Top Ten Health Tips (Guest Post by Zanni from Heart Mama)

Have you met the gorgeous Zanni from Heart Mama?   Some of the reasons that you should wander over to her blog and take a gander is that: she writes kind posts, she’s recently interviewed Mem Fox and she has a nourishing Mama section.  She was lovely enough to sit and have a think over her top health tips and her fantastic tips are below.

Hi. I am Zanni from Heart Mama.

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I live in the Byron Bay region, have two little girls and write from home. Life is happy, healthy, balanced and fun.

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Nicola kindly asked me to share 10 tips for healthy living, and I have been thinking all week.

I was raised a healthy kid. No cordial, soft drinks, occasional sweets. We always did sport, and spent most afternoons outdoors, busy with life.

I consider myself a healthy person. I rarely get sick. I never take Panadol. I sleep well. And through two pregnancies and now raising two children,

I generally feel good in myself.   My challenge, in my teenage years and early twenties, was mental health. I was never quite together. But I did some counseling, and with healthy diet, exercise and a focus on healthy thought patterns, I have reached a point where depression is something I barely remember.

Here are my tips for healthy living:

1. Exercise. I personally can’t do without it. For me, it isn’t about body image so much as maintaining a balanced state of mind. I’m not excessive, and try to incorporate gentle, enjoyable exercise into my day spent with children. I have lately been running to the park with the double pram. It’s about 1.5km there, we have a play (rest!) and then head back. I also try and do a bit of muscle strength here and there – squats at the change table, lifting baby over head for arm strength, etc. Keep it fun.

2. Eat well. With a European husband, we do eat a lot of cheeses and cold meats, but generally our diet consists of heaps of fruit, vegetables and a variety of organic grains. My older daughter is rarely sick, and we attribute it to the bucket loads of fruit she eats daily!

3. Sleep. I naughtily have been watching Mad Men until 11pm for the last 13 days. But generally, I try and get 7-8 hours sleep a night. Luckily, I am an effective sleeper, so although I am a breastfeeding mother, I seem to get enough rest each night.

4. Humour. We try and keep our moods and our home light. After kids are in bed, my husband and I watch comedy shows. We usually joke around, sing silly songs with the girls and do silly dances. I think humour plays a huge part in our family’s happiness.

5. Creativity. Without fail, I spend the first part of the evening after children are asleep working on my writing. Since I started blogging and writing fiction, I have felt so much better in myself. I have always dabbled in creative projects, but have at last have found my thing. I also try and do creative things with my little girl throughout the day.

6. Sunshine. The key to home days, for us, is getting out into the garden. Luckily, my baby’s favourite place to be is lying on a picnic rug while I bring in the washing.

7. Minimal chores. Speaking of washing, my happiness and health depends on the fact that I do minimal housework. Of course, I keep things clean and hygienic, but I constantly take timesaving short cuts, like folding washing at the line, and cleaning the bathroom sink while brushing my teeth. Because I don’t have a bottleneck of house chores, I feel like they don’t consume my life.

8. Love. I am not the most touchy-feely of people, but my little family has been awesome for helping me to become more physically affectionate. We co-sleep, as a family, carry the children, and hug often. I think physical affection has been very healing for me, and also for my oldest child, who was quite a sensitive baby. Love of course also refers to the feeling of affection for others. When I act kindly and lovingly towards my family and others, I am happier for it – and healthier.

9. Make space. Although we do a lot in our family, I feel we have a lot of space just to hang out and relax. We have long breakfasts together, often go out for coffee, and generally hang around the house. I rarely feel rushed, or frantic, even though I work, my husband works and we have two little girls.

10. Balance. With it all going on, we try and maintain balance, and this is essential to our family’s health and happiness. We do a little bit of this, a little bit of that. I don’t work too much, and these days, nor does my husband. We try to have days off together. We have fun time, play time, creative time, work time, exercise time and rest time.

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What did you think of Zanni’s health tips? I love hearing from you so make sure to let me know. If you want some more of Heart Mama’s inspiration head over to heartmama.net and say hi. 

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