You’ve probably heard the old saying that you’ve got to put your oxygen mask on first. And if you’ve flown recently, it’s top of mind.
As parents, we’re tempted to take care of our children before ourselves, but there’s a reason why your oxygen mask goes on first. If you can’t breathe, you can’t help anyone.
But this concept applies to more than just basic life support. You must also take care of your own emotional health and wellbeing before you can take care of anyone else.
When you put others ahead of yourself, you run the risk of burning out. And when you’re burned out, you’re of no use to anyone.
So, be sure to prioritize your mental and emotional health. This way, you can find it easier to take care of everyone else’s needs. Even if they don’t understand at the moment, your family will be much better off in the long run.
Here are a few tips for prioritizing your own health.
1. Practice Healthy Stress Management
When you aren’t managing stress well, one little thing could put you over the edge. And, unfortunately, it’s usually the family that takes the brunt of our stress. But if you practice healthy stress management, you’ll have a better time letting go and allowing yourself to enjoy your family. Exercise regularly, meditate and avoid overly processed foods.
2. Limit Alcohol Consumption
Alcohol has become so ingrained in our society that we often don’t think much about having a drink or two. But over time, alcohol can be very damaging to your overall health. The long-term effects of alcohol abuse are scary. And even in the short term, alcohol can also amplify feelings of stress. And, if you’re in the habit of drinking and driving, it can really ruin your life. According to 2017, California drunk driving alone accounted for nearly 11 thousand deaths.
3. Cook More Meals
We have become somewhat of a fast-food society. And although fast foods are convenient, they almost always contain more sodium and fat than you would use if you cooked the same meal at home. This detracts from your overall health and can lead to chronic diseases like obesity and heart disease. If you want to be healthy and happy for your family, cook more meals at home. As a bonus, you’ll get to spend more quality time together.
4. Limit Sugar
There are many things that are good in moderation, and sugar is one of them. But it’s important to understand that when you hear sugar is “good,” it’s not necessarily good for your health or wellbeing. It’s good for the satisfaction of having a treat. There’s some merit in eating a diet that doesn’t leave you feeling deprived. But sugar can be so damaging to your overall health. Consumption has been linked to conditions like cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.
By now, you probably understand how important it is to care for yourself. You can’t be generous if you have nothing to give. Follow these tips to take care of your health for the overall benefit of your family.