Look To the Western Sky

A blog about single life as a parent & the dreams of a writer by Margo L. Dill

Author: luvboxerdogs (page 2 of 20)

Setting Boundaries: With Your Family Members (Including Your Kids)

One of the places where it is hardest to set boundaries is with your family! Trust me, I know, and I have a very loving, wonderful family. This includes in your marriage or partnership, with your parents and siblings, extended family, and gasp…your own children. Here are two ways that I have attempted to set boundaries and what has happened. We’ll call these case studies. (Are there case studies on blog posts? If not, here’s a first!)

Case Study 1: Adult Family Members I tell a member of my immediate family NOT to talk about certain things in front of a person we all commonly know. The reason for this is because it will lead to trouble for someone else we both love very much. I know, I know what you’re thinking. Why talk about the subject at all if I’m worried? My answer to this question is two-fold: I have to trust people to listen to me when  I set boundaries, AND there are some subjects and situations I have to talk about, and the only people who truly understand are immediate family members.  So what happened after I set the boundary and shared the information?

At an event, I actually hear the family member I confided in talking about the subject to the person I didn’t want to know. Ugh.

Now what do I do?

I set a boundary, and it was crossed. This family member passionately believed the right thing was being done, but it was still a boundary that I made that was not respected. I could have jumped up right then and there and said, “Stop! I told you not to say anything!” (I didn’t do this, although I wanted to.) What I did was later, when I felt calm: I addressed what happened and explained again why it is important to not talk about the subject, but my family member didn’t apologize.

So…now I have a new boundary. If I don’t want someone to know, I don’t tell this person. Do I feel upset? A little, but I also feel proud of myself for creating a boundary, addressing it, and figuring out that in this circumstance, this family member’s own feelings and passions overpower my boundary.

Case Study 2: Our Kids Kids are constantly pushing boundaries and rules–according to child experts, this is normal. Maybe this is true, but I want to raise a kid who respects other people’s boundaries. This example is going to seem silly, but it is a harmless example about my daughter I feel okay sharing with the world 10 people who read this post. Also, I think this kind of thing happens to parents every day of our parenting lives, and it can wear thin on our patience. So stick to your guns, parents!

Her grandma and dad sing to her at night. Her grandpa hums. I read, we say our blessings, and then I snuggle with her. She says: “I want you to sing like Daddy and Grandma.” I say, “I don’t sing.”  This is not 100 percent true, of course, I do sing, and I have sang to her before when she was younger or sick. But I absolutely do not want to make this a part of our nighttime routine. I am exhausted by the time she goes to bed, and I don’t want to sing since I don’t enjoy it. I explain this to her and show her how what we do at night works for both of us. And she has people who sing to her on other nights.

Now, my daughter is strong-willed, which will be a great quality WHEN SHE IS OLDER. So, a few times since this singing discussion, she has brought up: “Why can’t you sing?” “I want you to sing.” Tears, silence. I explain it again, in a kind way, and now I am definitely not backing down. I have set a boundary (simple as it may be). Yes, my people pleasing mom side is really fighting me on this one, but this is a lesson–she needs to respect this boundary. We already have a nighttime routine that works, and that we both like and can manage, and I’m not changing it now.

So far, the boundary has stuck. . .

How about you? How do you set boundaries with your family members?

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Look at All These Bad Things That Can Happen If You Can’t Set Boundaries

I’ve been reading a book, Safe People: How to Find Relationships That Are Good for You and Avoid Those That Aren’t, by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend. I’m not sure if I agree with all of their religious viewpoints (just a warning, for those of you who are liberal-minded), but I find the book useful, nonetheless. What inspired this post was a section in the book that talked about people who have trouble setting boundaries (raises hand!). I thought I had blogged about it on here more than I have, but when I did a search for BOUNDARIES, this is the only post that came up.

