Health at Home by Steph Beth Nickel
Is the weight of overwhelm closing in on you? Do you feel the need to get away? Is your home a refuge or do the walls close in on you as you look around and see all that needs to be done?
I didn’t get away for my annual writers’ retreat this year, but I did designate the weekend a “staycation.” I decided to treat myself a little. So, here I sit, at a nearby Starbucks, writing this post.
Even though I’m enjoying a change of scenery, I do appreciate the opportunity to work close to home. This weekend I’m tackling some of the things on my Procrastination List. Granted, imminent deadlines are good motivators.
All this got me thinking … How can we make our homes more healthful—not just for our physical wellbeing but for our mental health as well?
Here are five things to consider and what we can do to enjoy health at home:
- Identify the areas of your home where you fall prey to bad habits.
Too much binge watching when sitting in the living room? Consider limiting your TV viewing. Too much mindless eating because junk food is beckoning from the pantry? Maybe it’s time for a purge. Too much time spent phone in hand? Consider designating rooms in your house screen-free zones.
- Consider what situations trigger negativity and adversely affect your family relationships.
Are you getting enough sleep? Are you developing healthy eating habits? Are you getting enough exercise? If the answer is no to any or all of these questions, it will almost certainly put a strain on your health, your outlook, and your relationships.
- Ask yourself the hard questions.
Am I willing to slow down long enough to evaluate my priorities and adjust them as necessary? Am I willing to create an atmosphere of peace and beauty within my home—not a picture-perfect home, a peaceful, welcoming one? Am I willing to replace feelings of resentment with feelings of thankfulness and appreciation? Will it be easy to implement the necessary changes? Probably not. But these questions and others are worth asking.
- Create new associations within your home.
Instead of avoiding your dining room, like I do most of the time, eat together with your family—no phones allowed. Conversation may be stilted at first, but it will get better. You may even want to schedule regular, old-fashioned board game nights. Instead of plopping down on the couch and immediately reaching for the remote, dive into a book you’ve been wanting to read or strike up a conversation with your spouse or child. Instead of scanning Facebook or playing Wordscapes for hours on end, create a playlist that gets you up and moving.
And when you need it …
- Head out for a change of scenery.
Take a walk. Grab lunch with a friend. Snag a beverage at your local coffee shop and write a blog post. <grin> When you head home again, hopefully, you’ll be refreshed and ready to make your home a more healthful place for both yourself and the members of your family.
Before changing your activity level, exercise routine, and/or eating habits, consult your health care professional. What is safe and beneficial for one person can be harmful for another. Note that you implement the information in this post at your own risk.