Making the Most of Your Health

Thanks for joining me with the Making the Most series.  So far we've covered our stuff, our space, and our wardrobe.  Today we'll look how to make the most of our health.

I have a confession: last semester I took a bit of a downward spiral.  With an overly-full work and personal schedule, I skimped on two things that are essential: sleep and exercise.

I don't do well when I'm not getting adequate sleep.  Most people don't(Those who say they do might not yet have had the compounded effects catch up with them.)  I also don't do well when I'm not exercising -- emotionally, that is.  Although I'm typically a joyful person -- one who draws strength from my faith and loves to encourage others -- I found myself feeling down.  Anxious.  Depressed.

I knew that I needed to change.  I couldn't sustain my busy pace, nor could I continue in my inactivity.  Blissfully, we reached the semester break, during which I made rest and exercise a priority.

I can't even begin to tell you how much better I'm feeling.

God gave us our bodies, and I'm speaking from experience that it's unwise to run ourselves ragged.  Let's make the most of our health.

1) Get adequate sleep.  I struggle with this one.  The night hours after my children are in bed often are designated for grading, planning, or writing.  Still, I'm learning to follow my body's cues.  It seems obvious that we should go to sleep when we're tired, yet how often do we find ourselves pushing through exhaustion -- sometimes to do even the most trivial things (like watching one more episode of House Hunters.)

When we're tired, let's be smart and go to sleep.

2) Wash your hands.  Seriously.  Do it often.

3) Stay hydrated.  I began carrying a reusable water bottle with me, and it makes a significant difference.  Staying hydrated increases my energy, staves off mid-day sleepiness, and prevents me from mindlessly eating to fulfill what's actually thirst.

4) Exercise.  This isn't about weight.  Exercise is about feeling strong, caring for your heart, and releasing mood-boosting endorphins.  Take a walk.  Chase the kids.  Suck it up and do a Jillian Michaels' DVD.  Join a gym.  Phone a friend and get her to join you.

Yes, it's hard to overcome inertia.  Yes, it's uncomfortable and sometimes inconvenient.  But I promise that regular exercise will make you feel better than extended lethargy will.  For me, it's equally important in terms of my mental and emotional health as it is for my physical health.

If you're a mom of young children like me, you'll know that there are precious little "free" moments in any given day, but you're worth the investment of good health.  You're worth the time it takes to care for yourself.  (Click here for tips on how to exercise with kids, in spite of kids.)

When we're feeling well, we have more to give.  Lets make the most of our health.

Enjoy these posts as well:
Making the Most of Your Stuff
Making the Most of Your Space
Making the Most of Your Wardrobe
Making the Most of Your Time

Check out Then I Became a Mother: humor, hope, and encouragement for moms!  Available in both Kindle and paperback editions.  Enjoy!

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