As I mentioned in that post, my friends are often talking to me about setting boundaries. I don’t even think I was aware of my lack of boundary-setting until I was going through my divorce. It is so hard to see what is in front of us! I tend to be a people pleaser, which now I am working very hard on finding my voice and trying to vocalize when I don’t like something, without losing my temper or coming across unkind. None of this is easy to do, and it does not come naturally for me.

But back to the book, so when I read the following quote, I had a huge A-ha moment:

People who have trouble with boundaries may exhibit the following symptoms: blaming others, codependency, depression, difficulties with being alone, disorganization with lack of direction, extreme dependency, feelings of being let down, feelings of obligation, generalized anxiety, identity confusion, impulsiveness, inability to say no, isolation, masochism, overresponsibility and guilt, panic, passive-aggressive behavior, procrastination and inability to follow through, resentment, substance abuse and eating disorders, thought problems and obsessive-compulsive problems, underresponsibility, and victim mentality.

Wow, so that is quite a list, right? The authors do not mean that someone who has difficulty setting boundaries will have all these problems. I highlighted the ones in bold print that have known to plague me at one time or another in my life. But I wonder how many of us knew that having trouble setting boundaries could lead to so many problems. Most of us think of it as being an issue, of course, but more like: You let people walk all over you. You can never say no, and you do too much.

But it is much more serious than this! Many of the symptoms above can lead to death if they are not treated.

This quote has had me thinking for days. It’s why I feel called to blog about this.

  1. It is very important to teach our children how to set boundaries, how to respect others’ boundaries, and what to do when someone constantly pushes your boundaries or doesn’t respect them.
  2. I need to set boundaries and figure out what my consequences are for someone in my life who will not accept my boundaries.
  3. When I set a boundary, I need to be clear and firm, but loving and kind. It is possible to do both.
  4. It does not make me a bad person to set a boundary. People will still like me. They may even like me more.

If you are good at setting boundaries, congratulations! Please teach us in the comments how you learned to do it. If you have questions or want to discuss, so do I. Any tips or questions anyone has, please share.

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4 Things Debt-Free People Never Do

(contributed article)

Are you ready to be debt-free? Almost everyone in the red will answer with an enthusiastic “YES!” An overdue balance can make life difficult, which is why getting into the black is vital. There are plenty of ways to get over the financial hump. Some people like to consolidate their accounts and pay them off in a single transaction. Others prefer to hire money managers to take the strain and relieve the stress.

Another method is to look to successful people as mentors. After all, they’ve been there, done it, and come out the other side with the t-shirt. You decide where to go next and what to do, but there are traits to keep in mind on the journey. Here are four things debt-free men and women never do.

Debt-free people never…

Ignore Accounts

Once the payment is set up between the bank and the seller, it’s easy to forget about the money. The amount stays the same anyway, right? In most cases, there won’t be any discrepancies, but there are times when rates increase and decrease. The latter isn’t a problem, yet the former is a big deal as it may add to your expenses. And you have no idea if you’re not checking your account. For example, think of a cell phone contract and add-ons, such as extra data, texts and calls. Regularly check the bill at the end of the month to make sure it’s correct.

Believe Marketing Ploys

Everyone knows that businesses use advertising to trick people into purchasing goods. The shocking thing is that it doesn’t matter because the message is so powerful. You want to buy the product and only need a slight nudge in the right direction. Don’t worry if you can’t afford it because often there’s a ninety-day offer where you don’t pay a penny. The debt-free group understands that once the trial finishes, the rate jumps, and it becomes much more costly. They either save up  or use a credit card and then pay it off in full.

Invest In Myths

“Whoa, wait a minute, you’re thinking about filing for bankruptcy? Don’t you understand it will kill your finances forever? That’s a ballsy move.” Essentially, filing for bankruptcy is a serious issue, yet it won’t destroy your credit for eternity. You’ll still be able to get loans and apply for credit cards and everything else. From chapter 13 bankruptcy to 11 and 7, some pros exist, depending on the situation. For example, it wipes unsecured debts. Clever people weigh the pros against the cons and play the percentages. That’s why they’re eventually stable, and if they stick to the plan, they will become debt-free.

