Friday, February 7, 2014

Vying for Better Health

Last year was a bad one for my health. No, I didn't get a major illness. But all the stress of a teen with FAS who was acting out, sleepless nights, a major move, and ignoring my own health because of family emergencies did affect me. I gained the weight I lost earlier, only to lose ten of those pounds again when the stress of moving was at its peak. I've had more migraines, asthma, and foot and knee problems. Thankfully, I don't have a major illness. But if I continue on last year's track, I very well could.

So now that I'm settling down in our new home, I am slowly adding a few life style changes to take care of myself.

  • I am exercising more. I've been walking 1-5 miles a day. I try to do some lifting or weight training each day, even if it's just carrying some boxes down to the lower floor from the garage. 
  • I am beginning to eat healthier. I'm not one to go to extremes in diet, but I'm slowly adding more vegetables and fruits. I'm cooking more at home. I'm so glad to be able to cook again after over two months of the moving process. The kids are complaining, but we'll get our diet back on track, even if it is more slowly than if it was just Hubby and me. 
  • I put the kids in school. To many homeschool families, this may seem like I'm selling out. But my kids have some special needs intellectually, physically, or emotionally, and homeschooling was becoming a major stressor in our lives. It was good in some ways, but it didn't help in others. Now that we are in a community with great schools that actively help kids with special needs, we decided to enroll. I know there will be trade offs, but it's nice to have someone other than me to be the one to make them do the work. I'm sure there are some moms with kids with attachment disorders that understand. Besides, it's hard to get involved in a homeschooling community when your kids are doing all the things the other homeschoolers are trying to insulate their own children from. 
  • I've been practicing deep breathing. I hold my breath when stressed. 
  • I've begun knitting again. There is something to the rhythmic motions that reduce stress.
  • I've been getting more sleep, at least seven hours a night.
  • I've been taking my vitamin D, especially since we are in the cloudy Northwest. If I was vitamin D deficient in San Jose, I certainly would be even more so here.
I've been slowly adding things to help me live a healthier life. I'm trying to add things in a way that will become a lifestyle and a marathon, not a sprint that I will drop after a month.

There are more things that I'm planning to do, maybe even starting today.

  • I woke up in the middle of the night thinking I should save sweets for when I'm with others. They will be for parties and family times, not to boost my mood in the middle of the day when I'm alone. I can do that, especially if I have plenty of fruits and vegetables to munch on for snacks.
  • I want to stretch more. A few days ago, I saw a picture of an elderly lady stretching her leg on a street sign, straight up! She would be able to easily do the splits. I can barely get my leg on a hip-high counter and I'm much younger. It's obvious I need to get my muscles loosened up.
  • I want to be more focused on exercise once I get more settled. I don't know if I'll join a class or a gym, or just do it myself, but I'd like to have some time set aside to get my body moving. 
  • Church involvement and social interactions will be good for me, especially since I'm more of an extrovert. It's work to meet people in a new community, but it is a priority for me. I've been walking with a neighbor a few times a week, which is a start, but I need more local interactions with others. 
  • Continuing to improve our diet is a desire of mine. I don't know if it's what the kids want, but I'm working on it. 
  • I need to find doctors, a dentist, optometrist, and a therapist in our town. Then I need to go, not just make appointments for the rest of the family. I know too many women who have put off their own health to take care of others and have paid a large price. 
There are other things I can do to improve my health, and the health of my family, but this is a start. I'll add more as time goes on. Like I said, I'm going for the long haul, not a quick fix. Things will stick better if I make a few changes into habits before I go to the next. It will be a challenge, but the results will be worth it.

1 comment:

  1. All such good things! And yes, even the school part. Homeschooling is not the end all--it only makes sense when it makes sense, so if there is reason to put the kids in school, then you should. And then if it ever makes more sense to pull them out, you will! : )

    Praying many blessings over you all this next year, in all the areas you mention in this post. And please do share how your new choices play out positively--I am trying to get myself healthier too, and need motivation! ; )