Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God? You are not your own; you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
- 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
It’s never more obvious that your body is not your own than when you are pregnant. It shouldn’t be the only time that you take time to take care of yourself, though.
With the start of the New Year, the whole blogosphere is talking about discerning priorities, setting goals and making plans. I would like to challenge you to take control of your body so that you are able to meet the call of whatever God would like you to do.
I don’t know about you, but this is SUCH an important one. I’m a completely different mom when I am sleep deprived. And not in a good way. This is both the easiest and the hardest one to fix.
As a mom, your work NEVER ends. So set a time for bed & stick to it! If you still have little ones, this may need to change (frequently!) with various phases. And if you start feeling off or tired, for heaven’s sake, go to bed early. That TV show or book (or even the dirty dishes!) isn’t worth screaming at your children for or impatient with your husband tomorrow.
No, I’m not talking about going on a diet and losing weight. Unless you know you need to, but I’m not getting into that here. I’m talking about examining what you eat.
Do you have lots of boxed or frozen make-a-meal products in your home? How often do you eat out? What do you drink? Is there something that you feel like you should get rid of in your normal diet?
When I started my journey, it was the removal of foods that literally made me feel sick when I ate them. You would think that it would be a no-brainer but they were either yummy or easy and it was too easy to give in and regret it later. Take stock of your body’s fuel and take a few baby steps. I like Healthy Homemaking: One Step at a Time for a good starter resource.
It’s also important, especially since we are waist deep in flu-season, to stay on top of our health. This is where eating well and getting proper nutrition is super important. If you do fall prey to some winter ick, avoid sugar and make sure you get plenty of rest. The kids watching veggie tales or Disney movies for a day or two isn’t the end of the world. My kids had been over indulging for 2 months of first trimester fatigue & morning sickness.
Beyond taking care of those things of an urgent nature, are you taking care of long term needs? When was your last annual? Have you been to the dentist or eye doctor lately? What about a full on physical (cholesterol, blood sugar, etc)? is there an issue that you’ve just been too busy (or scared) to check out? Make those appointments today!
I know that after 8 weeks of first trimester ick, I am feeling lazy & out of shape and am looking forward to being able to go to the gym again! Even if all you do is walk, some purposeful exercise is essential. It’s not just for your body, but also for your mind. Mild exercise can even help relieve mild depression and a whole host of other conditions.
Ideally, try to work your way into doing some cardio (like walking), some strength training (weights, and/or Pilates) and some mild stretching. Figure out how you work best (by yourself, in a group, or a sport) and make a 3 month plan to work your way into each area. By the end of the 3 months you should be exercising nearly every day.
If you are really out of shape, try a short term gym membership with a personal trainer. Once you are acclimated to the activity, many trainers will make you a plan to follow when you don’t see them with occasional (monthly) check-in and evaluation.
What is the hardest area for you to take care of yourself in?
Jen can be found writing at Happy Little Homemaker.