This is a sponsored post in partnership with The Motherhood on behalf of Nature’s Bounty.
Health goals: we all have them, we all feel like we’re struggling to reach them, right? I think the problem comes from setting humongous goals, then measuring ourselves against how far we have to go to reach them. For me, my huge goal is to lose a good 50 pounds (to start with), sleep 8 solid hours every night, and feel focused and energized all day long. If I so much as slip up in even the smallest way, I think “welp, that’s that! I failed! I give up!” I expect perfection from myself, even as I encourage others to accept “good enough” from themselves.
Last week, I failed in a major way as far as my health goals are concerned. We lost power for 8 days after the bomb cyclone (which I still think is just a fancy clickbait term for “wow, that’s a big storm!”). The below is just a small taste of what the storm dropped down on us! You can’t even tell that there’s a house across the street, and the road pretty much vanished. It was insane!
My life became less about eating healthy and sleeping soundly and more about finding water, food, wood, and gas to keep my family alive. Finding those things is harder than you’d think when 30,000 people (including most of the businesses that carry them) are also without power and searching for them. We lived on noodles for nearly a week because it’s one of the two things I know how to cook on a wood stove! I did order out on the 3rd night. Before that, there was no hot food in town.
The thing is, even though I failed when it came to eating healthy, I found that I was more highly focused. Not on work, alas (not that I could do much with my phone, anyway), but on surviving. Each day I had three singular goals: fill up jugs to flush the toilets & score some more drinking water, find some sort of wood to keep us warm, and get gas for the generator (we managed to borrow one on day four). By the end of each day, i was so exhausted that I slept for 10 hours straight without waking up once. I haven’t done that in years. Focusing on small goals not only kept us alive but also made me feel like I had accomplished something major each day.
As soon as the lights came back on this past Friday evening, I was back to feeling rushed & unfocused. That first night, I thought I’d sleep like a baby, but I woke up about a dozen times. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t trade my electricity for all the focus and sleep in the world, but I will take some of the lessons that I learned during that week and try to apply them to my health goals. Here’s how (and you don’t have to live through a power outage to do these things).
5 Small Steps to Help You Reach BIG Health Goals
Real quick, the usual disclaimer: this isn’t meant to be taken as medical advice. Do not start taking new supplements without talking to your doctor, especially if you have a preexisting medical condition. All opinions are my own and do not reflect those of Nature’s Bounty. Any experiences with taking vitamins are my own and not evaluated by the FDA. I think that about covers it, right?
1. Take a multivitamin!
My Nature’s Bounty Adult Multivitamin Gummies were my best friend during the power outage. I wasn’t eating even remotely right, so I needed some way to fill my nutritional gap. In an ideal world, we’d get all our vitamins and minerals from our incredibly healthy diets. Most of us don’t live in an ideal world, though. Even on a good day, my diet is less than stellar because I’m such a picky eater. Making a multivitamin part of your morning routine is such a super simple step in the right direction! I prefer the gummies because they go down easier for me. While I can take small pills, huge ones kind of freak me out. Each serving provides 100% Daily Value or more of four key B Vitamins, Vitamin C and Vitamin D to keep you going while supporting your immune system and promoting bone health.*
2. Turn off the electronics for a few hours a day
As much as I missed my TV, computer, tablet, and unrestricted internet access during those 8 days, I have to say that my eyes thanked me for the break. While I spent a lot of time on my phone checking the status update for my power (and joking with people on Twitter about how much I missed flushing toilets), I spent the majority of the day away from a screen. Ever since I started spending 50% of my life in front of a computer monitor for work, my eyes have been going downhill. I went from 20/20 vision to needing bifocals. Part of that is age, I’m sure, but even if studies don’t yet support it, I’m convinced that my job caused a large part of it, too. Without power and internet, I found that my son and I spent more time together. He actually wanted to go for walks with me (since he couldn’t talk to his friends online!). I also noticed that he regularly celebrates the smaller victories in life, like making the perfect snowball.
He was super proud of that, although he’ll probably kill me for sharing his picture. Shhh, don’t tell him, please! If you can’t stay away from screens, here’s another great way to support your eye health: make Nature’s Bounty Lutein Blue a part of your daily vitamin ritual. It not only contains plenty of beta carotene, but also a trademarked ingredient called Lutemax® 2020 to support your eyes and help filter out the damaging blue light from your devices.*
3. Never underestimate the benefits of a healthy gut!
I’m going to spare you the details of how my digestive system felt during the power outage! Even on a good day, my digestive health needs some work. For the last six months, I’ve been saying “I’m going to start taking probiotics.” Then I forget about them. Even if you eat healthy, I bet your gut could use a little help. Nature’s Bounty Probiotic 10 contains 20 Billion little helpers (at the time of manufacturing)!* Adding them to my morning routine is easier than I thought it would be, even for someone forgetful like me. I just stick the bottle next to my orange juice and my coffee creamer so I never miss it. FYI, did you know that you’re supposed to refrigerate probiotics after opening them?
4. Keep your bedroom distraction-free for a healthier night’s sleep
You’ve heard it a million times: don’t watch TV in bed, don’t use your bedroom for anything other than sleep (and “intimate” time), don’t bring your phone to bed. I think you get the point, right? Well, even if we’re leaving all of those things outside the bedroom door, there are other distractions that we can’t so easily escape. For me, that’s my brain. It never stops running, always reminding me of the things I need to do, the things I forgot to do, the things that could go wrong, and so on. I noticed that when the power was out, I was either so exhausted by the end of the day, or so overwhelmed with thinking about what we needed to survive, that my brain didn’t have the energy to worry about the million little things that it usually busies itself with at night.
I have a few tricks for turning off my mind at night. Whenever I find my mind drifting to worries, I remind myself that I can’t accomplish anything in the middle of the night to fix them, then I force myself to visualize something positive. It could be my dream vacation or what I’d do if I suddenly came into a $1 billion (hey, I have big goals!). I also recently started taking Nature’s Bounty Melatonin. I used to take sleep aids (both prescription and OTC), but every single one of them gives me a migraine the next day. Melatonin doesn’t leave me feeling miserable the next day. It’s been clinically studied, and may help you fall asleep faster (and stay asleep!).*
5. Don’t be so hard on yourself!
I think the most important step in getting and staying healthy is to cut yourself a break! I know I need to work on that, which is why I cut my giant goals into smaller “bite-sized” pieces. I also celebrate the little victories, like choosing cottage cheese with fruit as a snack over a handful of cookies, or going to bed at 11 instead of after midnight. If life throws you a curve ball (like 8 days without power!), give yourself permission to deal with that without putting pressure on yourself to be perfect. Stay on track as much as possible, of course, but if you veer off your path towards your goals, you can get back on it when things calm down. It’s okay!
While we all might have the same goal to be healthy, we all have different visions of what healthy actually looks like – whether that’s spiritually, socially, emotionally, physically or mentally. Nature’s Bounty is here to support you on your health journey. Sign up for Nature’s Bounty’s mailing list to receive news, offers and announcements right to your inbox!
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.