Keeping Mentally and Physically Fit as a Parent Working From Home

If this title resonates with you, I guess you’re in the same boat as I am. Parents, I see you. I hear you. I am you. And, we’re handling it all.

Maybe you’re running your own home business or working remotely while balancing the school and work events, scheduling the doctor’s appointments for the kids, partner, and, let’s not forget the dog. And, between all these moving parts, still get in a healthy home-cooked dinner (at least that’s the intention right? some days you reach for the ready-made nuggets). It’s a delicate balance.

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Feel Pleasantly Exhausted

In this article, I will share practical and straightforward tips to keep your physical and mental fitness intact. You’ll find the stamina to keep the house in order and the business afloat. The goal is to feel pleasantly exhausted and accomplished, not stretched thin and burnt out.

While working from home can be a blessing, let’s be honest, it’s not all unicorns and rainbows. I believe it’s essential we acknowledge all feelings. Even those feelings we’re not proud of or that drain us. If we brush these feelings to the side or mask them with “fake happiness,” they’ll build and fester, negatively impacting our health.

Digressing a bit here, but I promise it relates to our health. I’ll use a term I recently heard on one of my favorite podcasts, The Happiness Lab with Dr. Laurie Santos, “toxic positivity.” I was so intrigued by the term that I Googled it and came to a book titled, Toxic Positivity: Keeping it Real in a World Obsessed with Being Happy written by Whitney Goodman.

This passage is straight from the book, “It doesn’t matter what type of emotion you’re suppressing, positive or negative – the act of suppression leads to physical stress on the body. It has been shown to impact blood pressure and memory and increase the risk for diabetes and heart disease.” 

I’ve learned to allow space to go through all my feelings and adjust my routines to the ever-changing landscape. I think the pandemic has taught us all that shifting and adapting our routines is critical to our well-being.

I’ve noticed that I intuitively adjust routines with the seasons. Now, I make a more conscious effort by writing down guidelines on getting things done instead of winging it, collapsing under the brain chatter, and burning out.

Are you winging it? Do you have guidelines and routines in place to streamline your days?

Give Back to Yourself with a Morning Routine

For me, waking up at least 2 hours before my kids is my saving grace. I get things done peacefully without any distractions. Which boosts my mood and energy for the day. I block this time out three days a week at the minimum because who doesn’t love to sleep in on cold mornings?

I begin my day with coconut oil pulling. This has made an immense difference in my oral hygiene and the appearance of my teeth. If I ever skip it for a few days, I feel accumulated film on my teeth. Taking care of your oral hygiene is a simple and easy way to support your health.

A tall glass of lemon water is the first thing I consume in the morning—some of the benefits of adopting this small change in your routine, according to clevelandclinic.org.

Supports digestion. Lemons contain citric acid. Stomach acid levels tend to decline as we age.

Weight-loss strategy. Replace sugary drinks with a refreshing glass of lemon water, and add fruits!

Contains antioxidants. Lemons contain phytonutrients, which protect your body against disease.

Helps prevent kidney stones. A common cause of kidney stones is dehydration. Sipping fluids throughout the day prevents dehydration. Helpful to those deficient in urinary citrate (a form of citric acid).

I’m officially done with my morning routine when I take our dog out for a walk and give gratitude for seeing another morning unfold. This is my therapy.

What does your morning routine include? How does it make you feel? Does it boost your mood and supply you with sustainable energy? For personalized support, contact me to discuss your health and fitness goals in detail and learn more about my programs.

Little girl and woman reaching for thier toes while standing on the living room floor.
Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on Pexels.com

SCHEDULE YOUR
FITNESS ROUTINE

Parents working from home must juggle complex demands. Does this sound familiar; your child is home from school, sick with a fever, and no childcare is available. You get no respite. You have work deadlines and client commitments that can quickly become chaotic without a clear plan B. Spend time on that plan B. Write it down and keep it visible.

My plan B consists of taking five minutes to breathe deeply and remind myself that remaining flexible during unexpected circumstances is a valuable skill.

In the end, the main reason I decided to work from home is to prioritize family events over work deadlines. I am at ease and content with a slight derail.

