Have you ever noticed just how easy it is to let your own wellness go? You know, morning comes and the alarm goes off. After closing your eyes for just 5 more minutes you realize today is the day you promised to bring treats. So you fly out of bed thinking exercising will have to wait till after work. At work things are a bit behind because you’ve been short-handed for awhile and are now training that new guy so lunch breaks are brief at best. Then when you get home there is the ball game for your son or daughter so dinner is eaten on the go. Finally arriving at home from the ball game you need to do the daily basics like checking the mail, paying some bills, doing laundry or dishes. After all of that gets done you’d like a break so you sit down and watch a TV show or check out Facebook before bed. What happened to your goal of exercising daily or eating with the family at the table at night? Nothing! Absolutely nothing (except maybe a bit of guilt). It’s so easy to let your own personal health take a back seat to the calendar of events or to your other family members or friends that are “depending” on you.
When I was a hospice director years ago we found it necessary to spend a lot of our time caring for the caregivers. They routinely sacrificed anything and everything to take care of their loved one. While that seems admirable, it’s not the smartest thing to do. If they did not care for themselves they often became ill. When they were ill they could not give direct care to their loved. Now everyone is unhappy. The same thing can happen in our every day life. I’m guilty of this all the time. I would like to run 3 times a week and I should do strength training 2 times a week. Currently I’m doing well if I get 2 runs a week in. Why? Because I try to accommodate the schedules of all of my family members. There is no problem with realizing what has to happen in a day, when your family will be home and planning a meal time. The problem comes when you don’t factor in your own needs, just theirs. Your needs are valid too.
So try to begin considering what you need to do as well as what they need to do. Does someone have a meeting at 7:00 that they need to be at? Fine, can they start supper while you exercise? Then you can help finish it and do the dishes as well as take your shower after they leave for the meeting? Sometimes it’s a simple as telling your family that you are going to exercise at a certain time and that you’ll be happy to help them do whatever except for during that time. That gives them the opportunity to plan their schedules around your exercise time as much as possible. My husband rides bike with other guys two evenings a week right after work. We eat late on those nights. I am aware of the schedule so I can plan that for my time to exercise too, if I choose to.
How can you begin to work YOUR wellness needs into your schedule?
Oh Jody, this was so timely, thanks for sharing. I hear you, same scheduling issues, workout, family, job. Now caring for parents who need to get to a care facility and are not seeing that need. Thanks again. Yes we do put ourselves at the bottom of the list.