Lack Earning Potential

Rather than save cash, they make it also. Their primary job is the number one money-maker, yet they often moonlight and have freelance projects on the side. Yes, it takes up some of your free time, but some hobbies can even be money-spinners. Look at how blogging has monetized writing thanks to sponsors wanting to piggyback traffic.

Do you have a strategy for staying debt-free?

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3 Reasons Why You Should Make Sleep a Top Priority

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If you’re an ambitious, go-getting, proactive, dream-chasing kind of a person, it’s likely that you have at some point in your life — or are currently — falling into the devastatingly bad habit of sacrificing sleep in order to win some extra hours from the day. This is a common tactic of hard-nosed business tycoons and creative artists and entrepreneurs alike, but also of people who don’t really enjoy their day jobs very much at all, and who want a bit of extra time each evening to watch TV, listen to music, surf the web, relax, and just do things that aren’t in any way related to work.

But no matter how much you may need or want those extra few hours in the day, you’d be better off doing without them, or with getting them by cutting out virtually anything else other than sleep. Here are some reasons why a chronic lack of sleep will ruin your life, and why you need to make sleep a top priority.

Lack of sleep could completely change your personality

In the 1950’s, radio host Peter Tripp decided to attempt a record-breaking 201-hour-wakeathon. He was observed by medical professionals who warned him adamantly against the experiment, but he went ahead with it anyway for the benefit of a charity he had selected. What happened to Peter Tripp is a terrifying insight into the tremendous importance of sleep, and the degree to which sleep deprivation can destroy a human mind.

Tripp’s personality radically changed, and he even ended up developing split-personality disorder during the experiment. When the experiment was over and he had slept, he thought he was back to normal. The people who knew him didn’t agree and declared that his personality was forever changed for the worse.

Get enough sleep, or you can become a completely different person. 

Lack of sleep can devastate your health

Recent research has found evidence that lack of sleep can cause systematic, multi-organ damage, chronic inflammation, and can lead to any number of diseases and conditions developing in the body. This isn’t too surprising considering that prolonged sleep deprivation is fatal, and that the body appears to do much of its repair and brain-management during sleep.

If you’re cutting hours out of your nightly sleep cycle to work, you’re not just sacrificing luxury time. You’re sacrificing your health and lifespan. Needless to say, not even the best personal injury lawyer can help you when you inflict the damage on yourself with a lack of sleep.

Lack of sleep can make you worse at everything

When people are sleep-deprived, their mental performance drops dramatically; they are less perceptive and less adept at reading social cues, and worse at regulating their emotions.

It’s a darkly ironic twist, considering that many people skip sleep in order to be more productive during the day; but the evidence suggests that not getting enough sleep makes you less efficient and robs the hours you’ve freed up of their vitality.

It would seem reasonable to conclude that you’d be far better off having fewer hours in your day at work and performing at your peak during those hours, than having more hours, during which you’re an under-performing, error-prone wreck.

 

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Ideas for Generating Self-Love and Why It’s Crucial

Self-care and emotional health are two subjects that readers of this blog said they’re interested in reading more about. It’s not always easy to love ourselves, but it’s important to work on it. The need to practice self-love has never been more necessary.  Today, we live in a world, where so many people suffer from low self-esteem that we’re in the middle of an emotional epidemic. This is evident by the amount of people we hear about committing suicide or suffering from depression. 

Interestingly, a lot of people struggle with this area of their lives because they feel they should naturally have high self-esteem by default, as if having high self-esteem is a human’s default state.  When, in fact it isn’t.

Self-esteem and self-love must be generated from within.  Just like how we teach our children to love, respect, and value themselves, we need to do the same for ourselves, and it’s a never-ending process.  Perhaps your parents did a great job at helping you generate self-esteem, or perhaps they were deficient in this area themselves, and couldn’t teach you what they simply didn’t know. Now that you are an adult or a parent yourself, it’s up to you to figure this out for yourself and your kids. 

