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Harker Heights Evening Star
Harker Heights Evening Star

Take Care of Yourself

Take Care of Yourself

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by
Jonathan Oliver

I honestly don’t know how single parents do it. Stay at home moms have been doing it for years, but being a first-time stay at home dad, I have a new found understanding after 10 months on the job. This is a 24 hours a day and 7 days week responsibility being Journey’s dad and primary care giver. I will be the first to admit that if it wasn’t for my wife, I would’ve lost my sanity along time ago. We make a great team and she does an exceptional job of bringing balance to my life.
We also have the added support of my mother-in-law and mom when they come into town to visit, and we also have two outstanding friends/alternate caregivers that have blessed us by taking care of Journey when we want some time together. Mixing all these people together, we have the foundation of a small village to raise a single child. However, being with Journey the majority of the time I experience the newness she brings to my life by living it with her day in and day out.
There aren’t many moments where she’s not on my mind constantly. I’m always thinking about her; her health, her development, when is she due for a nap, when does she need to eat, did she poop today, and keeping her safe from danger. This constant amount of thinking, movement, and activity makes it crucial and very critical that I take care of myself physically, emotionally, spiritually, and mentally. If I’m not in a good place in these areas of my life, I’m not going to be able to be in a good place to properly take care of my daughter.
Here are some of the ways I go about taking care of myself:
1. Getting to bed early- I’m typically in bed by 9:45 PM and I’m normally asleep between 10:15-10:30pm. Regardless of what’s going on in my life, Journey is still going to wake up between 6:00 and 7:00 AM.
2. Naps -I try to take one nap daily. This is normally during Journeys second nap of the day which is in the late afternoon. I typically try to nap anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes. It’s not like I’m doing a lot of strenuous work, so most of the time I don’t know that I’m actually tired. But that’s a dangerous place to be because then I can get careless.
3. Exercise- Monday, Wednesdays, and Friday’s I wake up at 4:20 AM and I’m at my Crossfit gym by 5 AM for a one hour intense workout. Tuesdays and Thursdays I typically workout from home with some form of cardio and weights.
4. In the word- I spend time reading my Bible daily and praying daily. I make it a point to start my day off by spending time with God, then trying to make a conscious effort to remain connected with Him throughout the day. I also read a daily meditation devotion and I journal at least once or twice a week.
5. Accountability team- I have a group of men that check in with daily to stay accountable in all areas of my life. These men help me stay authentic and in integrity. My ability to effectively guide and parent Journey is directly related to my own personal integrity. I also have several men that I mentor. I speak with at least one of them daily. This helps me feel like I have some adult connection. About once a week one of my best friends named Philip calls me to just talk. This helps me stay connected to current events and laughter.
6. Unwind time: I have a PS4 and I normally will play it at least once during the weekend. Whenever my mother-in-law or mom is in town, I try to go out at least twice a week to play golf or hit balls.
7. Spousal connection: Twice a month Saran and I will have date night or do something nice for one another like take a hot bubble bath or drink some wine.
8. Don’t isolate: Once a day I make it a point to get out of the house with Journey. It doesn’t matter if were going grocery shopping, for a walk, or to the post office. Getting out of the house and getting some fresh air is key to not isolating myself.
9. Asking for help- My wife can’t help me with what’s going on in my life if I don’t share it with her. So if there’s anything I’m needing I make it a point to check in with her and ask for help.

Finally my theme for this year is “less is more”. So when I began to feel like I’m getting overwhelmed or losing my sanity, God gently reminds me to slow down, easy does it, and this too shall pass.
These are the tools I use to take care of myself, but here are some other examples you may want to try out for yourself:
Practice a yoga pose, escape through reading, get a make over, shop online, help someone out, take a bath (even if it’s in the morning), or take a walk.
I don’t go about taking care myself perfectly, so the good thing is I get to practice this as often as I want. The important thing to remember is taking care of myself helps me become a better parent for Journey.
Jonathan Oliver is an experienced motivational speaker, life coach, and author. He is the CEO of his company Higher Enlightenment which strives to create a world of truth, love, and faith. He was born and raised in Texas and now lives with his wife and their first child Journey in Owasso, OK. He is a first time stay at home dad. His contact information is on www.higherenlightenment.com and follow him on facebook at www.facebook.com/joyofjojo.

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