Nov 4, 2019
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When you have kids, it can seem like your time belongs to everyone but you. And what often suffers, is physical and mental health.
My friend, I have many days, sometimes weeks, where I struggle to keep it together and then I start to feel like I’m “behind.”
The thing is, we want to prioritize ourselves, but often times we’re too busy juggling life to know where to start. With the help of my friends at Zevia, my partners for today’s post, I’m sharing five small steps to help you incorporate my top healthy lifestyle habits into your everyday life.
Why is it important? Because when you feel healthy you can find your “happy.”
You know what makes me happy? Orange soda. Growing up in Spain, my grandmother would pour me a glass on a hot summer day. It was only for “special occasions.”
Good thing that Zevia’s Orange Soda has zero calories and is sweetened with stevia, which makes it one easy swap that doesn’t make me feel like I’m giving up something I love.
In addition to Orange Soda, Zevia makes other great flavors like Cola, Cherry Cola, Dr. Zevia, Grape, Mountain Zevia, Strawberry Soda, Lemon Lime Twist, Ginger Ale, and Ginger Root Beer—to name a few. As you can see, there’s a flavor for everybody so replacing your favorite refreshment is easy!
I know that if I want to establish healthy lifestyle habits, I need a routine.
Five things I make sure to do daily are:
- Eat a balanced diet
- Get quality sleep
- Exercise or move
- Manage stress
- Nurture relationships
I’ll break down some of my favorite ways to incorporate these healthy habits into your lives.
Eating a Balanced Diet
There are many recipes on this website that help me eat a balanced diet. Meal planning helps me eat real food throughout the week and making my lunch daily, even on days when my husband and I are working from home, helps me stay on track.
So many of our moods, emotions, and energy levels directly correlate to what we put into our bodies, so making sure we eat a variety of nutritious foods is important. And even the soda my husband likes with his lunch can be upgraded by swapping it out with Zevia’s Cola.
Unlike regular soft drinks and teas, Zevia beverages have zero calories, zero sugar, and zero artificial sweeteners, without sacrificing taste or fun. They are my go-to when I need something bubbly and sweet!
I love that Zevia’s drinks are naturally sweetened with stevia and are made with plant-based ingredients like real ginger and citrus oil, and have no artificial colors, so that even the Cola pours clear!
I know that I make better food choices when I get adequate rest, because on days that I’m sleep deprived … boy-oh-boy I’ll reach for anything that will give me a jolt of energy.
Getting Quality Sleep
One thing that can throw my healthy habits out the window real fast is lack of sleep. Call me sleeping beauty or what not, but sleep is the stuff!
To sleep better at night, I …
- Track my sleep with a sleep app (I use Sleep Cycle App). Tracking my sleep has helped me be more conscious of getting to bed earlier.
- Set a timer on my night-time electronic device usage. The second I get on Instagram at night, I tell Siri “Hey Siri, set a timer for 10 minutes” and when the timer goes off, I get off the phone—end of story.
- Put a white noise maker in the room. The same tiny machine I used with my babies for years, mama uses to get better sleep. If you don’t have one, you can download a free app and select the noise that you like best.
At the end of the day, if you want to sleep better you need to tire yourself out physically!
Exercising and Moving Daily
While not every day is a high intensity workout day for me, even heading out to a yoga class helps me sleep better.
When I can, I sneak out to a hot yoga class on Saturday afternoons (snack in hand,) to recharge.
By the time the afternoon rolls around I’m coffee’d out, so I welcome the fresh taste of Zevia’s zero calorie Energy Drinks made with clean ingredients and zero sugar!
A few of my other favorite ways to exercise or move daily:
- Walking my dog. I’ve got a 75 lb. lab that requires a lot of physical activity, so even on days when I don’t feel like working out, he motivates me to get moving with his big puppy eyes.
- Using an on-demand workout app for instant access to an instructor-led workout. Since my gym is 15-minutes away by car and some days I’m short on time, there’s nothing like a good workout in the convenience of my own home. From yoga, weightlifting, CrossFit, to spin-type workouts there’s an app out there for you!
- Swimming. While my daughter is at swim practice, I’ve occasionally jumped in the other pool and swam laps myself! Now, that’s making the most out of that #momlife!
- If your kid is in sports, you can walk the perimeter of their field while they are at soccer, baseball, or football practice, all while listening to a good audio book or podcast.
There’s nothing my body welcomes more than the endorphins that exercise provides and it’s a great reliever of stress.
