Finding Balance after Baby with Zest Wellness
Any parent knows that the first few months after your baby is born is a truly unique time of bonding, cuddling, and reaching new milestones. It is also a haze of 2AM feedings, rushed meals, and sleepless nights. When my maternity leave came to a close, I was nervous about adding the responsibilities of being a working mom onto the demands of this challenging period.
I am lucky enough to work for a company that places a strong emphasis on employee well-being. As a member of the Corporate Wellness team at Colonial, it is part of my job to ensure that our online program is working properly to bring the best experience to our members. I logged in to my Virgin Pulse account for the first time after I returned to work and took Health Risk Assessment. Deep down, the results were no surprise, but came with the reality check that I had been neglecting my own self care as I prioritized the health and happiness of my baby. As a wellness professional, I was not practicing what I know to be true: taking care of myself will allow me to perform better at work, and have the energy to take care of my family. I realized that it was time to make myself a priority again.
I began with nutrition. I logged a week’s worth of meals on My Fitness Pal and found that I was not eating enough fruit and vegetables. I looked at my usual meals and evaluated what I could add or swap to meet my daily goal of at least 5 servings. Quick and easy are key, so I’ve added green protein smoothies, Greek yogurt with fruit, veggies dipped in pre-portioned hummus or guacamole, and a green vegetable with dinner. Water intake was another area I was lacking, so I made this one of my Healthy Habits. Whenever I logged in, the site prompted me to enter how many glasses I had that day.
Once I was regularly meeting my nutrition goals, I turned to physical activity. After recovering from a high-risk pregnancy and complicated labor and delivery, I was essentially at a beginner fitness level. Again, quick and easy were operative words. I needed something that I could squeeze into a nap time or lunch break. I was amazed at how a 15-minute workout could lift my spirits, give me a boost of energy, and a sense of accomplishment. Tone it Up, Blogilates and Lucy Wyndham-Reed are a few of my favorite (and free!) fitness channels on YouTube.
Next, I charged up my Apple Watch to begin tracking my daily steps. Although I’m not consistently meeting Virgin Pulse’s recommended 7,000 steps daily, wearing the device is a reminder that I am making a commitment to my health and well-being. A healthy lifestyle is not achieved overnight, and is constantly evolving. I’m thankful to have the tools provided to me through my corporate wellness program. It has helped me to feel like my old self again, which is especially important to me now because I want to set a good example for my son.
Whether you are a complete beginner or starting over again at the New Year, my advice is to tackle one change at a time. Once you see success, you will feel more confident and inspired to address the other aspects of your well-being. I highly recommend using the Zest Wellness program to keep yourself accountable and see measurable changes over time with the tracking tools. Sign up here for access to Zest Wellness, powered by Virgin Pulse.