If I don’t schedule my fitness routine first thing in the morning, there’s a greater chance I won’t adhere to it or get consumed with whatever life throws at me.

A clear action plan will keep you from getting perturbed easily, reducing stress and anxiety.

A strategy that helps you align your attention to your intentions is time blocking. Time blocking can help you focus on your top priorities by scheduling one task to a devoted block of time. You can dedicate time blocks to your workouts, meal prepping, client meetings, and stress-reducing activities often left out.

Each day is time blocked strategically to increase productivity, not overwhelm your day with to-do lists. Learn more about his method from this article on calendar.com.

Fitness at Home Made Easy

The following equipment is excellent for upgrading your home workouts without taking up much space. It hits other critical criteria for me; they’re easy to grab and go!

I begin my fitness routine by foam-rolling with the Lifepro High-Intensity Vibrating Roller for muscle recovery, mobility, and flexibility. Then I get some cardio where the intention is to feel good, not torcher myself, while I fixate on the calorie meter.

I ditched my gym membership about a year ago and decided to invest in some fitness equipment; I got the Schwinn Fitness indoor cycling bike for cardio. I would highly recommend this, especially if you are working from home. It’s neat, compact, and does not require much space. 

The following equipment is excellent for upgrading your home workouts without taking up much space. It hits other critical criteria for me; they’re easy to grab and go! Grab your resistance bands and get out of the house for a fresh air workout.

These are part of my home fitness arsenal:

Do you schedule your fitness or workout on the fly? Are you able to keep it consistent? Are you feeling a bit lost here? Check out my free 14-Day online training trial, conveniently delivered to you via an app.

Plan Your Meals and Snacks

Planning and getting organized goes a long way when you’re moody, tired, and hungry. I always say, “prep your environment to support your goals.” Here are a few ways to help you do that.

Plan Weekly Meals, Write Your Grocery List

Start by writing out your grocery list based on the meals you’ve chosen for the week. Utilize the time block strategy to help you visualize and organize your cooking for the week. Choose whether you’ll block 2 hours on a Sunday to cook and meal prep for the entire week or opt for cooking a few 30-minute meals during the week. What works best for you depends on your available time and preferences.

I’m enjoying the super simple one-pot meals from savoryonline.com. They give you great tips to make mealtime easy, low-effort but high-reward!

Check Your Pantry

Review items stored in your cupboards and pantry. What decadent snacks lurk within your cabinets? Just waiting for that moment when you lose track of time and become ravenous – however, you won’t because you’re time-blocking now! Make the healthy choice, the most accessible choice, to eliminate the chance of impulse eating all those Oreos.

Add Energy Sustaining Snacks

When was the last time you were ravenous and reached for a sugary snack, eventually crashing in a slump a few minutes later? Yep, I’ve been there too.

Processed foods and high-sugar snacks cause a sudden spike in blood sugar levels, triggering a release of excess insulin to counteract the spike, which causes a quick drop in blood sugar, leading to a sugar crash. Making a habit out of this can lead to type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

You can avoid that by stocking up on healthier food choices.

The glycemic index (GI) and glycemic load (GL) are great tools to help you make healthier food choices. GI measures how high your blood sugar rises with a particular food compared to true glucose. GL gives a more accurate picture by considering the food’s nutrient profile and serving size. 

The key to sustained energy is to maintain balanced blood sugar levels. Here are some ideas on energy-sustaining snacks containing low GI carbohydrates combined with protein and healthy fats:

  • Bananas with peanut butter
  •  Yogurt with cinnamon and pumpkin seeds
  •  Avocado on ezekiel bread
  •  Sardines and crackers
  •  Hummus and whole-wheat pitas
  •  Baked sweet potato topped with greek yogurt and sesame seeds
  •  Cottage cheese topped with berries

Who’s feeling peckish? I think this is a good place to conclude.

I hope you’ve found this post helpful. Your comments, feedback, and questions are welcome and appreciated.

The information provided on this site is for informational and educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. Please consult your physician for any health-related conditions. 

Thanks for stopping by!

Stand tall Breathe deep,
Corina

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