Self-love as a Practice: See, self-love is a practice, just like yoga is a practice – you don’t do it once, and then you’re suddenly flexible.  You must practice. Yet, not everyone knows how to practice self-love. It’s not as tangible as doing a few yoga poses with an instructor. 

Positive thinking: Self-love, self-worth, and a high self-esteem are feelings and beliefs we must generate for ourselves… yet, have you noticed how the majority of people don’t tend to practice self-love? Instead they practice self-loathing, where they focus much more on their mistakes and faults than their achievements and qualities. When you find your inner critic being incredibly harsh on yourself, tell him or her to go away, and think of at least one positive thing about yourself–right then and there. 

Don’t Use Retail Therapy: The antidote to many of our emotional challenges can be found in this area of self-love and positive thinking. Yet often, we reach for external solutions such as a new wardrobe, furniture, or even a fancy car.  If you need these new things, then of course, there’s nothing wrong with heading somewhere like https://auto.loan/ in order to find the best way to finance your purchase.  The bit that can make purchases unhealthy are when there’s an over reliance on material objects in order to prop up your self-esteem or you can’t afford the things you are buying.

Relationship issues: The same can be said for relationships. Indeed, when it comes to being in a relationship… it’s necessary to first love yourself before you can love another person and have a healthy relationship.  A good way to view the importance of self-love is to consider how airlines will always instruct you to put on your own oxygen mask first before helping anybody else, even your children. See, we can’t help anyone else with their oxygen mask if we are starving for air, and similarly, we can’t truly love and support someone if we are deficient in self-love and self-esteem, as then we can become desperate and starved for these emotional fuels.

The challenge, with relationships is that if we don’t have a healthy level of self-esteem and self-love in ourselves, then we end up giving love in order to receive love, almost out of desperation, and we operate from a depleted, somewhat needy state, where we are needing to be “filled up” like a car in need of gas.

Conclusion: We can expend a lot of energy looking to tackle our internal challenges with external solutions, like being in a co-dependent relationship or practicing retail therapy or overeating; yet this replacement approach is only temporary relief that can leave us feeling more hollow inside.

That said, if you were to shift your focus to pampering yourself because you deserve it, and nourishing your body, such as preparing healthy meals, along with a candlelit bath and your favorite bath bomb from https://lush.com  ,then you’re focused on tending to your emotional and physical needs. That is a tangible and healthy way to practice self-love. 

The solution, and the secret to self-love, is that you must take responsibility for generating a feeling of high self-esteem within yourself–positive thoughts, meditating, healthy eating, doing activities you enjoy and make you feel good about yourself–and fill yourself up, rather than expecting anyone or anything else to do it for you.

(contributed post)

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Getting Ready For A Camping Trip

(contributed post)

There are many great benefits to going camping for a holiday. The fresh air will be good for your health, it will be likely to be a relatively cheap getaway, and you might even find that spending time in nature helps you get back to yourself somewhat. But if you haven’t done this kind of trip for a long time, or indeed ever, you might feel a little lost as to what you should be doing to get ready. In this post, we are going to take a look at just a few of the major things you should be doing in order to make sure that you are as ready as possible for your camping holiday. Bear  these points in mind first and foremost, and you will be well on your way to a decent camping trip.

Plan The Route

It is not a good idea to head off without first knowing what route you’re going to take. Of course, if you are absolutely clear on where you will be camping, then that is fine; but if not, you might want to think about getting a map and navigating yourself properly. If you have never navigated in this way before, you should probably consider getting someone to go with you who has, or first brushing up on what you need to do before you go. The last thing you want is to get lost, so knowing what you are doing and where you are going is essential.

Be Safe

You need to ensure you are always putting your safety first as well, even though that can be easier said than done. One of the biggest ways to make sure you are being safe is by having a first aid kit with you, and in fact, that should absolutely be considered one of the most essential things to carry around with you on the journey. You can get hold of some decent medical supplies online, and create a complete first aid kit to carry with you. You should also make sure that you’re using your basic common sense skills when walking and when camping, so that you do not get severely injured.

