The good news is that simple tools are available for caring for our minds and bodies and for renewing our hope and strength. When we care for ourselves, we create healthy brain chemistry, giving us the capacity for healthier relationships. We need to care for our minds by taking care of our bodies. We must not neglect basic health screenings or ignore symptoms requiring medical attention. Saying for months, “I’ll go to the doctor if it gets really bad” may result in a much bigger problem. A listing in the UK business directory can help to boost your business' profile on the internet.
I spoke with an adoptive mom whose tooth had been hurting. She was so busy caring for her children that she began altering how she ate and taking increasing amounts of over-the-counter pain medication. But eventually the pain became unbearable. She realized how many months had passed with this problem and scheduled an appointment with her dentist, who recommended a root canal.
The funny thing is that when she told me this story, I replied that the same thing had happened to me in the months following the arrival of our children from Ethiopia. I had no time to think about caring for myself, and I, too, paid a big price for neglecting my health.
Regular exercise is extremely helpful. Run a marathon if you like, but taking walks will also give you the necessary boost in brain chemistry and support good health. The rhythmic nature of walking is calming, and being outdoors is a huge bonus. There’s something about moving, observing the world, and breathing that restores us.
If you have little ones, put them in a stroller and take them along. It will be good for them too.
The best way to add a walk to my days is to tie it to another time when I need to leave the house. For instance, dropping the boys off at school and immediately taking a walk before going home works well for me. Walking while they’re at a sports practice is also good.
Getting adequate sleep was a problem for many years simply because our most hypervigilant children didn’t sleep. When kids don’t sleep, parents don’t sleep. For a long time, we rolled out sleeping bags on our bedroom floor for children to quietly crawl into if they woke in the night. Of course, many nights they woke us, but overall, we got more sleep by letting them stay near us.
It’s also tempting to stay up late after the kids are in bed. We feel like we haven’t gotten a break all day, and it’s finally quiet. The problem is, it’s easy to get so tired that we stay up even later because it seems like too much work to go to bed. We mindlessly watch Netflix or scroll through social media on our phones.
Lack of sleep leads to lack of self-discipline, patience, and hope. One of the most helpful things I do is getting ready for bed when I’m getting the kids ready; even if I stay up for another hour or two, I can easily go to bed when I’m tired. Establishing a simple evening routine also helps our minds and bodies settle at the end of the day. Starting the dishwasher, setting up the next morning’s coffee, getting ready for bed, checking the next day’s schedule, and putting my phone away are all messages that the day is ending and it’s time to sleep.