When on an airplane before take-off and the flight attendants are reviewing the safety instructions, they always say that in the off chance of a fast landing, one should put their oxygen masks on first before helping those around them. You need to do just that for your health and longevity…put your mask on first.
However, this is often not the case. As women and mothers, we tend to be the nucleus of the family, our needs get pushed to the bottom of the list. If our mental and physical well-being is not made a priority, then we are unable to provide for those around us.
4 quick tips/reminders to help you begin making YOUR health a priority:
1. Plan your meals and snacks just as you do for your kids.
Regardless of if my children are with me or not, I always take a bottle of water and a piece of fruit or an energy bar with me in the car, even if I am just running errands.
2. Cook for health, not for your kids.
We tend to cook “beige foods” (pasta, French fries, chicken nuggets) for our kids. And what typically happens is we (mothers) are so hungry by the evening because we have neglected to eat lunch, that we end up eating our kids’ leftovers.
Cook one meal with plenty of vegetables. Even if your picky eaters do not eat it, they will become accustomed to seeing a healthy plate of food and you will not be nibbling on their “beige” leftovers and feeling guilty.
3. Make exercise one of your top 3 daily priorities.
It is so important to schedule your workouts, even if they are only 10 minutes. In the beginning, you should not feel the pressure to work out for 60 minutes every day. It’s important to establish a habit and routine first. The time will evolve overtime as your love for exercise grows.
4. Do not disregard sleep for more “me” time.
Getting a good night sleep is essential to your health. This means going to bed at the same time every night and waking up around the same time every day. Getting enough sleep is not just beneficial for our emotional, mental, and physical well-being, but it plays a vital role in our long-term health such as decreasing the risk for heart disease and Type II diabetes.
Put your mask on first. Make your health a priority. You will not only benefit from this, but you are also setting an example to your family. I would love to read about how you make your health a priority in the comments below.
Daryn is a personal trainer through NASM. Owner of M.O.V.E. Fitness for her in Raleigh, NC, she specializes in training women in all phases of life. Her goal is to help women feel strong and comfortable in their bodies.