Whether it’s the end of a busy day or just the beginning, you’re probably thinking about your growing to-do list for the kids and family. Just make sure you’ve built in time for healthy habits that fuel your body and soul, too.
“I see it often, young moms packing their schedules with priorities for work and family, leaving little time for self-care,” says Jolanta Potoczek-Salahi, MD, pediatrician at Atlantic Health System. “It’s not selfish to carve out time for your own physical, mental and emotional needs -- it’s actually selfless.”
So, if laundry, food shopping, carpools and meetings take up too much real estate on your planner, it’s time for a "you" intervention. Here’s how to create space for it.
- Block out time. Make sure there’s weekly you time in your planner.
- Set yourself up for success. Clean off the treadmill if you plan to use it. Put your sneakers by the bed if you want to wake up and walk. Put your book next to a cozy chair so you’re ready to read.
- Be selective. If you’re not enthusiastic about saying “yes” to an invitation, say “no” without FOMO (fear of missing out).
- Move More. Make exercise a family activity so the kids are involved and invested. Bundle up and play outdoors. Plan a winter scavenger hunt. Create a kid-friendly playlist to make tidying up fun.
- Eat Well. Choose fruits, veggies, whole grains, and plenty of protein and fiber. This may mean that your breakfast, lunch, and dinner are sometimes different from the kids’ meals.
- Sleep Soundly. Establish a solid sleep routine by going to bed around the same time every night and getting a solid 7-8 hours. Wake up 15 minutes earlier than usual for meditation, reading or planning your day.
- Renew and Recharge. Carve out time for things you love, like reading, painting, taking a fitness class, or connecting with friends. Creating boundaries for yourself sets a great example for your kids.
“Self-care starts with prioritizing your own wellbeing,” says Dr. Potoczek-Salahi, “Good habits have a positive cumulative effect over a person’s lifetime. And the healthier you are, the better you feel and the more you can do for others -- so the whole family wins.”
Put Your Health First
Parents, remember to stay up to date on your own annual checkups.
When it comes to your child’s mental health, a proactive approach is always better than a reactive one. Help your child navigate stressful times by encouraging open and supportive conversation about common mental health struggles.
Make sure your child has what they need to grow and thrive. Annual check-ups help them build a relationship with their doctor and guide you and your child through their formative years. Here’s how to get the most out of your visit.
Invite your kids into the kitchen to help cook this yummy snack the whole family is sure to love! Read the recipe and follow along with the video as Dr. G shares her recipe and whips up a batch of her famous peanut butter oat bites.
Wellness is more than just skin deep, and each stage of life brings an opportunity to re-focus on your health. So, whether you’re in your 30s or your 70s, check out the health recommendations that will keep you living your best life.
The start of a new year is a time to refresh, renew, and revisit whatever brings you joy—and good health. That’s what "Back To You" is all about. Whatever your stage of life, our doctors and health experts are ready to help you get started.