Know The Laws

You might be surprised to discover that there are many places you can’t camp by law, so it’s a great idea to first check this out before you go. If you end up trying to camp somewhere that is not legal, you could find yourself being evicted, and that means a most unpleasant night indeed. Conversely, by ensuring that you camp somewhere sensible and legal, you won’t get into any trouble, and it will make the whole experience much more enjoyable. Also be sure to check out any local laws on where you can and can’t walk . You might be surprised.

Are you planning to go camping with your family this summer? Where do you like to go? What is a tip you can share? 

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3 Ways To Stay On Top of Your Pet’s Health, Your Faithful Companion

The photo above is of my dog when he had been sick to his stomach in the morning. I posted it on Facebook because he just looked so pitiful (well and he has a cute face), and I know so many of my friends are dog and cat lovers. He did not want to let me out of his sight yesterday and kept moving closer and closer to me, so finally, I moved his pillow by my desk, and he laid down and went to sleep. He was fine later; he had probably gotten into something in the yard. But anyone who knows me knows how important Chester is to me, so this contributed post has a lot of great points about how pets can help us and how we should take care of them. 

Anybody that’s had a dog or cat knows the emotional connection, warmth, love and support that radiates from their soul; indeed, the love of a pet is one of the most soothing and abundant sources of love available.  Indeed, their love is unconditional. They make a great companion, particularly at this time of year, and of course, dogs offer a fantastic way to keep active due to all the walks they require. Many people recognize the healing power of pets also, as they can have a positive impact on our emotional and physical health.  It’s important we similarly look after our pet’s health, too, though, for instance as a dog ages, it’s necessary to hunt out the best dog bed for arthritis and get annual check-ups, just like we would for a human family member.

In that vein, here are three ways to stay on top of your pet’s health.

  1. EXERCISE

Just like humans, it’s vitally important your pets get the exercise they need to stay healthy.  They can, however, be over-exercised, so this is something to consider particularly if your dog or cat is a little older. Make sure to talk to your vet about the proper amount of exercise for your pet. Exercise is great for your dogs’ physical and emotional health, plus it’ll boost your own mood too.

  1.  DIET & NUTRITION

Cats have specific nutritional requirements as they are “obligate carnivores,” meaning they need animal proteins to stay healthy, while dogs are “scavenging carnivores,” meaning they are primarily meat eaters but can survive on other sources of food if necessary.  That said, feeding them with dog food that is high in animal protein and low in “fillers” is the best bet.

Equally important to food, of course, is hydration… so ensuring an adequate supply of clean drinking water is essential to your pet’s health.  This is particularly relevant during the summer.

  1.  FLEA TREATMENT

It’s wise to consult your vet on which flea treatment is most effective for your pet, as it is somewhat dependent on medical history, and some flea treatments are more effective than others.  A popular option for both dogs and cats is Frontline, yet a number of vets say this isn’t always effective, and a more reliable option is called Stronghold Flea, though this does usually need to be given on prescription.

While flea treatment is highly effective in killing the fleas and eggs on your pet, the challenge is that if your pet is then in an environment where the fleas are still at large, re-infestation will occur.  Here is a good resource on the steps to take to rid your home from fleas.

In summary, pets do have tremendous healing powers when it comes to our mental and emotional health; as their love is unconditional.  It’s pretty simple to keep on top of your pet’s health but vitally important… particularly in terms of regular check-ups with the vet and keeping up with prophylactic injections and parasite treatments.

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Let’s Be Realistic About Screen Time: We Are The Parents

Recently, one of my friends posted on Facebook that her kids think she is the absolute worst when she makes them turn off the screens this summer. She posted her frustration that it’s a constant battle and that she is tired of being the bad guy when she wants them to “play.” She received a myriad of responses, as posts like this often do, and most were in agreement with her and said they faced the same attitude at their house. She got a few funny ones–hide the chargers, throw them outside with a ball and don’t let them come back in until they kick it. And then there were a couple that I felt were a bit harsh and asked her to look at her own screen time.

