Everyone desires to have a better 2017 than they did 2016. Achieve more. Love more. Live more. Make better use of time. Become fit. Build closer relationships. The list can go on and on. We all have great intentions to become our best selves, but the stresses of life can pull us into multiple directions. I had two situations that happened to me in October 2015 that have changed my outlook on life forever, and I wondered:
What really matters in life?
There is a great article on The Huffington Post on “What Really Matters in Life.” The article discusses six major themes:
For me to add my input on the question of What Really Matters in Life, I need to explain what two situations occurred in my life that changed my outlook on life.
In October 2015, my step-dad had a major stroke leaving him bed and wheelchair bound with a feeding tube (G-tube) and tracheostomy (tube in the neck to help him with breathing and clearing his secretions).
Also in lucky October 2015, my son, Jy, was hospitalized with encephalitis (acute inflammation of the brain that put him in a coma for three weeks) and Guillain-Barre Syndrome (paralysis). My son was a quadriplegic, in a coma, and hospitalized for almost eight weeks. You can read a little more about Jy’s experience in my post Parents Fascinate About Their Perfect Child and .
I never want to relive October 2015, but I gained much insight on “What Really Matters in Life.”
I think the six major themes (wealth, health, relationships, contribution/achievement, meaning, and happiness) are all vital, but one of the most important things from this group is health.
Without health it is hard to achieve any of our goals.
Health is a complicated term. Probably the most well-known and widely accepted definition of health comes from the World Health Organization (WHO).
“Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”
As I contemplated what really matters in life through my trials in October 2015, the birth of this blog came shortly after. Unfortunately, I was spread thin in 2016 due to my son’s multiple therapy sessions, working part-time at a university teaching vibrant nursing students (side note: I love nursing students!), and normal family needs, and therefore, keeping up with this blog suffered. For 2017, I’m dedicated to updating this blog on a regular basis. This blog focuses on child health and wellness, which are imperative for the future for our children. A key factor in health is prevention. With prevention, we can minimize the detrimental risks that can deteriorate a child’s health.
Additionally, health includes multiple influences: physical, intellectual, emotional, social, spiritual, and environmental. Occupational is linked as an influence on health, but this blog’s focus is child health. Therefore, the blog will not focus on occupational health, but the impact the school environment has on a child’s health will be discussed in the environmental category.
What is the purpose of this blog? This blog was started for three reasons.
- First, when I worked at a university full time and completed research studies on child health and wellness, I published my papers in research journals (click my about page to view where my research articles were published). After I had done this, I thought will a parent read this article? Will a teacher read this article? Probably not to both of those questions. My biggest readers for my research were other researchers. Building on the works of other researchers is great, but I thought the dissemination or getting information to the parents and teachers piece was missing. I presented my research findings for my dissertation playground study to physical education teachers within a school district on a staff development day, and I thought this is who I want to share research information with (along with parents, caretakers, other researchers, or anyone interested in child health and wellness). The internet is a great place to share child health and wellness research and resources.
- Second, my stepdad could have taken many preventative measures to decrease the risk of having a stroke.
- Third, after my son was discharged from the hospital, he needed (and still needs) a lot of therapy in multiple areas (e.g., physical, occupational, speech, vision, auditory). I had a difficult time finding resources for him. Some of the resources include places for therapy, books for him or me on the disease process or therapy, support groups or networking (I found some on FB.), etc.
More specifically, Healthy Kids Play is a child health and wellness blog sharing resources and information to help parents, researchers, caretakers, educators, and anyone interested in child health and wellness make informed decisions to keep our children healthy and playing.
The mission of this blog is to help parents, caretakers, educators, and researchers raise healthy kids by sharing resources and information on the multiple influences on child health (physical, intellectual, emotional, social, spiritual, and environmental). I hope to inspire others to keep our children playing.
The culture of this blog is family oriented and passionate about creating a website that inspires.
Three to five times a week, I will post information or resources on the six dimensions of health:
You are probably wondering what my picture at the top of this blog is all about. The picture is a quick depiction of the dimensions of health. I will discuss each dimension of health, provide some research tidbits, and explain each part of the picture over the next six posts.
I love input, so if there are any topics you would like discussed, please email me or comment below. If there are things you are doing in your home, school, church, or in the community (e.g., resources, activities, books, etc.) that you feel will benefit readers interested in child health and wellness, please share them. I will highlight as many resources as possible.
Through my trials with my stepdad and my son, I’ve learned that many things really don’t matter in life. One thing that does matter in life is health. Therefore, health should be a priority goal for 2017. One of the greatest gifts we can give our children is health. We can’t always control health, but we can help minimize ill risks.
How do you know when a child is healthy? He/She wants to play (or hang out with friends if the kids are older)! Keeping our children healthy really matters in life.
Together we can work to improve child health and wellness and keep our children playing.