October is my birthday month. The year is immaterial — especially now that I’m middle-aged.
I’m not sharing this to receive well-wishes, but because every year that I celebrate another birthday I re-evaluate my life.
Am I healthier? Am I still learning? Am I nurturing my relationships? Am I growing in faith?
Thankfully, the answer to those questions this year is “yes.” But it wasn’t always that way.
Before, an honest response to those four questions was simply “no.” I was so busy taking care of business and everyone else that I didn’t take care of myself.
And it showed in my health, my mind, my emotions and my faith. It wasn’t pretty, so I needed to change. So I did.
Take this series of suggestions to help you take better care of yourself physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually so that next year you’ll be healthier in every area of your life:
-- Schedule a yearly physical. Call on Monday.
-- Make yourself accountable for your health. I text four friends each time I exercise. They do the same.
-- Play a Wii game with your kids.
-- Put your feet up for five minutes every day.
-- Go to bed earlier. More sleep makes more smiles.
-- Sign up for an exercise class with child care.
-- Walk and talk with a friend.
-- Take a 20-minute power nap.
-- Stroll with your stroller and your toddler — outdoors or indoors at the mall.
-- Join a gym.
-- Research your interests on the Internet.
-- Take a continuing education class.
-- Do Sudoku, crossword puzzles or word finds.
-- Teach yourself a new skill.
-- Add without a calculator.
-- Download a book just for you.
-- Join a discussion group.
-- Keep current.
-- Watch a TV show that challenges your mental skills.
-- Read the newspaper.
-- Play beautiful, relaxing music.
-- Set up a weekend away with your girlfriends.
-- Sip a cup of tea.
-- Plan a date night with your spouse.
-- Be creative through scrapbooking, knitting or making jewelry.
-- Join a moms group.
-- Schedule some solitude.
-- Connect with a trusted friend.
-- Forgive yourself.
-- Plan some female fun at a local restaurant.
-- Count your blessings right now.
-- Attend a Christian book club or Bible study.
-- Volunteer for something you believe in.
-- Read an inspirational book.
-- Go without any electronics for a day to focus on faith.
--Sign up for an online devotion.
-- Enjoy creation with your kids by gathering leaves.
Hearts at Home is a nonprofit organization designed to encourage, educate and equip moms at all stages. Hearts at Home, 1509 N. Clinton Blvd., Bloomington, IL61701-1813; (309) 828-MOMS; www.hearts-at-home.org. Contact them at email@example.com