Okay, okay, I just posted a contributed post about being a good role model on the roads, and I don’t disagree that parents are role models, but come on…we are the parents. If we want to binge watch Netflix shows, we can. And in the same breath, we can tell our kids to get off their screens. We. Are. The. Parents. We are in charge.

People also like to start the screen time conversation with…”Well, when we were kids, we couldn’t wait to get outside.” Everyone nods their heads and tells some unbelievable story about how they received 39 stitches on their knees and were right back on their bikes an hour later. True, but that’s because we didn’t want to watch soap operas and Dynasty with our parents.  (Love Boat was a different story.) We didn’t want to be forced to clean our room again or listen to our moms talk on the wall phone to Aunt Ida for an hour about all her ailments.  We didn’t have Netflix or 24-hour Disney shows or tablets with tons of games or the ability to chat with our friends even while our moms talked to Aunt Ida on the phone. When we say, “Well, when we were kids…”, we are comparing apples to oranges, and that never does anyone any good.

Yes, tablets and streaming shows can be addictive. Yes, too much screen time is not good–for anyone. More studies are in agreement with that statement than in supporting screen time. I also face the battle at my house with KT’s tablet. And I have friends who claim their children only watch one TV show a day and have never touched an iPad–well, bully for them. I find it terribly hard to believe, especially when it’s 100 degrees outside, and you don’t have a pool in your backyard, and your children no longer take a nap, and you have to fix something for dinner, and your kids are tired of their toys, but…maybe you really have an iron backbone. 

What I’m saying (yes, what is she saying?)–most parents today are facing this same “screen time” dilemma. SO let’s share what we realistically do with screen time. At my house, KT is usually on her tablet two hours a day on the weekends (maybe longer if I have a freelance project to do) and she probably watches an hour of TV, along with watching Master Chef or Nailed It with me. So let’s say she averages three-four hours on the weekends. When she has school, it is lower–probably one hour on the tablet and one hour of TV.  Is that too much? Probably.

Is that all the screen time I have? Not even close, especially since I am a writer. Am I going to let Katie say to me: Well, you have 8 hours of screen time and watched 5 episodes of Frasier, so turn off the screen. Umm, no. I. Am. The. Parent.

I don’t stop drinking wine in front of her, and I’m not going to. She can’t cuss. She can’t stay up past her bedtime. She can’t eat as many snacks as she wants. Can I do all those things? YES! Can I teach her moderation and responsibility? YES!

Maybe what we should be telling each other is…hey, it’s hard. Our parents thought it was hard, too. Every generation has had their own struggles, concerns, and worries. Screen time and not being able to have unsupervised outdoor play are two of ours. You can do this. Your kids may say you are terrible, but you know you’re not. You know you’re doing the right thing. Give them a hug and a kiss and tell them life isn’t fair, and you’re not their friend. You’re their parent and you love them.

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Tips for Being a Role Model for Your Kids When You’re Behind the Wheel

(contributed post)

Parents are role models in every facet of their life. Your little ones are depending on your guidance, whether it is financial or moral. It’s easy to forget that driving falls into this category, too. Getting behind the wheel is such a regular part of life that it’s sometimes weird to think your kids are watching and imitating your behavior, especially the teenager in the passenger seat who is desperate to pass her test and gain some independence.

Instructors will get them through the practical part, but it’s you who will mold them in the long-term. With that in mind, here are some tips for setting a good example while driving.

Be Safety Conscious

Everyone has been a teenager behind the wheel of a car for the first time. The temptation is to care more about the music pumping through the stereo or their cell phones than to care about being safe. However, if safety rules are not followed, everyone knows that car and motorcycle injuries can easily happen. And, when an accident happens, we often ask ourselves, “What could we have done to avoid it?”  Teenage drivers need to know safety as a practice. A lack of safety-consciousness from you could result in them being blase. Make a point of buckling up first, as well as adjusting mirrors and wearing a helmet, if on a motorcycle. Obey the speed limit, also.

