(Dr. Clayton Lawrence, founder and CEO, shares his thoughts in a weekly column focused on community wellness and inspiring others.)
As parents, caregivers and mentors, we are constantly under the watchful eye of young learners. It doesn’t take long before our habits become the habits of younger people who learn from our examples. This includes not-so-healthy choices like smoking, overeating, skipping regular visits to the dentist or doctor and spending too much time on the couch and not enough exercising, but it also includes the positive things we’re doing, like accepting challenges, managing our time and taking care of our overall health and wellness.
Take some time to reflect on your last 48 hours. Imagine that you are a young person who is learning to juggle maybe a challenging school workload with an extracurricular activity or after-school job. So many factors come into play throughout the course of the day, including how you managed your own stress levels and the ways in which you dealt with possible conflicts. Take note of the areas that could use some work and be consistent in your daily routine. It will be so worth it when you can stand back and be proud of the healthy choices your young person is making all on his or her own.
Areas to consider include:
Do you start your day with a healthy breakfast?
Do you count on coffee to get you moving?
Do you make it to work on time?
Do you take the time to look professional and appropriate?
Do you eat a healthy, packed lunch or do you spend money each day?
Do you take the time to get up and move around throughout the day?
Do you have a positive relationship with your boss/co-workers?
How do you respond to the afternoon crash?
Do you take the time to share and listen?
Do you prepare nourishing meals?
Do you make a consistent bedtime a priority?
Do you spend your evening on your device or watching television?
Are you living in the moment or living on your phone?
Do you drink enough water?
Do you make family a priority?
Do you know your limits and allow yourself time to relax and recoup?
Do you accept challenges and push yourself to reach greater heights?
Do you make time to exercise as much as possible?
Do you spend your time gossiping about others?
Do you offer your time and talent as volunteer with a special group?