Posted Kira Montuori on 5/16/2016 |Wellness Tips
I don't like taking medicine. My go-to remedies of choice are sleep and exercise. When I'm out of balance with either… well, it's not so pretty.
For my family, like many others, our days are busy. Like, who signed us up for all of this, can't read through a whole school email thus reading it half way through 12 times, making up lunches of graham crackers and peanut butter sandwiches busy.
There's school/homework stuff, activities/sports stuff, friends/family stuff, church/volunteer stuff, chores/try to not have the house look like we just got robbed stuff and then things like eating, bathing and general keep the train on the track stuff.
For some active families, like my own, there is a lot of running around. I often ask myself figuratively and literally (because mommy brain) "Where are we going?" And I have to be super intentional about getting my medicine.
First, and most beloved, sleep: In all the bustle, sleep allows some time of quietness in all things body/brain related. Sleep is my high-grade fuel. With a full tank I can go much farther. If the red light is on, I'm pretty much puttering through the day on fumes which usually translates to me fuming at my people. No beuno. Sleep helps me manage feelings and sometimes I have really BIG feelings. It (helps) keep me from flying off the handle and simmers my “why do we have so much laundry” rage.
And as a parent of four small to middle children, nothing is more apparent that we are sleep deprived than the volatility - in the form of loudness, tears, slamming doors, stubbing of toes, falling to the floor with reckless despair - of our day. My husband and I constantly check back into our sleep schedules and shift priorities if adjustments are needed. Withstanding reckless despair has its limits. Give sleep a chance.
The second, not as beloved, is exercise, and the one I let the prescription run out on more often than I'd like to admit. I ALWAYS feel better when I am exercising which should be motivation enough but sometimes it is easiest to let it slide behind all the before-mentioned running around-igans. But I just need something - a walk, yoga class, a solid attempt at a fitness DVD, dance party, move till you sweat something. Exercise feels like a gift I give to myself. I tune into my breathing, my body, my life in motion.
I can tell when my kids haven't been active enough. If my daughter has to sit through (insert any of her brother's sports) and doesn't have an opportunity to run around, it shows. When my middle child spends too much time playing on a device as opposed to active play, it shows. And when my three year old is cooped up in the house too long, it shows out for all the world to see.
Exercise can literally breathe life into us. It's good self-care. It's good health care. It’s good put it in the pavement instead of put it in my mouth kind of therapy. It's just good.
Find your medicine. If you can, take it daily. Care for yourself so you can best care for those around you. And if you see me looking more disheveled than usual, step away slowly and while doing so, suggest some calisthenics.