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Health – mental and physical equally important

When we think of health many times our thoughts go to what we are eating, how we are exercising or are we getting enough sleep.  If we have been through a serious illness, we may be concerned about finding a cure or a way of not having it recur in our life or that of others.

Today though I want to talk about our mental health.  Give our children and ourselves permission to say to a trusted friend or parent:

“I am feeling very sad.
My stress is getting greater than I feel like I can deal with.
I am frustrated with my situation.
I keep exploding in anger at people I love. “

Some would say it is not my personality to talk about those feelings.  We know though that bottling them up inside ourselves can be dangerous not only mentally but also on our physical body.  I remember some 25 years ago feeling so stressed that I literally felt as if I was going to have a heart attack.  There were pains in the heart, faster pulse rate and an anxiety that was more than I could deal with.  I went to the hospital, I was so scared.

I learned to talk about what I was feeling.  I learned how to lean on others when I really needed to and to take better care of myself.  So please – take the mental health of ourselves and our children just as seriously as you do the physical health.  Doing so will help you to be a much healthier person and happier too!

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Health is a matter of choices

Word of monthWhile the consumption of healthy foods has improved over the last 20 years – the intake of unhealthy foods has also increased – actually outpacing the former. The lead researcher of The Lancet Global Health, 2015 – after studying the diet in 187 countries and 4.5 billion adults, has suggested that by 2020 75% of all deaths will be cause by non-communicable diseases. This problem could be greatly reduced by improving our diets.

When you combine this issue with 80% of young people not getting enough exercise, we can see how diabetes could very easily be inflicting 60-70% of all young people born after 2000 as they grow into adulthood.  As parents and adults we want to take a close look at how we are working with our youth. Are we setting the example for them in our personal diet and exercise habits? Are we encouraging them to maintain great habits of their own?

What steps could each of us take to lead the way in good health?

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Time travel – what will health allow you to do?

Health-quote-1Health is not a character skill, virtue or value.  Health is not a moral or ethic that we live by.  Health is so very important to us and our well being in body, mind and spirit.  That is why reminding our students of the need to be healthy in all aspects of their life is a part of the Balanced Life Skills Way.

Where does this mind set begin?  It begins with appreciating that we only get one body to work with and having respect for that body is shown by the way that we treat it.  Are we eating the kind of foods that will nourish us?  Are we exercising on a regular basis to stay strong, and maintain the elasticity of our muscles?  Are we sleeping enough?  That means are we getting 7-9 hours of sleep as adults and 10-12 hours for our children.

The focus with our children and students will be ‘time-traveling’ into the future – to be sure that when we are out of childhood and into adulthood, possibly with our own children, that we are healthy and able to give them good lessons in staying healthy.

What does a healthy mind, body and spirit allow us to do in our family life?  With complete health what hobbies and recreation would you like to be able to do when you are older?  How will health help you in your career? Finally will you be able to do more for others if you are healthy yourself?

We look forward to this month of reminders about health, for our students and ourselves.

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Life Skills: Health – The Definition

Word of monthEach month we will discuss a life skill with all of our students. This month the word is Health.  This word will be defined in the following ways for our students.

Young students: Health means: My body is strong, my brain is sharp and I feel good!

Older students: Health means:  Wellbeing in body, mind and spirit

Each age group has a worksheet that parents can use to continue the discussion at home with their children, and one for adults to allow them to think more deeply about the skill and how it applies to them. Would you like to receive the worksheet? Stop by our studio at 133 Gibralter Avenue in Annapolis, MD and tell us the age of your child. We will give you a worksheet and invite you to watch Mr. Joe discuss the word with the students in class.  You can also follow our discussions here on this website.

If you would like to become a member of Balanced Life Skills, come TRY CLASSES FOR FREE.   We are not your typical after school activity, in fact we are an education center, working with our students on physical skills along with empowering families with compassion, awareness and respect – creating a culture of peace – through the arts.  We believe in every child and build their self – confidence.  Balanced Life Skills takes part in community service and encourages each student to do the same.

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2 Questions To Guide Our Loyalty Decisions

toughdecisionsHow can we gain more loyalty in our life, from our family, friends and those that we work with?
By being loyal to them.  As we build our personal trustworthiness with others, they see they can depend on us in difficult circumstances.

Loyalty can get sticky though when a person tells us something or we become aware of an action that is not safe or fair for themselves or others.  What if we came to know that a person we were close to was involved in an illegal activity.  How would we handle it if we learned that they had become abusive with a mate or child.  While we may not want to damage our relationship we must ask ourselves these two questions to make a decision we will be able to live with for a long time:

Will I feel proud of myself, if I choose to speak up or if I choose not to speak up?  How would I be affected long term if I did not speak up and further damage was done to this person or to others?  

What are the results I am looking for if I choose to speak up?  Am I looking to get this person in trouble or am I reporting to keep them and others safe?

Have you ever had the need to tell a person of authority something that you knew the other person would prefer you not to tell?  This is a big responsibility for an adult and we can see why this would be very difficult for a child to figure out the right thing to do.
Building our relationship to a high level of trust with our children will give them the confidence to come to us and tell us those ‘secrets’ that are confusing to them.  This month as we have talked to our students about loyalty, we have emphasized in every class the importance of speaking to their parents when these difficult decisions need to be made.  This is not for the parent to tell them what to do, but rather for them to guide them to find the answer that fits the values of the family.

Keep your conversations going with your children on loyalty and other life skills.  Balanced Life Skills is here to help start those conversations.  Together we are creating a culture of peace in our families, schools and communities.

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