By WMM Contributor: Silvia Cortes
I'd like to talk about heart health and ways to keep it beating and pumping to the rhythm that is helping us be here today. We are all familiar with nutrition and exercise information that scares heart disease away, and today I would like to dive a little deeper and share more tips to help us send our heart some hugs.
- Self love is number one. As working moms, we often forget about ourselves and don't have time to practice self care. Let's keep it simple to help us feel successful. Let's love ourselves exactly how we are right now, at this moment. Self love can also be drinking water, choosing fresh nutrient dense food, or taking 10 or 15 minutes to do tip 2, 3, 4 or 5. My self-care is to have a cup for water on the counter that I fill and drink every time I walk by and I also keep pre-packaged salads in the refrigerator that the kids help me mix and serve at meal time.
- Have an outlet. We have feelings and some of those feelings cause us to make us want to punch a wall. It is a completely natural response. However, most of us don't do it because we know that we will probably need to get a second job or work over time to repair said wall. May I kindly make a suggestion? How about we punch a sand bag or better yet, a punching bag. Exercise can also be an outlet that helps us sweat it out. Running used to be my choice for many years when I lived in California. In Wisconsin, there are plenty indoor places to go for a brisk walk, jog or run during the winter. Failing to acknowledge our emotions can show up as conditions that require medical attention and possible side effects.
- Be present. Letting go of the past and being anxious about the future is a battle many of us have every waking moment. It can lead us to not enjoy the present moment and the cycle continues. Suddenly, years go by, our kids grow up and we don't know where the time went. Instead of wishing it was Friday, let's enjoy today! Let's be present and notice the walk to the car and celebrate small victories such as making it to school and work safely and then celebrate making it home and so on.
- Spend time in meditation. It can be a walking meditation, it can be a running meditation, it can be meditation during yoga practice, it can be in the morning or it can be just before bedtime. No rules, no schedules, it is up to you. There are podcasts, YouTube videos, books, and numerous experts that can offer guides to help start a practice. My neighbor and I always talk about books and cd's by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn.
- Let's journal our heart out. Unloading our thoughts and emotions on paper or in an electronic journal is another tip that helps us clear our mind and our heart to be present and enjoy simple moments throughout our day. Again, no strict template or plan so we can experiment and test out what helps us feel good.
There are so many more tips I have heard and tried myself but I will stop here because I can go on and on. Please let us know if you see a deal on punching bags to add to our post. Kidding aside, what will you do today to send your heart a hug?