I am so loving that spring is here. It’s always a reminder to me to dust off the cobwebs and plan for a few weeks of cleansing. Nothing too hardcore, I prefer to keep it simple so I can have that occasional glass of wine or nibbles of chocolate. Rather, the most important part is simply thinking about lightening the load and food combing, not overtaxing digestion.
The other big thing we have going on in our house is, my eldest has just finished Year 11, and is headed for the HSC. I’m finally beginning to understand all those HSC parents that told me: “All you can really do is feed them and be there when they need you.” Prior to the Year 11 final exams I my thoughts on that comment would have gone something like: “Yes, well, we all need to be there for our kids and feed them.” But this HSC lead-up has bought a whole new meaning to the “feeding and being there” for our kids. I feel like that is my new full-time job. Its almost like they are little kids again. Except with a 6’3” 17 year old boy they’re eating 10x what a kid would.
Its a real juggling act to keep them healthy, happy and satisfied with “I am enough”. I’ve given it everything I have, but these days there’s so much more content that it’s overwhelming! We must make sure we don’t neglect our own wellbeing in the process. And what I’ve often found is that the most commonly neglected elements during periods of focus are SUNSHINE, NUTRITION, SLEEP and EXERCISE.
Focusing in on the Nutrition side, having plenty of healthy snacks around like muffins made with almond meal (see attached recipe) and a good quality clean protein powder is great. Then they can make themselves a smoothie easy and quickly when they need some fuel. The great thing about smoothies is that it covers so many bases, lots of different vitamins and minerals and amino acids. Of course as always, some healthy fat, plenty of quality protein and complex carbohydrates are super important. Kids that are studying have quite specific needs. Unlike a middle aged adults, a student needs plenty of complex carbs for quick energy for the brain for study. The protein is great at sustaining their energy and stopping hunger and the fats healthy feed the brain and help with sugar cravings.
Sunshine includes social time and something mindful like time in nature, playing music and breathing. But we all have our own interpretation as to what sunshine or some kind of mindful practice brings us, for some that could be surfing, listening to music or a walk in the park. And that’s a great way to incorporate Exercise too!
Sleep on the other hand is so often overlooked. Burning the candle at both ends, just to get that piece of work finished. A teen needs a minimum of nine hours sleep a night, non-negatable! There are many studies linking sleep to ageing and poor health. It is just as important as the food we eat, the exercise and remembering to pause and breathe.
It’s inevitable that we will all go through stressful periods at some point or another, so in these times it is vital to remember these components to maintain a happy and productive lifestyle!