Friday, April 30, 2010

10 Little Things That Lead to a Happier, Healthier Me

I was presented with an interesting opportunity this week and it got me to thinking.

I received an email from a fellow mom blogger regarding a "Spring Renewal" blogging promotion with TwitterMoms and Tropicana Trop50 asking moms like myself to blog 10 little things that lead me to being a happier, healthier me. Thus, I became intrigued to think about what I have been doing lately to improve my personal health and happiness.

I struggled at first with this trying to think of the small things that I do. Then I realized that this list is my own and can include some ideas big, small and in-between. Here is my list below.

1. Writing / Blogging
Several times a week, if not more, I love, love, love to write on my site Mommy’s Point of View (www.mommyspointofview.com) and share feedback and insights on other social media sites about parenting topics that are both important to me and around what's happening in current events. Writing is something I have often liked, but not something I thought I was good at. After years in the communications field, and being inspired by my husband who loves to write as well, I have been able to establish this passion for writing, which has become a prevalent part of my life. This experience is extremely cathartic, vent-releasing and self-deprecating, allowing me to find my true self while helping others.

2. Making the Most of Family Time on Work Days
Going to the playground with my daughter and husband after work most days even when I am very tired is such a great way to end the day before dinner and bed time rituals begin. I highly recommend taking full advantage of the nice weather as much as possible as the fresh air is invigorating and the play time so much fun.

3. 10-Minute Daily Chats with Hubby
This seems odd to include especially since I talk to my husband all the time. We recently instituted 10-minutes of uninterrupted time for each of us to share what’s going on, address needs, wants and requests, update our shared calendar, discuss finances, share something nice from the day, etc. Our conversations often start at 10 minutes and likely last much longer than this. It's so easy to get caught up in day-to-day details in life, chores, parenting, etc. This time we create is our time, and time to communicate most what's on our minds. This has definitely been healthy.

4. Once a Week Mommy Time Off, At Least
It is very hard to be everything for everyone all the time. Yes, I know this sounds extreme. But, as a parent, it’s sometimes not too far from the truth. Therefore, with the support of my husband, I have one night, at least, during the week that is just mine to do whatever it is I want. It can be a girlfriend’s night out, an extra long work out at the gym, getting a manicure, etc. It’s necessary for me to have this time to relax, vent, and play.

5. Cutting Out the Junk Food
I am a junk food junkie and have been for a very long time. In November last year I committed to cutting out all soda, sweets and treats to help me get back on track and to my pre-pregnancy weight. I know that this seems extreme but for me I don’t do portion control well and that definitely goes for sweets. I am happy to report that I have finally lost my baby weight, and my daughter is just over two. My hubby joined me on this quest as well and it's been a great journey together helping each other to feel and be healthy.

6. Being Active
As a full-time working parent it’s hard to find time to carve out work-out time that doesn’t impact time away from family and work. So, in addition to my occasional work outs at the gym, I also take my daughter swimming, run around the playground with her and walk as much as possible. Beating myself up about not being active as much as I would like doesn’t do me any good. I make the effort and just try to find more time and other ways.

7. Don’t Be Hard on Me (trying)
Being a parent is hard work. Oh, wait. I said that. Yes. It is indeed. Being a full-time working parent is especially hard. Trying to get it all done is tough. Sometimes laundry takes a while to do or sits unfolded for a number of days. I have learned that it’s not good to beat myself up about it but to accept what I can do and what I can manage and let the pieces fall where they may. So long as my health and that of my family is good the other “stuff” will get done eventually.

8. Joining a Mom Group
Being around other moms who are experiencing what I am experiencing is such great relief. It’s nice to vent with moms who can relate, share tips, laugh, share playdates, etc.

9. Taking Notes
With so much going on in life it's sometimes hard to keep track or to remember. Carrying a small notepad with me, pretty much everywhere I go, provides me great opportunity to jot down thoughts, blog ideas, expenses I need to track, things to remember, etc. Not having to try to remember it all and put it down in one place helps to reduce the risk of me forgetting something that is very important.

10. Dates with my Hubby
I love time with my daughter but also know that one-on-one time with my husband is necessary too. Whether it is on the couch watching our favorite TV shows, playing a game or inviting family or friends over to baby sit so we can catch a movie, see a band or spend time with friends, we do it. Relax, unwind and play together. Happy, satisfied adults make happy parents.

I shared this list with my husband and asked him what was on his list as well. I look forward to re-approaching this list next month to see what more can be added, modified, changed, etc. Sometimes it's important to sit back and find ways to simplify life, find its joys and solutions to help us cope, manage and enjoy.

I recommend you give it a try. Have fun!!!

Please know, “I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Tropicana Trop50 blogging program to be eligible to win 6 free Juicy Rewards points and a $30 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.”

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