Today, more and more grandparents are helping care for their grandchildren. This requires grandparents to take good care of their own well-being. Since mental and physical health is closely related, it’s important to focus on both.

If you are not mentally healthy and balanced, you will not have proper energy levels and may feel overly stressed or even depressed. This state of mind can drain your energy.

Mental Health Tips

  • Set aside time for yourself. Twenty minutes of down time will allow you to reenergize and give you the opportunity to practice some of the tips below.
  • Be aware of your breathing. Short shallow breathes can create a sense of tension and stress and deplete your energy levels. To learn a simple technique on proper breathing, check out my post on “How To Reduce Stress During The Holidays”
  • Be mindful. Work toward focusing on the present moment and not allowing your mind to focus on past events or future worries. This mindfulness can create a sense of calm.
  • Take the time to meditate. This will allow you to incorporate the breathing technique as well as being mindful. Just ten minutes of focused meditation can be rejuvenating.

If you want to keep up with your grandchildren, it is just as important to take care of yourself physically as it is to care for your mental state. After middle age we lose 10% of our muscle mass every 10 years. These tips will help maintain your muscle mass, strength, endurance and energy levels.

Physical Health Tips*

  • Set aside time each day for physical activity. A goal of 20 minutes per day (or 2 1/2 hours a week) should be sufficient.
  • Practice physical activities that you enjoy and that are also easy on your joints. If you enjoy the activity, you will be more likely to continue on a regular basis.
  • Some great activities to consider that can help increase your strength and flexibility are yoga, pilates, walking, swimming, tai chi, dancing, gardening, and strength training with resistance bands or weights.
  • Invite a friend or family member to join you. You can even include the grandchildren, if they have an interest.

In addition to focusing on mental and physical activities there are several other areas to consider that are very important.

  • Get proper rest – Sleep is essential as it helps to restore your mind and body. A good target is 7-9 hours of sleep each evening. If you have difficulty sleeping 7-9 hours, a short nap during the day can be helpful.
  • Drink sufficient amounts of water – The proper amount depends on a number of factors such as the amount of activity you do, the size of your body, if you are outdoors in the heat a lot, the time of year, etc.  A general rule is to drink water when you are thirsty.
  • Eat healthy – Eating fresh vegetables and fruits as well as whole foods can increase your energy levels and help your body to recover and repair itself. Healthy foods may also help improve your concentration and allow you to handle stressful situations better.

By taking the time to focus on your well-being, you will be on your way to increased energy and endurance, which will allow you to enjoy and participate with your grandchildren that much more.

Be well,

Todd

* Please consult with your doctor before trying this or other activities.

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