By: Trisha Bautista
Sometimes, being a mom, taking care of your kids and home full time, working full time, juggling QT with your partner, all while also giving yourself some me-time, just seems impossible to balance. Often, setting aside time to exercise or eat healthier is something that’s even harder to commit to. However, aiming to get healthier doesn’t always have to involve quick fixes, putting in hours at the gym, or going on a strict diet. Doing these little tweaks can go a long way for your health—physically and mentally.
1. Wake up early.
Various studies show that waking up has many benefits, and allow you to practice other things that add to your well being. For starters, waking up early allows you to have a slower morning, avoiding stress and the mad dash that happens when you wake up with little time to prepare for your day. A rushed morning often leaves more room for forgetting things, skipping a meal, and even missing meetings at work, making the rest of your day stressful, too. Waking up early allows you more time to take a leisurely bath, a morning cup of coffee, and even some time for exercise.
2. Have a daily dose of morning sunshine.
Vitamin D is essential for us, because it gives us much of the calcium we need. Getting enough vitamin D means we get a lot of calcium, which strengthens our bones. It also helps protect us against chronic diseases later in life such as osteoporosis, Type II diabetes, multiple sclerosis and many common cancers. It also boosts our serotonin, otherwise known as our happy hormone. Wake up earlier and have your morning cup of coffee under the sun and fresh air for 15 minutes to boost your mood and energy levels throughout the day.
3. Eat breakfast!
Even if you’re not used to having breakfast in the morning, get into the habit of eating something at the start of the day. It doesn’t have to mean a full rice meal—a healthy smoothie will do. It will power you throughout the day, manage your sugar levels, and prevent a heavy lunch, which can actually do more harm than good. Plus, making breakfast a regular thing also lets you squeeze in some family time before everyone goes off to work or school.
4. Eat protein for lunch.
According to studies, a protein-rich lunch will give you enough energy to power through the rest of the day sans the sugar crash brought on by a carb-rich meal. Protein will give you energy without causing your sugar levels to soar and then crash (the way carbs do, which is why we often feel sluggish after a carb fest), so ditch the instant noodles or pasta when you want to avoid a sluggish afternoon. Stick to chicken, beef, or pork viands, and pair it with a simple salad or brown rice.
5. Take the stairs.
Lets face it—it’s not easy to find time to get moving when you’re a mom. Give your body regular physical activity by simply taking the stairs wherever you go—if you live in a condo, take the stairs instead of the elevator. If you live on a high floor, then take the elevator three to four flights of stairs below wherever you need to go. You can do the same at work—you’ll be surprised at how good physical activity feels first thing in the morning!
6. Ditch the sugary drinks.
Sugary drinks are just not doing you any good. Ditch the soda (they’re loaded with sugar and deteriorate your teeth), the powdered juices (they’re basically colored sugar), and creamy, sweet shakes and coffee drinks. Wean yourself from your sweet tooth by cutting out anything other than water, black coffee, or tea as a beverage for two weeks. Your tongue and your taste buds will adjust easier than you think!
7. Go on a social media detox
Do you ever find yourself comparing your life to other people’s lives? In the age of social media, we’re bombarded with glimpses of other people’s lives, often leaving us a little jealous or feeling like their lives are better than yours. Have a regular social media detox to prevent negativity, and allow yourself to live in the moment! Go on a social media detox on the weekends to maximize family time.
8. Put on some makeup…for no reason.
Feeling extra haggard, stressed, and unglamorous? Put on some makeup (or extra makeup) to give yourself a little boost. Many women feel prettier and more confident with their makeup of choice, so treat yourself to at least some kilay and a pretty lippie—even if you’re just going to be sitting at your desk all day. Actually, even if you’re just staying home all day.
9. Take some time off.
Take advantage of your vacation leaves! Most of us like to save them for a long holiday, but give yourself one “free” vacation day, even if you aren’t going anywhere. Just take a day off to go to the salon, go shopping, or even just stay home for Netflix and chill.
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Trisha Bautista is a writer, editor, and PR practitioner with articles published in many of the country’s top magazines and lifestyle websites. She’s a mother to an eight months-old baby boy, and is constantly trying to find the time to stay fit and healthy while balancing married life, motherhood, career, and a social life. She enjoys discovering health, fitness, beauty, and shopping hacks to maximize time and money, and loves the occasional wine night.