We all make sure our car goes for an MOT every year to make sure that it is working properly, so that it does not fall apart on us, but many of us fail to look after our own health in the same way. We are often the glue that holds our families together so we need to make sure that we are well and in the best condition that we can be. After all, if we don’t look after ourselves how can we look after the rest of the family. I have devised a checklist for you that covers everything you need to give yourself an MOT and make sure that you are in the best condition that you can be.
Your MOT checklist!
* Book a doctors appointment for a general check-up. It’s a good idea to get checked for illnesses such as anaemia, diabetes and thyroid disorders if you have been feeling more tired then normal. Get your blood pressure checked and talk to your doctor about any other concerns you may have including your mental health.
* Diet and exercise. Check how much you weigh and look up your BMI online. Be honest with yourself about how much you exercise in a normal week and if you find that you are not moving very much then try to find some ways to move for an extra 10 minutes a day, such as putting on some music and dancing around your living room. This will not only help with your general health, but it will also make you smile and lift your mood.
* Drink more water. It is recommended that you drink around 8 glasses of water a day. If drinking water is something that you struggle with then start off by just drinking one glass a day alongside your normal drinks and then gradually work your way up to 8 glasses.
* Sleep. The average healthy adult needs between seven and eight hours a night. It is really important that you get enough sleep so try setting yourself a regular bedtime each night and also try to get up at the same time each morning. This will be hard to start with but after a few weeks, your internal body clock with adjust to this and you will start to see the benefits.
* Eliminate the bad. This can be any of a number of things. There are addictions such as smoking, alcohol, gambling and drugs to name a few. If you are affected by any of these things then the first step is admitting that you have a problem. Once you are prepared to deal with your situation you can then start taking steps to eliminate the problem form your life. There are many support groups available so contact your GP as a starting point and then they can point you in the right direction.
Then there are toxic relationships, which can be your partner, a family member or even so-called ‘friends’. When it comes to bad relationships in your life, you really need to assess the situation very carefully as you do not want to make any rash decisions unless you or your children are in danger as there is violence or mental abuse involved. You need to evaluate the problems with the said person and decide if there are steps that can be taken to put the relationship back on track. If you can see no way of getting to a place where both parties can be happy and move forward then you need to end the relationship.
Your own thoughts. We all have a voice in our head that tells us things about ourselves and for some of us these thoughts are always negative and put us down. This really is not a healthy way to be living our lives, the world can be a hard enough place without us adding to our own stress levels by constantly finding fault with ourselves. One of the first steps to overcoming this problem is to make a list of your good points and things that you are proud of yourself for and then whenever you feel low and fed up with yourself, read this list and remind yourself of the beautiful person that you really are. Now, I know that this may be difficult for you to do, you may be thinking that you do not have any good points to list but everyone has good points and if you are really struggling with the list then why not ask your partner or a good friend to help you.
* Relaxation and time for yourself. It is important that you take some time every week to have some fun, do something that you enjoy and relax. It can be hard to find the time as very often it feels that there are not enough hours in the day but it is not selfish to focus on yourself now and again. If you are someone that thinks that you do not have any hobbies then start by taking the time to try different things until you find the things that you most enjoy or at the very least have a long relaxing bath while the children are in bed and read a good book.
* Beauty. Try to always get dressed every day even if you are not going anywhere as not only will it make you feel better about yourself, it will also help you to be more productive during your day. Even if your someone that does not like to wear makeup you can still make an effort with your appearance by making sure you are wearing clothes that are comfortable and that flatter you, adding accessories, doing your hair and making sure that your nails are clean and tidy. Appearance is by no means everything, but it does lift your mood to see yourself looking your best.
It is also important to make regular appointments for the dentist, opticians, and hairdressers. If you have a phobia of visiting the dentist, it is still important that you take your children every 6 months for a checkup so that they can develop good dental hygiene as they grow up. It is also imperative that you do not let your children see how scared you are as they will pick up on these things and we do not want to pass our phobias on to our children.
Getting your eyes tested regularly is also important and your children need these tests to make sure that they can see properly as it could impact on their education if they can not. If you are told that you need to wear glasses make sure that you do! We need to set a good example to our children as if they were told that they need to wear glasses for reading we would be the first to moan if we caught them reading without wearing them.
Making regular appointments at the hairdressers is also a good idea and it is recommended that you have a haircut every six to eight weeks in order to keep your hair healthy. Finally, make sure that you are up to date with your cervical smear tests as these save lives! It may not be the nicest test to have done, but it is very important. You should have a cervical smear test done every 3 years, so if you are overdue, make an appointment today!