Cavallari says husband Jay Cutler has been a big help during a challenging few months

February 02, 2016 08:40 PM

Kristin Cavallari no longer takes life for granted.

The former reality star has been cherishing her moments with family and friends following the difficult months involving her brother Michael’s death and her Chicago car accident.

“Going through the car accident and everything else that’s been going on in my life has really made me appreciate everything I have and everyone in life,” Cavallari, 29, told PEOPLE at a Boys and Girls Club and Halos event in New York City on Tuesday, where she helped lead a dance class for a group of local kids. “I realize how precious life is.”

The mother of three revealed she had dislocated her elbow after being hit by another driver on Jan. 21. “I tried to do the best I could with the right arm, but can’t really move my left arm,” she said of working out with the kids.

In addition to getting her health back on track, Cavallari, who has a book Balancing In Heels out March 15, is focusing on her kids Camden, 3, Jax, 20-months, and 3-month-old Saylor James. And with her one good arm, her NFL pro husband Jay Cutler has been a big help.

“I couldn’t ask for a better husband in this situation,” she gushed to PEOPLE. “I’m lucky because right now Jay’s not working.”

The Chicago Bears quarterback has been extremely hands-on now that it is NFL offseason. “He’s been home every day and helps a lot with the kids, he’s extremely hands on. I couldn’t do this without him,” Cavallari continued.

“And then especially since I hurt my arm, he’s cooked dinner some nights, he’s even helped me breastfeed. It’s been in a way good timing having him around. Thank God it wasn’t in the middle of football season when all of this happened.”

With raising three young children and working on her business empire, the former The Hills star realized she can’t do everything on her own.

“I’ve learned that it’s okay to ask for help,” Cavallari told PEOPLE. “When I’d just had Camden I was so adamant about not having help and proving to everybody I could do it myself, but I was exhausted.”

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