It's 4 am. Almost all the world in your time zone is asleep. Except you. The to do list that you have would make Santa shake his head. Somewhere in there, exercise, good nutrition and proper rest have to fit in there. Whether the person you care for is a young child, a senior, someone recovering from illness or surgery, the sense of feeling squeezed feels similar.
Self care takes a lot of different forms at a time like this. In particular, here are some healthy eating and exercise tips that will keep you strong and healthy while you run your race.
If you and the one you care for are up for some exercise, you can exercise together. This gives both of you something to talk about, Shared time distracts from the feeling that exercise is some bizarre self-inflicted punishment.
Slow Cooker Meals minimize meal preparation time. Flavors develop over time. These rich experiences help deal with the reality that often budgets are stretched as well as time.
Don't forget that your pets can participate. A cuddle with your pet has been proved to lower stress, and even add more quality years to your life. Pets also interact with everyone in the family. If your loved one is paying attention to the pet, it means you have a moment to focus on yourself.
Speaking of pets, this one is mine. We are currently caring for a friend who is recovering from surgery. Engagement is a specialty.
Atlas' creed is why run when you can bounce. Bouncing over the back of the couch. Bouncing from the floor to your lap. And one day, he bounced over our other big dog by at least six inches. Our house guest saw this and laughed for a solid two minutes. His pain was set aside. The smile from those who you serve is an enduring reward. You'll smile more as efficiency helps balance the load. I'm doing it here with Atlas bouncing around my heels.
Please enjoy every goofy and fun minute as you extend your love and service. Yes! Have fun!
Make meal preparation and planning a family affair. If you are not isolated while you work, there is more appreciation of the work you are doing. Ideas for meals and more hands to help are only a couple of the benefits.
Know that you are not alone in caring for a loved one. Social time with other caregivers is so important. Whether it is a church group, a Mommies and Me outing or an official respite service, the perspective of others doing the same role that you are will breathe more life into your life.
I want to share my short story on how I was able to overcome my addiction to soda in hopes that I may be of some help to someone out there struggling with this huge hurddle. Sodas are very hard to give up for many people. The fact is that all that sugar was bad for my weight and it also put me in danger of diabetes. I also had to consider I didn't want to be on diabetic medications all my life. Therefore, I started thinking of solutions on how to live a healthy lifestyle while at the same time being able to enjoy something delicious. The fact of the matter is that nobody can only drink water for the rest of their life. So, I came up with an idea that would be healthy and enjoyable to me. I bought a blender for $29 and some watermelon and slowly made a transition to making my own delicious drinks without having to use sugar or syrups. I know what you are thinking. But to me natural sweetness from fruits has been way more rewarding than drinking sodas and artificial sweetners that can brutally ravege my body. I'm happy to say that my results have been rewarding and I hope this will help someone out there. It was not easy to stop drinking sodas, but you have to put your foot down and stay persistant even when nobody is looking. Hopefully, this helps you. Anyone else struggled or is struggling with this?
As an accountability partner, my 19 year old daughter knows me very well. I like to snack after dinner. My creative juices flow better when eating snacks. Celebrations are often interwoven with food choices from my era that no longer resonate with health now. She's serious. We are going to get healthier and lose weight together. NOW.
What makes a good accountability partner?
It should go without mention that this person needs to have enough time to devote to you. Feedback should not feel like he or she is dimming your light. Giving feedback is like making a sandwich. Positive feedback would be the 'Bread' and whatever adjustment feedback would be the inside stuff. Some people won't give you this type of feedback sandwich and just serve up the adjustment as is. That's not helpful. Move on.
It's more than being in relationship and observing what blind spots you have. Let me provide an example.
There is something petulant rises up in me when food lifestyle changes are proposed. Into this power struggle comes the steady presence of my teen. “I'll keep you company in the kitchen when you do meal prep.” Suddenly I feel like dealing with the 45 minute preparation time of fresh, raw ingredients. There is chopping and organizing and various sub assembly parts for brand new recipes that look amazing and have five star reviews. Are all the new ingredients here? Sometimes not. “It's okay, Mom.” She says.
In confessing that I don't relish learning new recipes, the presence of an ally diminishes my discomfort. That's really the sense of an accountability partner. You have an ally. You are not alone trying new things and doing something difficult.
The ideal partner shares your vision.
Sometimes, I marvel at her. She's armed with YouTube videos about internittent fasting and smoothie recipes. She brings youthful idealism and determination. The focused look that seeks my gaze brooks no compromise. In the evenings, we can talk or take walks. It's harder to find time around her new campus job schedule. When did she become wise?
My adult daughter has added a lot to my journey towards health. In honoring her in this way, I hope to encourage you to look in unexpected places for your health accountability partner.