Choose Healthy - Staying the Course in 5 Steps
We’ve all been there. We get frustrated when our efforts to choose the healthy alternative seem to garner little or nothing in return. This is true of everyone but can be especially true of mothers. Mom’s have a unique tendency of convincing themselves that they should be excelling in all areas of their lives. The weight of those enormous expectations can be enough to make even the best multitaskers want to throw in the towel. Often, what we want to give up on first is our own health, including our lifestyle choices and the foods we choose to eat. Everyone wants to make the best choices for their families, but when there are a ton of other responsibilities on your plate it can be tempting to say ‘I’m done’ and reach for the fast (but unhealthy) option. This is a short-term solution that can have long term and damaging consequences.
When you feel like you want to give up on something as important as your health, because you are overwhelmed, there are many things you can do to get yourself centred and back on track.
Remind yourself of what’s really important to you
It’s easy to get bogged down by too much ‘stuff’. When you feel like you are drowning it might be time to re-evaluate where you spend your time. Sit down and make a list of what you spend most of your time doing and make a separate list of what is most important to you. Make the important things a priority and start saying ‘No’ to the rest. Give yourself permission to set boundaries and live more simply so you can spend more time on the things that matter most.
Set small goals
Trying to make grand, sweeping changes overnight almost always sets us up for failure. A drastic lifestyle overhaul can make us feel so overwhelmed that we gladly give up after just a few days. This makes us feel defeated. Don’t do this to yourself. Set small, but achievable goals instead. Yes, you want to push yourself outside of your comfort zone, but you don’t want to change things so drastically that you will want to give up after a few days (or hours). Think small – perhaps you have felt for a long time that you are eating too much refined sugar. Try replacing one of your usual empty sugar treats with a whole food snack instead. It won’t be easy but it’s much more doable than overhauling your whole diet. Once you have mastered this change, you know it’s time to move onto the next! Before you know it, you will have made a BIG difference in your lifestyle one ‘doable’ step at a time.
Build your confidence
Often, feeling like giving up on our goals can stem from feelings of failure and focusing too much on what you haven’t done yet. Battle those negative thoughts by reminding yourself of all of the great things you have done. Trust me, there are many! When you remind yourself of how capable you are, you will feel like you can do more.
Getting the bit of motivation you need can be found in a likeminded friend or group. No matter what you are struggling with, it’s a guarantee that there are many others who have been through the same thing. Find out how they overcame their obstacles and what pushed them forward. Share your own experiences with them. It will give you new ideas and inspiration and you never know who you might be helping along the way too.
Make yourself a priority
Finally, always remember to make time to look after yourself. Whether it’s joining a fitness class, scheduling a massage or making sure to get out now and then with your friends. Make time for it like you would any other obligation in your life. When you look after yourself you will become more present and engaged in other areas of your life and you will have much more energy to focus on the things that matter most to you.