The Essentials to Setting a Healthy Example for Our Kids

Living a healthy lifestyle is about making sure that we are, as parents, setting a great example. Being a parent is the most difficult job we will ever have, and this is why setting an example is not the easiest thing in the world. We can set an example with absolutely everything we do, which is why we have to learn what it takes to set a healthy example. Health is such a diverse topic we can find ourselves going down an abundance of rabbit holes to try and find the “one true path” to health, but the reality is there is no one true path. You know your children better than anyone, therefore, you will have a better idea of what their focus should be in terms of health. But there are things that we can all do to make sure that our children follow our lead in terms of a healthy life. 

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Operate With a Sustainability Mindset

You might not consider sustainability to be “healthy” in the grand scheme of things, but it is so important to remember that when we are being more sustainable, we are learning to operate with a minimalist approach to things. And this is very important for the planet, but it can also help us in terms of our happiness. There are so many more stresses that parents have now compared to even 10 years ago. And operating with a sustainability mindset is going to ensure that we are not overcomplicating things. 

We can do this through numerous practices. You can literally start being sustainable. Consulting residential solar companies and environmental authorities for the best ways to become more sustainable doesn’t just help the planet, but it will provide you with fewer headaches. If you find life is getting more expensive, operating with a sustainable mindset means you won’t feel as stressed, which makes for a happier household. We have to remember that stress is something that will have an impact on our children, even if we are doing our best to keep a lid on it. But if we are feeling overwhelmed because of the cost of living, or living a complex life, learning to turn down the dial will make a massive difference.

Having a Healthy Relationship With Alcohol and Sweet Treats

We have to remember when we experience stress in our lives, we can reach for a glass of wine or a bar of chocolate to give us that pick-me-up. But if our children see us using sugar or alcohol to cope with stress, we have got to think that they are likely to follow in our footsteps. But it’s important to approach this in the right way. You don’t want to demonize sugar or alcohol, and so you don’t need to abstain, but you’ve got to treat things like sugar and alcohol as an occasional indulgence.

Learning to send the right message is important, and when we look at food and drink, there are times when we feel that we’d like nothing more than to overindulge. And everybody has the potential to use alcohol or sugar as a crutch when life gets too much. Everybody feels that they need to have a little bit of what they fancy, but if this spills over into our daily lives, we’ve got to start operating with a more streamlined approach:

  • Use the 90/10 method to being healthy. Having 10% of your diet devoted to unhealthy things means you are playing the odds and you are not going to pay the price for being completely unhealthy.
  • Recognize your patterns of thought. If there are times when you become so stressed that you have to indulge in a drink or sugar, you can divert these mindsets before they take hold.
  • Making healthier swaps. There are many ways that you can make an unhealthy treat healthy. It might not have the same edge as a glass of wine or a chocolate bar, however, if you start to fill your diet with these healthier alternatives, you may find your blood sugar more even, and you are providing yourself with a more healthy foundation. Therefore, you might not be as likely to indulge in unhealthy food and drink.

Addressing Your Attitudes to Stress

We’ve already established that we are all prone to indulgence when we feel stressed. While sweet treats or alcohol provide an immediate relief to stress, we’ve got to learn how to practice good stress management. So few of us have outlets for our anxieties, and if we take the attitude to reduce stress as being a daily practice rather than one where we end up firefighting our anxieties, it will make a massive difference to the quality of our lives. 

Because if our children see us constantly stressed out and overreacting, this is going to have that effect, not just on them, but on the household. So we need to incorporate the right practices into our lives and explain to our children that these are things that they can also do when they start to feel stressed out. Practices like yoga or progressive muscle relaxation are fantastic for overcoming the physical symptoms of stress. But also when we are feeling stressed and in a situation where we cannot perform a downward dog, it means we’ve got to find tactics like the physiological sigh that can immediately override our stress sensations. 

Setting the right example is so important. But it’s also vital to remember that we can overthink. It is so important to have the right practices in our lives so we are setting the right example for children, but then we need to just “set it and forget it.” As we can spend a lot of time trying to fix our health, we end up focusing too much on ourselves rather than on the people that matter. It is about learning the behaviors, attitudes, and practices that benefit you first and foremost, and then making sure you are enjoying the rest of your life.

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