Sleep and exercise help me manage stress—although I will admit that when my kids were little these were tough to fit in my day-to-day routine.
Since I went back to work full time, it’s been challenging to “unplug” from work at night, so to help me focus more on my family, I now leave my laptop in my backpack in the entryway and only pull it out when necessary.
Yes, it’s easier said than done to leave work at the office, but I can tell you that it has helped me tremendously by making me feel like I am giving my family 100% of me. Unless I’m on a tight deadline, work can wait.
Putting work aside has helped me bond with my kids more. Whether it’s at the dojo practicing karate a few times a week or listening to my 7-year-old read to me out loud while I clean the kitchen, I try to give them the full attention they deserve.
The calls, messages, emails, and latest news WILL ALWAYS be there, but the time we spend nurturing our relationships with the most important people in our lives is one we can’t take back.
While establishing healthy habits is quite simple, it does take some effort. Putting the important things first, like your health and your family, will help you live your best.
A few things you can do to nurture your relationships:
- Schedule date nights with your spouse
- Take your kids out one-on-one
- Sign the family up for a fun activity (like our family karate classes!)
- Call a friend or your mother while doing things like folding laundry, emptying the dishwasher, or cooking
- Send a text to a friend when their name comes to mind along the lines of, “I drove by your old house today and I immediately thought of you. What’s new?”
It doesn’t take much to connect with another person, and showing them your relationship is meaningful can mean a lot to them.
What are some things you do to live your best? Share your personal stories and tips on Instagram, tagging #LiveYourBest for a chance to win a free case of Zevia products on a weekly basis!
For more information on Zevia and their soda, energy drinks, and tea products, go to Zevia.com. Or check them out on Amazon.com.
Hi Laura! Due to some unexpected health issues this last year I have learned a lot for myself on how I want to live my best life. First, I thank God everyday for everything and everyone that I have. Also,for my journey in this life and spending one more day with my children and family. I have started meditation(which has helped tremendously with stress), finding things that make me really happy, trying to eat healthy and exercise everyday even if it’s for 10 min. I believe God wants us to enjoy our journey and sometimes we get too busy to enjoy the ride.
I loved reading the other comments. Thanks Laura for starting this conversation:)
Such terrific insights, Sarah! Living from a place of gratitude is always the best approach. Thank you for sharing your thoughts in this journey. I am sure it will encourage others to live their best live.
I started using my lunch hour as my exercise time. It also helps that the gym is in the building where I work and several of my co-workers work out too at the same time. It helps to have a friend for accountability and just someone to talk to sometimes. I used to try to work out in the mornings or when I got off work, but I was either way too tired or just did not feel like it.
Woking out with coworkers is a terrific idea Latanya! I’m sure the office environment is much more upbeat after lunch.
I am happy to see that you need a little “jolt” from time to time, Laura. I follow you on social and I often wonder… “how does she do it?” Years ago, I used to drink redbulls but they made me jittery. Then, earlier this year I discovered Zevia’s energy drink and OMG the jitters are gone. They work better than a cup of coffee and the energy lasts longer. The grapefruit one is my fav! Thanks for sharing your tips, Laura.
I have struggled with getting movement/exercise since becoming a SAHM. This year I’ve given myself grace and options. Walk outside even if the desired time isn’t available, 30 min video indoors if that is what I can do. Also flexibility of when I can fit it in. This has opened the doors for me mentally. Feels good to be moving again.
Connie, It’s so important to take care of oneself mentally. For me, giving myself grace and making sure I ‘move” more has helped a lot. Even on days where I don’t work out, I make it a point to move more. Thank you for sharing <3
Sometimes doing nothing helps me live my best life – basically I had to learn to relax a little. I was getting too stressed out from trying to keep up with everything from food prep to keeping the house in order all while attending to obligations of getting the kids to where they needed to be. Sometimes like you said, you need to put it aside and relax a little.
I totally need to work on the “doing nothing” to help me live my best life. My gosh, what a great reminder you just gave me. Thank you Kim!
I love Zevia orange soda too! I swear it tastes better than Fanta and has no sugar. Glad to see you drink “sodas” from time to time”. 🙂
I used to think that I needed 5 hours of sleep and was proud that I “didn’t need much” but the truth is that I drank a lot of soda and coffee and I felt like crap. I switched to water, teas, and I began tracking my sleep and making sure I slept 7 hours. I feel like a new person. I also LOVE Zevia. Their grape soda is my favorite and I feel good to drink it.