I know we still have a lot of changes to make, but if I do say so myself, we are happier and healthier than I ever imagined we could be.
I love my family, but if I’m honest I didn’t always put their health first (or mine for that matter). When I was younger I didn’t realize how important your health was and like most young adults just took it for granted. I knew basics the basics like making sure we got three square meals a day, plenty of water, and at least 8 hours of sleep, but I didn’t do much to make sure that everyone in my family was healthy.
It wasn’t until after I had turned 30 and went for my physical that I realized how imperative it is to take care of your health. I felt fine, but after some routine bloodwork and screenings, my doctor told me I was diabetic and also suffered from low levels of vitamin D and iron. Unfortunately, most of these things came from poor eating habits and lifestyle decisions I was making. I was told that if I wanted to live to see my children get older I’d need to make lifestyle changes. Determined to live a full happy and healthy life I vowed right then and there that I would make a better effort to put my health first – and my families too. Here are some things I’ve learned:
My Job Was Killing Me
I had always been taught that you’ve got to work hard to pay the bills. I had found a desk job right after college and had been working there for about 10 years. It wasn’t much, not much room for advancement, and sometimes stressful, but it served a purpose. I’d be at work stressed, slouching, eating junk food, and staring at a computer screen all day not realizing that it was harming my health.
Realizing this I made a few changes. I asked my employer about ergonomic work furniture, I got organized to reduce the stress, started bringing in food from home, and took a break from the computer at least once every few hours to stretch my legs and save my eyes. When I got home I would use things like the home neck traction hammock to help get rid of those neck pains and I also tried to stay pretty active since I spent a better part of the day sitting down.
Family Meal Times Are Important
Another thing I learned about health and keeping my family happy was about the importance of sharing a meal together. We had all become so attached to our devices that sharing a meal was very rare. Instead, we’d grab our plates and head off to our separate rooms. In the mornings it was even worse. While I was skipping breakfast altogether, my kids were fueling up on sugary cereal and other junk and running out the door.
So, I made it mandatory that we have at least two family meals together. I wake up earlier in the morning to prepare a nutritious breakfast for all of us and we spend 30 minutes indulging and talking about the day ahead. For dinner, I had come up with an easy to follow meal plan and started making healthy meals for us to share. We even came up with themed nights like American Night, Mexican Night, and Chinese Night where we’d make dishes together that were centered around that country. We’d spend about an hour in the evening eating and discussing the events of the day. This not only ensured we got the proper nutrition we needed but gave us dedicated time to talk to one another which improved our family bond.
Your Pet’s Health Impacts Your Family Too
I’ve learned a lot in the time I’ve been making these healthy lifestyle choices for myself and my family, but one that I truly didn’t consider was our dog. If you’re like us, your dog is like a member of the family. Their spunky personalities and unconditional love is a great part of the reason we’re always so happy. So, when our pooch started displaying symptoms of giardia in dogs (an infection of the intestines), I knew I had to do better by him.
I was able to find a supplement to treat the problem. Then, as a family, we made a decision to improve our dog’s health. We changed his food to something more appropriate for his age, breed, and current health. We started taking turns walking him twice a day. We even did better with grooming him and taking him to the vet periodically for checkups.
This is a small fraction of the things I learned about keeping my family happy and healthy, but these three factors were some of the most important. I must first learn to take care of myself (in the office and otherwise) then I must pass that information down to my loved ones. In just a short amount of time, we have developed a routine that includes wholesome family meals, regular exercise, quality time, and of course, pet care. I know we still have a lot of changes to make, but if I do say so myself, we are happier and healthier than I ever imagined we could be.
Christa is a beacon of light who wants to help you find the beacon that glows inside of you! She believes the cracks we have, not only let our own light out, but also let the healing light back in.