Vent Afterwards

Another motorist cuts you off, and you may let out obscenities. For plenty of drivers, this is a regular day at the office. Road rage isn’t innate though because it is controllable. Therefore, it is a habit that develops over time or from watching those around us. The worst thing about losing your cool behind the wheel with your kids in the car is that they may think it’s okay. Moms and dads don’t get angry, so when they do there must be a good reason. Teens can learn this, and so it gives them an excuse to act the same whenever they experience frustration on the road. Keep cool and carry on, especially if there is someone else in the car.

Follow The Rules

Experienced motorists often improvise because they are comfortable in the driver’s seat. While this may work for you, there’s a good chance that it will get a new driver into trouble. Think of resting your arm on the window ledge while cruising down the highway. Or casually going a couple of miles over the speed limit. Who hasn’t done 55mph in a 50mph zone? To stop kids from picking up bad habits, switch your driving style. Keep hands at eleven and one or ten and two, and never speed. Be a monk on the roads.

Explain Why

Granted, there will be times when things go wrong. In these situations, you are bound to react and lose your temper. Sometimes, the occasion gets the better of the greatest role models. Don’t make excuses. Instead, calmly explain what happened and why, and why they shouldn’t make the same error. Hopefully, detailing the incident should highlight the mistake ,and make it obvious that it shouldn’t be copied. 

How do you act when your impressionable teen is in the car? Are you an angel or do you need to switch tact?

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5 Tips For Getting Healthy and Active This Summer

In the Midwest, we have been having quite a heatwave. So for some of you, you may read this title and think: What? Is she crazy? There are heat advisories every day! But some of these tips can be done easily–not or hot–and I like them because they are practical, so this is definitely one of those Practical Moms Unite posts. (contributed post)

If you would like to make sure that you are getting as healthy as you can during the summer months and are looking for inspirations on planning your active summer, read on. 

Leave the Car Behind

While it is more convenient to take the car everywhere, and you can’t do the weekly shopping without it (and carry all your bags), you might want to walk or cycle to places that are less than a mile away. Make yourself a promise to do this, provided that the weather is nice and it is safe to do so. A good way of deciding whether you should take the car or not is working out if driving saves you more than 15 minutes. If it does, you might take the car; but if it doesn’t, including circling around trying to find a parking place, you could walk or cycle.

Eat More Fresh Produce

In the summer months with the heat and sun, many of us crave fresh foods and fewer carbs than we do in the winter months. Start weaning yourself off carbs gradually. Swap your pasta for cooked vegetables, your corn flakes for a fruit salad, and visit the local farmers’ market regularly to eat fresh fruits and vegetables. To stay on top of your wellbeing, you might want to reduce your intake of processed food items and opt for organic and fresh meat and fruit instead.

Raw Food Diet and Salads

With the higher availability of fruit and vegetables in the summer, you might want to go on a raw food diet for a week to help your body get rid of the toxins and improve the condition of your skin, such as acne, while also treating some digestive issues. You can cut out white rice, chips, and pasta, and switch to vegetables and fruit to improve your mood, your diet, and your overall wellbeing.

Day Trips

You can also take a couple of day trips to change your environment, see something new, and practice mindfulness. Find inspiring places and notice new things every day. Take your mind off your daily routine every now and then. Even if you are only visiting the closest nature reserve, you will return relaxed and rejuvenated, after getting close to nature.

Camping and Hiking

If you have more than a day to spend away from work and your routine, you might want to combine camping and hiking. Find a location that you haven’t visited before to set up camp, make a walking goal, and bring the right camping equipment to cook and eat fresh during your trip. You can read more about camping hacks that will make life more comfortable when away from home while maintaining a healthy diet.  

Staying active is generally easier during the summer months, as you don’t have the excuse of the cold or snowy weather. Get on your bike, go hiking, and reduce your processed carb intake to make the most out of your health.

How will you get more healthy this summer? 

 

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