Busy Parents: How to Stay Healthy, Especially if your Children are eLearningSeptember 21, 2020
I am always telling clients that consistency is the KEY to SUCCESS! Unfortunately, life is anything but consistent, especially when you add more variables to the mix: children, travel, work changes . . . a pandemic, a city in “unrest.” With the lack of consistency, comes stress. When my life is in order and my home is organized, I feel better and get more things accomplished. Period.
So knowing that life is always going to be uncertain and that consistency is the key to success, how do we achieve consistency in this constant chaos? Although I am an exercise physiologist, I am also mother of three children under seven-years-old, a wife, a daughter, a dog mom, a multiple business owner, an author, and a home owner who manages our home renovations for five years. We also live in downtown Chicago, which is a city in a state of unrest. I point this out because I think it’s easy to read a blog from a fitness professional and think, “Ya, Ya what do they know about my struggles? They workout all the time for a living.” This is far from the truth. Us, fitness professionals, struggle just like you. We all do. It’s perhaps the reason that we got into the field in the first place.
I especially want to help those parents who have children that are eLearning. Our children are in-person learning this fall, but we did have them in e-learning at the end of last school year for a few months. This obviously puts a huge roadblock to more “you time.” Frankly, it is exhausting, and my heart goes out to you. You need personal time for your mental health. You deserve personal time. We will create that time, some how, some way. Where there is a will, right?
So here’s this fitness professional tips who wears many, many hats to help you keep your health under control when life is anything but normal:
Make the Decision to Prioritize YOU
I say it time and time again. Everything begins with our mindset. We can convince ourselves to prioritize our workouts and health just as easily as we can convince ourselves not to. You will be a better parent when you are making time for your health. This is advice for now and later. We need to start healthy habits ASAP to make sure it stays in our older adult years. If exercise and living a healthy life is important in our thirties and forties, it will more likely be a habit for the rest of our lives. You deserve to lead a long healthy life. Your kids deserve a healthy parent too. Remember, you are always leading by example.
Create a Schedule, and Stick to It
You do it for your kids. Now, do it for you. I have calendars in our kitchen listing our kids’ school activities, sports, doctor appointments, play dates, etc. The list goes on. It’s so easy to follow their schedule. It’s time to put your workouts on the calendar. I also recommend putting each dinner on the calendar, so you can plan ahead for healthy meals. My husband and I are guilty of each night being like “what should we have for dinner? Should we just order something? How about just wine and popcorn?” Yep, that happens. On Sundays, we have been planning out our weekly dinners. It has been working fantastically. We even put Wednesdays as our “order in day,” to not feel guilty about ordering in but rather knowing that it is a planned meal.
If You Can’t Beat Them, Join Them
As my husband always says, “It is what it is.” You need to exercise. If you don’t have a break from your kids, have them join you in exercise. We will be offering some free parent and kid workouts on our Facebook page. Stay tuned! Also, I do recommend taking ten minutes when they are in bed to just meditate because you do need that “you time.” We have many wonderful blogs on meditation that can provide help in getting you started on a meditation practice.
When you don’t have time to yourself, frustrations will arise. It’s inevitable. It’s OK. It’s normal. Recognize when you are about to lose your cool, step aside, and breathe. Take ten deep breaths. Hide in the bathroom if you have to. Your heart rate and blood pressure will lower, and then you can come back out to the kiddos a refreshed parent.
Tomorrow is Always Another Day
Remember, this pandemic and e-learning won’t last forever. Our world, our medicine, our technology is too advance to not have a vaccination and solution in the horizon. This is all temporary. I promise. You can do anything if it is short term knowing the long term benefits, right? Remember, we can convince ourselves either way. You deserve to be healthy today for a better life tomorrow.