Getting Smart with Balance

“And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.”

Luke 2:52

This is a passage of scripture that has always meant a lot to me. It shows us that the greatest man that ever walked this earth needed balance in his life, just like we do.

If you look up the word balance, one definition is:

mental and emotional steadiness

Did you catch that? Balance helps bring steadiness into our lives. I daresay it brings more than just mental and emotional steadiness, but physical and spiritual steadiness as well.

I have had quite a few women ask for tips on how I am overcoming my depression and anxiety. What I have listed below would be my tips.

Below you will find the four different areas we should keep balanced to find success in our lives.

1- “Jesus increased in wisdom.”

Our intellectual health is extremely important, especially as a mama. There are so many things that we have to keep straight that it is important that we take care of our mind. I have found that if I don’t take care of my mind, I become super forgetful and have a stronger case of “mom brain”.

Here are some things I do to take care of my intellectual health:

  • Mindfulness Coloring Books

Okay I know there has been this huge craze about adult coloring books but there is a reason. They are UH-mazing!!! It really helps me to de-stress and not have to think about anything going on in my life while I am coloring. Here is one of my favorites (may contain affiliates, but all opinions are my own)…

Pocket-sized coloring book

As a side note, these coloring books is what got me through my 5-day hospital stay back in October. They really helped me to re-center and to be able to do something I enjoyed while in a scary place.

  • Studying

I firmly believe that if you are reading something that you like to learn about, you will too. For me, that is reading about Women’s Health and the role of a Labor & Delivery nurse. It is fun for me to find textbooks about this topic and read them in spare time.

This can be the same for you if you find something you are interested in. It could be photography, sewing, cooking, mechanics, whatever!

Reading self-help books is also a great way to take care of yourself. Here is an excellent one I recommend that teaches coping strategies on how to be more in your life rather than in your head…

Get Out of Your Mind & Into Your Life

2- “Jesus increased in stature.”

I don’t know how we could ever be expected to care for our families if we don’t take care of our own physical health. It is so important! On days when I don’t want to do the things I have listed below, my motivation is that I want to be healthy for long enough to play with my grandbabies. I want to be a fun mom that chased my kids around the house and danced with them in the kitchen.

If you are not fueling your body with good things, how can you be that mom? Here are some things I do to take care of my physical health:

  • Water

Drinking water is so important! When I first started taking an anti-depressant my OB told me that it could cause my me to feel more hungry, which in turn can lead to weight gain from over-eating. Her recommendation was to drink at least 2 liters of water per day. (If you have a mug from when you had your baby, that is 2 mugs a day!)

Not only did this help curb my hunger, but it instantly made me feel so much better! When you don’t feel dehydrated it is easier to think straight.

  • Diet

I have been told to eat healthy my entire life but nothing seemed to ever stick. It wasn’t until super recently that I began to understand the importance of eating healthy in relation to my mental health.

A doctor explained to me that when we eat sugar, white flour, or dairy in excess amounts it makes our blood vessels become leaky. This causes our blood flow to our brain to not be as good, which results in our brain not being able to absorb the vitamins and minerals it needs to function at its highest capacity. Crazy right?!

So these are the rules I follow for my diet…

A friend suggested to me that I do a low-carb, high-fat diet about a year ago. I liked it but felt like I wasn’t getting enough grain in my diet and was always starving. But the concept behind the diet is that you eat healthy fats, rather than carbs, for energy.

I have now changed to eating only wheat things, and sometimes gluten free if there isn’t a wheat option. I do try to limit the amount of wheat I eat though.

I avoid sugar.

I limit my dairy intake but realize that I do need some in my diet for the calcium and vitamin D it offers.

It’s all about protein and vegetables baby! If you only follow the low-carb, high-fat diet found on this website, it states you shouldn’t eat fruit because it spikes your blood sugar which leads to weight gain. There is merit to that. However, I don’t have enough self-control to do that as I need something sweet that I can eat!

Here is a cookbook that I have really liked…

Low Carb Living for Families

  • Exercise

You guys, exercise is so important! I wrote a post a while back about why I am running a[nother] half marathon that talks about how exercise helps tame depression and anxiety.

Besides those benefits, exercise just makes you feel so good!!! It is hard at first but it gets so much better. Start somewhere, even if that is just walking, and go from there.

I love using this for my strength training, HITT workouts, and cardio workouts when I am not running…

They have full workout videos for FREE on YouTube. They also have meal plans and workout plans you can pay for on their website.

I am also in love with CIZE, it’s like Zumba only better!

3- “Jesus increased in favour with man.”

I think a lot of us get so caught up in being the mama that we forget that it is okay for us to have outside relationships with friends. Those relationships are so important! Honestly, they are what keeps me sane.

I recognized a difference in myself when I was in the depths of depression when I wasn’t going out and being with friends.

Here are some things I do to take care of my social health:

  • Schedule play dates

I know we often schedule play dates for our kiddos, but those are just as important for the mama. I try to schedule something social for myself at least twice a week ahead of time. That way, if I wake up in the morning and don’t feel like doing anything because my depression has taken over, I am forced to do it because I planned it in advance.

I really try to stick to commitments so this is a good way to force me to get out of the house. And it helps if I write it on my calendar

  • Weekly date night

It is just as important to be social with your spouse/significant other as it is with your friends. My husband and I try to go on a weekly date night. Sometimes that just means we stay at home and do something after O goes to sleep, other times we go out and do something. But the point is that we are putting forth effort to be together.

It also helps because you get adult interaction!

4- “Jesus increased in favour with God.”

I love this concept because Jesus is God’s son, yet He still took the time to strengthen His relationship with His Father. This is so important for us because it gives us a sense of purpose. It gives us hope when we are in a pit of despair.

I could come up with so many things I do to help me spiritually, but here are just a few of the things I do to take care of my spiritual health:

  • Attend the temple

The temple is a place that Latter-Day Saints go to worship and learn more about the things of God. It is an incredible place because of the peaceful spirit that can be found there. It is a place you can go to escape your troubles and the darkness of this world. I try to attend the temple at least twice per month, whether that is with my husband or me going by myself while he is home with O.

I realize not everyone is LDS and that is okay. Find some place that can bring the same peace to you. Make an effort to visit as much as you can. It allows you to re-center and find your purpose again in why you are doing the things you are, especially as a mother.

  • Study doctrine

Whatever religion you are, be good at it! Study the doctrines and/or scriptures. I try to make it a habit to read out of the Book of Mormon every day. This book is the keystone of the LDS religion and brings so much joy into my home.

Something super important is to write the things down that you learn when you do study. That way you can reference them again later.

  • Talk about spiritual things

Something I love to do is have spiritual discussions with my husband. They really help me to strengthen my own beliefs and testimony when we are discussing matters of the heart. It also helps us to strengthen our relationship on a deeper level.

We have a night dedicated to being together as a family once a week. This is the best time to talk about spiritual things because it is a part of our schedule.

I am sure there are a lot of things you have found that help you in your life, and I would love to hear more suggestions. As always… you do you. Do what is going to help you flourish and be your best self. Because at the end of the day, that is what is really important.


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