Stories from the NFCCA Newsletter, the “Northwood News”

Northwood News ♦ October 2011

Fitness Fun

Balance Work and Family — 3 Tips

By Valerie Merriweather

September marks the start of school and the beginning of schedule-mania!  Between carpools, after-school activities, and endless paperwork, it’s no wonder that parents feel overwhelmed!  As your kid’s activities increase, it can be easy for you to cut out your activities due to time constraints.  However, the best thing you can do as a parent is to prioritize your health so that you’re in the best shape possible.  Here are 3 tips to help you (try to) balance it all and take care of yourself, too!

Tip #1

Make your health and fitness a priority.  Before you start adjusting your calendar to fit in your extra family activities, be sure you’ve scheduled time for daily self-care.  Self-care includes regular check-ups, exercise, healthy eating, and stress management.  It’s important that you remain vigilant about your self-care since this is the area that’s the first to go when things get crazy.

Some practical ways to kick things in gear include:  working out early in the morning, asking your employer to offer wellness activities, tossing out junk food, and stretching daily.

Tip #2

Review and discuss the family schedule weekly.  Staying on top of your family schedule is a sure-fire way to prevent burnout and maintain balance at home.  Sunday night is a great night to discuss upcoming work, school, and extracurricular activities.  Make sure you have at least 1–2 days that are either unscheduled or scheduled for part of the day.

Consider creative ways to get things done, like sharing the shopping load with your spouse, using a service like Peapod, or enlisting a mother’s helper.  These strategies can help increase your productivity and give you some short retreats throughout the day.

Tip #3

Take advantage of your workday to get things done.  Take breaks every hour and go for a walk.  Instead of eating out for lunch, bring your lunch, eat half of it, go for a walk, and finish the remaining food after your walk.  Take a half hour before you pick-up the kids and read a chapter of your favorite book or enjoy a cup of tea.  There are creative ways to make the most of your time and be productive.

Scheduling and protecting the family schedule is the best thing you can do for your family.  Be consistent and monitor it closely.  Once you rein in your family schedule, you’ll feel better, more balanced, and your family will appreciate it!

[Merriweather is Chief Executive Officer of Fitwell Training Solutions, a personal training and wellness company specializing in the health and fitness needs of families.  She lives on Playford Lane.]   ■

   © 2011 NFCCA  [Source:]