from school that the cells are the basic unit of the human body. We have different cells that have specific functions to make sure our bodies work in synergy and the way God intended them. If we don’t take care of our bodies on the cellular level, do you expect to have healthy functioning organs? One day, our bodies will fail us because we neglected to nourish our cells.
“Cell nutrition is the starting point for maintaining the health of all your large body systems and overall physical wellness.”- Ask the Scientist
It is impossible to attain optimum health through diet alone. I learned from a recent presentation that adults require at least 1,300 mg of Vitamin C, which you can get from eating 18.5 oranges a day! For the RDA of Vitamin D, you need to consume 44 large eggs to get 1800 IU! Seriously?! It’s an impossible feat. No single natural plant can provide all the essential nutrients the cell requires. That is why it is crucial to take supplements. In choosing the best supplements that target cellular nutrition make look for the following criteria: Completeness, Balanced formulation, Potency, Safety, and Bioavailability. Are you taking supplements?
4. Move That Body
When I was in my 30s, I thought following a diet with no physical activity can help me lose weight. Who was I kidding? It is a combination of healthy food choices and physical activity.
Now that I am a middle-aged woman, I need to schedule a time to work out at least 5 times a week. The difference compared to 10 years ago was the goal. I used to want to go back to my early 20s body, but I don’t want to die doing it. My goal now is to be fit and strong. If I shed some pounds, then that’s a bonus. I don’t want to feel sluggish every morning, which will push me to be lazy and unproductive. The happy hormones produced after a workout sets the tone for the day.
I have tried different workouts because I want to find what is best for me. Even in choosing your physical activity, you have to be true to yourself. Just because a celebrity is doing a specific workout, it does not mean you have to follow her too. Find the one that will suit your fitness level, current health status, and budget. Yes, budget. I have been wanting to try the spinning workout, but I know getting that bike would put a strain on our family budget. So I’ll be putting off that dream workout for now.
When I started my fitness journey, I picked yoga as my daily routine. It’s not as intense as the HIIT workout I used to do. But I found it equally challenging, yet calming. I also sweat like a dog. The breathing exercises helped too, especially when there’s tension in my inner being. After 30 days of doing yoga, I assessed myself. I know I had the strength to try other workout activities. Then, I discovered Barre Workout on Instagram by Sarah Pasetes. I super, super love her and her 60-minute workouts! Yes, an hour of intensity! But my body can take it because it got used to the stretching and the strengthening yoga taught me. Now, I alternate between Adriene and Sarah from Monday to Friday.
Working out gave me something to look forward to every morning. It has changed my daily intention, which is to care for this human shell. The way I honor shows how I honor my Maker too.
5. Pursue Personal Growth
This post on Facebook and Instagram received a lot of positivity. Those who reacted and commented said they related so much to the post.
Personal growth didn’t interest me until I reached my 40s. I asked myself, “Is this how the rest of my life is going to be? Could there be something better for me?”
Changing careers was the most frightening and exciting decision I ever made. I broke people’s hearts, including my mother and a few close friends. Even if they didn’t approve of my decision, or said I was wasting my future, I did it anyway, for myself. I have to for my sanity. With no money and no plan, I knew something has to change, and I was ready to grow.
I pursued the entrepreneurial path through writing gigs. Despite my insecurities, I envisioned myself as a successful writer and borrowed that confidence from my future self. And this led me to self-publish my first devotional book for moms.
Then came the food business, which was a fun but exhausting business. Anyone in the food business knows how energy-depleting this business is, albeit rewarding. It’s funny how God moves in our lives because, in an unexpected turn of events, my husband and I shifted to online entrepreneurship. It’s a simple business, but I found it difficult to do. Aside from learning and mastering how the business works, it’s the personal growth aspect of the business that challenges me the most.
I have to learn, unlearn, and re-learn a lot of things about myself and the industry. It’s a business that breaks you and humbles you at the same time. My husband and I still have a long way to go, but we are not quitting, not this time. I believe if you grow yourself, your business or career grows with you.
It’s the last quarter of 2021 and we can still create healthy habits to become a healthier mom. It’s a great way to end another pandemic year and start 2022 with a healthy body, mind, and soul. What healthy habits do you need to start today that you can carry on to next year?