You are tired. You have done much. You have cared much. You have loved much.
You are not done yet. You still will do much. You still care. You still love.
But -- you are tired. Your body is exhausted and may even be ill. Your mind is a bit foggy. Your spirit is a tad bit low.
Somehow along the way you have gotten the wrong information that it is selfish to focus on your health and well being. After all, you say, these little people and spouses and parents, etc. need me. How can I? Here is the truth (from Julie's Dad) you need to fill your thinking with: "take care of the caregiver". Not only do we give you permission to take care of yourselves, we implore you to do what you need to be and stay healthy in every way: body, mind, spirit.
It is time for restoration. You need renewal.
The time is now to bring YOU back to a state of good health, sharp thinking, and vibrancy.
Here are 3 tips to bring the BEST of YOU back to you and to the world:
1. Take an assessment of your physical health. Ask yourself these questions: Am I tired all the time? Do I get exercise? Do I know what is in the food that I eat? Do I even take time to eat? Am I hyperactive? How is my stomach handling the food that I eat? Do I have heartburn? Do I feel sluggish at a certain time of the day? If you wish to take your assessment up a notch, do a food diary for two weeks. Write down what you eat and/or drink and what time you do so. If you feel sluggish make a note on your food diary at that particular time. If you stomach is not happy even for a little while - note the time on your food diary. If you are especially hyper or jittery or happy or unhappy -- record it all at the time on your food diary. Let this information help you bring health to your body. If you notice that you are sensitive to a certain food -- consider leaving it alone. If you notice that your sleep patterns are not good and you are not rested when you awaken, see if you can find the culprit. We often just live with these things day after day, year after year without focusing on them long enough to make a difference for ourselves and for those whom we love. Consider a lifestyle that will bring you energy. Consider a massage. Consider eating fresh and whole foods. Consider taking a nap each day or several times a week. Consider primary food: that which fills your spirit (see more under tip #3). Consider hiring a health coach to help you determine and reach your health goals.
2. Take an assessment of your mindset. What kinds of thoughts are running through your head on a regular basis? Are you a "cup half full" or "cup half empty" kinda person? Do you see things in a positive light or does everything have a dark cloud component to it? Even if you are normally a more positive person, have you gotten into a pattern of gloomy thinking and sadness? What do you think of yourself? your loved ones? Is the first thing that comes to mind about yourself helpful or -- negative and discouraging? Is the first thing that comes to mind about your family members what is good and wonderful about them or the opposite? How about adding a dose of truth that this life can be filled with lots of joy and peace and love? You truly do have a choice regardless of your circumstances. You may need to create a path of joy by taking a few extra minutes to see the silver lining in your clouds. We recommend that you take time every day to count your blessings. Big things - your house sold, your mom's health was restored, your child had a major breakthrough in her development. There are many blessings in the little things as well: your child comes and crawls in your lap, your wife makes your favorite meal, your husband fixes the oven door, your mom and dad watch the kids for a bit so you can take a break, your friend offers a word of encouragement, the check-out clerk at the grocery store smiles at you, the person in the next lane on the highway acknowledges your turn signal and lets you in. Look for hopeful, supportive, reassuring, and promising quotes and sayings and post them all around your home and car. We have a habit of putting positive affirmations on our bathroom mirror and all over our home office.
3. Take an assessment of your spirit -- your vim, vigor, and vitality. Your spirit is the real person inside you. You are unique and only YOU can bring what you bring to your family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, -- to the world. What is your purpose? What is your calling? Have you thought about it? What do you look forward to when you wake up in the morning? Is it in your role as parent? sibling? child? grandparent? friend? Is it in a special talent that you can use to bring joy to others? If your vitality is dim -- ask those you love and trust what they see in you that is important to them. What do they see in you that brightens the world around you? We learned a very important term while students at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition: Primary Food. "Primary foods feed us, but they don't come on a plate. Elements such as a meaningful spiritual practice, an inspiring career, regular and enjoyable physical activity and honest and open relationships that feed your soul and your hunger for living all constitute primary food." IIN. One day we will do a whole class just on primary food. Once you determine at least one item in the area of primary food that needs some enhancement, make a plan to give it a little kickstart.
All of the above tips are vital for a healthy and wholesome life. Not one of us can achieve true health all by ourselves. We all need support. Where can you get this kind of support? From a) a friend, b) a relative who "gets" you, c) a health coach, d) a support group (for women, men, parents, parents of special needs kids. Don't attempt to do this life alone. It is just too hard.
Tom and Julie are both certified health coaches. If the words above hit home and you would like to schedule a complimentary get acquainted call around health coaching (or parenting a child who is challenging), send us an email at MarchForthFamily@gmail.com. We would love to get clearer on your concerns and let you know what we have in place to support you.
By Tom and Julie Meekins