It has been more than one hundred years since President Woodward Wilson proclaimed Mother’s Day as a national celebration. Long before that, however, President Abraham Lincoln said, “All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.”
Like the lengthening and warmer days of spring, another Mother’s Day is fast approaching. Serving breakfast in bed is truly a Mother’s Day classic. A bright bouquet of flowers and the expected card from the family are other time-honored traditions. There are countless other ways to convey the love and appreciation deserved by all mothers everywhere.
This year, however, I would like to suggest a new tradition, one that will be much more meaningful and long lasting: The gift of health and wellness. Heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular diseases are among the leading causes of death for women in the United States—and the most preventable.
Make health something you and mom do together with a few easy ideas you can start, just in time for the big day this Sunday.
· Take morning walks through the neighborhood. On Mother’s Day and at other gatherings, take a family walk to the park or playground.
· Make meals healthy. Grocery shop together and prepare healthy meals with seasonal fruits and vegetables. Consider creating healthier versions of your family’s favorite recipes or having the kids cook a special meal for mom. Start a small family garden.
· Give healthy gifts. If you do get Mom a gift, try a bowl or basket of fresh fruit, a fruit bouquet, or step counters for her and the whole family.
· Get regular check-ups, and keep each other accountable.
· Support women’s health. Donate to a nonprofit to support mothers and children, especially those disproportionately affected due to their economic status, race or ethnicity, and other factors outside their control—check our cause list for ideas. Volunteer your time. Donate your gently used clothing and household items to local organizations. Your whole family can participate (Mom included), or you can let Mom know you are taking action in her honor.
These simple tips can help make health and wellness a natural part of your family’s routine. Best of all, getting active and giving back increase happiness and boost mental health, so you can help others while improving your own health too.
Celebrate Mother’s Day this year by giving Mom—and the whole family—a gift that will last a lifetime: better health for all.
This blog is also published on Thrive Global.