FACT OR FICTION? Becoming a parent means saying goodbye to your personal wellness.
Shout out to all of you stay at home moms and dads out there and a SPECIAL shout out to those of you who take care of the house and the kids while generating an income at the same time! Both Vic and Malak are stay at home, working parents and in their respective households they each experience the daily challenges that come with balancing domestic duties and personal wellness.
“Personal wellness”, what does that mean? It can mean different things to different people but no matter what your definition of personal wellness is, it most likely encompasses some combination of mental and physical well-being. As parents, we often allow our responsibilities as homemakers and caregivers to interfere with our self-care. The problem with allowing our own personal wellness to take the back burner is it sets us up to be less productive, less happy, and less than we are capable of being for those who depend on us.
The two simplest and most effective ways to manage personal wellness is through wholesome nutrition and regular exercise. The negative repercussions of neglecting our biological need for nutritious fuel and physical activity are significant and they are many. So why do so many people allow these things to go unchecked? There are plenty of reasons why people neglect their personal wellness and at the top of the list of reasons…excuses followed by lack of social support. For those who are constantly making excuses, there is not too much that we can do for them. Truth be told, most people DO have the ability change the way that they eat and to become more active. However, if you are unwilling to take on the responsibility of managing these two components of your life, then you are going to be in for an uphill battle. For those of you who desperately want to make a change and are willing to make the effort but simply do not have anyone there to support you in your goals, we want to help!
Making a change can be difficult, and it usually is. You have to understand that developing long lasting change is not simply a matter of committing to a new behavior, it is also a matter of re-calibrating the way that your mind works. Life-long behaviors form as a result of habit. Habits are behaviors that your practice so frequently that your brain begins to build specialized neural pathways specific to that activity. The key world in all of that is “FREQUENTLY”! In order to turn a behavior into a habit and a lifestyle modification is to do it often.
Let’s take exercise for example. If you want to turn exercise into a part of your everyday life then you have to exercise frequently duh, that seems obvious. The part that most people do not consider is that by exercising regularly, your brain adapts to the stimulus as much as your body and it begins reprogramming itself. The human body and especially the human brain do their best to operate with maximal efficiency. If you continuously force the brain and the body to cope with a stress, such as exercise, they are going to respond by minimizing the amount of effort needed in order to complete the task at hand. Your brain and your body begin to develop positive feedback loops and before you know it, exercise starts to become something that you look forward to. Now, this is a bit of a generalized oversimplification of how things work, but the point is made.
Please take a look at this example of how a real, working, stay at home parent MAKES time for personal wellness.