These past two weeks marked the ultimate in “Can I Just Keep My Head Above Water?” question.
Yes, this momma if feeling the pull. The pull where I’m going in many different direction and when the tug of war ends, I’m not quite sure where I’ll end up landing.
Based on conversations with many of you this week, I know you understand.
Our last two weeks kicked off with me hosting the Becoming Conference, followed by sending two sons to college (one for the first time), one son to public high school (part time), our two girls starting back with their homeschool classes, family company visiting for a few days (in which the AC isn’t working upstairs when it’s 91 degrees) and this on top of our regularly scheduled programming.
It’s a lot and I know for many families, these next few months mark the busiest time of the year. A time where schedules collide, meal times equal mayhem and a reminder to stand in solidarity encouraging each other that we are in this together.
As we get busier, it’s easy to forget how important it is to keep our kids healthy and active during this time of year. For me, it’s about getting those schedules under control and staying balanced in our lives.
Now, I am going to be honest. There’s a huge amount of irony that I am writing on this today. Our eldest son, yes, the star of the “I Just Can’t Make This Stuff Up” trilogy, has added a part four to his story. He came home after his internship and was diagnosed with tonsillitis and mono.
In our family, this is rare. I can count the times on one hands our kids have been seriously ill to the point of needing antibiotic intervention. Yes, we’ve been very fortunate, but I also think it’s because I drill into them some basic concepts that we all know, but often forget and based on conversations with our son, I think he forgot them.
Even though, I don’t have tiny ones any more, preventative and natural remedies have always been our arsenal of choice for staying healthy.
Believe it or not, I am one of those moms who only goes to the doctor for emergencies, as in we see blood or they can’t get off the sofa. I attempt healthy alternatives before antibiotics and believe wholeheartedly in prevention. Some of the easiest tips for staying healthy this fall are those we “know”, but often forget to implement.
Get a Good Night’s Sleep
For our family, one of the first things to go is a good night’s sleep. When we arrive home late from sporting events, we eat late, get to sleep late and within a few weeks, we are completely worn down.
Work hard, play hard, sleep hard. They are all important.
According to the National Sleep Society, hours of sleep needed varies per age.
How are you measuring up?
Ages 3-5: 11-13 hours
Ages 5-12: 10-11 hours
Ages 11-17: 9.5-9.25 hours
Our son mentioned that between working his internship and taking an online class with studying at night, he was averaging 5 – 6 hours of sleep. That doesn’t cut it.
Remember those Vitamin Supplements:
While I attempt to receive our daily vitamin intake through whole foods, I know it doesn’t happen enough so I make sure that we up our Vitamin C and D supplements during this time of year. I also believe in Essential Oils and try hard to boost our immune system.
Limit Screen Time and Be Active with Fun Outdoor Activities:
Kids don’t know how to play outdoors anymore. Unless they are involved in an organized sport, which I highly recommend every child participate in at some time, children don’t understand what it means to be active. In the U,S,, the average 8-10 year spends around eight hours per day in front of a screen. Teens may spend as many as 11 hours per day. Many children spend more time interacting with media than they spend sleeping or going to school.
We model healthy habits for our children and any easy way to do this is by creating out door fun for the kids. Enjoy the beautiful fall weather and go for a walk, bike on a trail, take a picnic to a local park and enjoy the fresh air. It’s amazing how that little bit of a change will keep the kids healthier.
Indulge in Seasonal Fruits and Veggies:
All parents know that we are supposed to cut down on processed sugar and get more fruits and vegetables into our system, but sometimes that can get pricey on the food budget. Indulge in seasonal produce which will be at its all time lowest prices of the year. If your kids don’t enjoy eating them, be creative. Try cutting them up and having them ready. They are more prone to eat them when cut up on the table. What kids can pass up veggies and dip or a nicely sliced apple?
Water, water, water:
Yes, our family indulges in soda as an infrequent treat, and we try to drink as much water as possible to flush out the rest of the junk. I fill up a jug in the fridge and each child knows that they should be drinking one of those per day. I love taking advantage of this all-natural and free detoxifier.
Wash Your Hands
My sweet cousin, a nurse, is our family company this week and when I asked her for her best tips, she echoed many of these and reiterated how crucial washing of hands is to staying healthy. I once heard it referred to as “A DIY Vaccine.” That’s a great analogy. As we tried to figure out how our son got mono, we discussed how much more prominent it is to share a cell phone or pass technology devices back and forth. These are breeding grounds for germs. We didn’t have to worry about that a few years ago and we don’t think about how i,much more important it is even now. That’s why my DIY hand foaming trick gets an extra work out these days.
Relax and Limit Stress:
There are so many more tips I could give, but this is KEY!!
Did you know that 80% of our medical expenses are stress related?
We have become a society of untold stresses and we put many of those on our children. Like I mentioned above, give our children the opportunity to play, have fun and frolic stress free and more importantly, media free. Gaming adds to the stress level. TV adds to the stress level. Texting and cell phone usage are all found to add to that. Our children have been encouraged, well, ok, forced to unplug just to attempt to get this all in perspective. Physical exercise is known to reduce stress and if our kids don’t want to exercise, find ways to make it fun and do it together. Model it for them.
I’m honored that Horizon asked me to share some of my tips for keeping our kids healthy and active during these days of busy schedules. They want to supply families with the tools to be healthy and nutritious, so check out all that Horizon has to offer and make sure to follow Horizon for coupons and ideas for family fun.
Along with the tips mentioned above, keeping schedules balanced and in perspective, taking time to embrace special, simple moments and remembering that it’s the little things that are the big things are true life lessons for living a healthy life to its fullest. I’m ready to conquer these next few months.
How about you?
This conversation is sponsored by Horizon Organic. The opinions and text are all mine.