Jeremy and I had our 18th wedding anniversary yesterday. We woke up at 4.30am to shoot a sunrise video on the headland and went to bed at 12.30am this morning after going out for dinner and a late movie. A big but wonderful day!

I woke up at 6am this morning feeling totally ‘hung over’. I don’t drink alcohol – so it wasn’t that. It was the lack of sleep and the fact that I ate different food than my body is used to (salt and sugar I’m guessing).

I don’t claim to be in peak physical condition, nor am I a health expert but I do understand my own body and I know what I need to feel ‘good’.

Every day I need lots of: sleep 8hrs, water 2l, greens, exercise 1-2hrs, stretching, some protein, some vitamins, cuddles, and a swim in the ocean (summer routine that is).

I do not need; alcohol, caffeine, drugs, sugary foods, overly salty foods, artificial colours, artificial flavours, processed foods, cakes, biscuits, sugary drinks and bad oils.

Saying that however, I do have one day a week (usually Friday or Saturday night) when I eat some kind of junk food, like take away dinner and a bar of chocolate or a packet of chips. (Otherwise I reckon I’d binge during the week because my Shady hates being ‘deprived’!)

Without exception the morning after my junk food night and any other time I don’t look after my body (like when I don’t get enough sleep) I feel like crap and my Shady gets very LOUD!

This happened this morning. Despite going back to sleep for an hour and then having a quick swim at the beach with Jeremy and the dog, when Jack came home from his sleep over at 9am, I lasted half an hour before I lost it at him!

I yelled, threatened and swore in conversation with him (not at him, I managed to control that), because he wanted to ride to his mates place to play all day and I wanted him to have a sleep first! (His body wasn’t at its best either, he got up at 5am after going to bed at 10pm.)

I worked out that the advice I was giving him was actually advice for myself. I’d already agreed to his outing the day before, so I apologised, helped him get organised and when he rode off on his adventure I went back to bed!

Two and a half hours later I woke up feeling much better! Not my usual ‘great’ after a straight 8 hours of sleep, but definitely well enough to manage myself for the rest of the day without losing it at anyone else!

I’m sure you can relate to ‘not being at your best’ physically. How about being in a position to go back to bed for a couple of hours in the middle of the day?

Not many people have this luxury, due to kids, work, housework, obligations, etc, so they do whatever it takes to make it through the day. Coffee is the most popular solution, followed by other sources of stimulants, both natural and artificial.

I’ve never been a coffee drinker, in fact I haven’t even tasted the stuff (I hate the smell of it) but in the past I have been addicted to several other ways to feel better physically that were NOT good for my body.

I’m not writing to lecture you on your habits and make out that I am perfect. I am just sharing that when our physical bodies are not at their best our Shady gets very, very loud. This looks like, self-sabotage, impatience, arguments, intolerance, opposition and the list goes on.

Of course this applies to our kids too!

When our kids do not get enough sleep, drink enough water, eat enough healthy food, get enough exercise, OR eat too much junk, stay up too late, or have too much screen time they do and say more Shady stuff than they would if their body was okay. This is a simple truth!

In Sparky and Shady terms when our kids’ bodies are not at their best, their feelings and thoughts aren’t either!

When we look after our own body the best we can our kids learn from our example.

When we help our kids take care of their own bodies and we support them to work out exactly what they need (and don’t need) to be healthy, happy and feel ‘good’ – we are not only investing in their physical wellbeing but in their emotional and mental wellbeing too!

Have a good sleep! Jeremy, Jack and I are going to!

Love Kathy