If I asked you whether you thought either health or sickness happened by accident, what would you say? In this modern day and age, poor health, symptoms, imbalanced weight and disease have become the default: Health doesn’t happen by accident.
Barring severe genetic predisposition, humans are designed to be in perfect health or pretty close to it. Imagine if we ONLY had healthy food & beverage options available, didn’t have the option to work more than 8 hours a day, and all got between 6-8 hours of sleep every night. We wouldn’t see many of the daily symptoms or disease development that we currently do. We’ve gotten so far off course with self-care that many people can’t even fathom where to begin to turn their health back around. It’s more common to feel lost and overwhelmed with endless to-do lists, so much so that we can’t imagine a world in which we are prioritizing our own health. This backwards thinking is preventing us from being our best selves in the world.
You and only you
If you’re reading this blog post, you are probably already doing better than many because you’re aware that no one can maintain good health for you. You’re looking for solutions and support, which is AWESOME. I’m high-fiving you. Your efforts and awareness set an example to everyone around you. Who knows how many people you are inspiring simply by demonstrating the notion that you are worth it and that by taking care of yourself first, you’re better at helping others, better at your job, and put a better attitude out into the world. I don’t know anyone who feels like crap and is able to do these things on a regular basis. Think about the people in your life and how the ones that feel good are able to show up and put energy into everything they care about. When you feel lousy, this just isn’t possible even if in your heart you’d like it to be otherwise.
You already know what to do
I honestly believe that very few people truly don’t know the basic building blocks of how to be healthy: that whole foods are better than processed foods, that sleep matters, and that they need to move their bodies throughout the day. Sure, there are LOTS of diet books, fitness books, and books on health and many of them provide useful suggestions BUT many folks are on such information overload that they use it as an excuse to do nothing at all…OR they lack the belief that taking such action matters. Self-care matters. If you don’t steer your ship, you will eventually get lost at sea or end up on the rocks. That’s the default. If you want to stay healthy, YOU have to take action. You are the one responsible, no one else. Find easy, actionable steps that you can take every day. Consider how making small changes over time become habits when repeated enough (IF they are repeated with an empowering message that these changes matter as opposed to making yourself a healthy meal and thinking the whole time how much you resent eating it and wish you were eating something else).
Keep it simple
Here are some examples for supporting your health:
- Next time you grocery shop, choose whole foods rather than packaged foods OR change out 1 packaged food for a whole food (i.e. bake a chicken rather than frozen, breaded, chicken nuggets)
- Change your position (if you sit a lot, stand up whenever there’s an opportunity, walk around the office, stretch your arms up to the sky, go for a walk). We are designed to move.
- Get a nice water bottle and drink from it throughout the day
- Give and receive hugs
- Chew your food completely before swallowing
- Spend quality time with friends
- Stretch for a few minutes where you feel tight
- Eat protein for breakfast (i.e. eggs, sausage, soup, protein smoothie)
- Get to bed by 10pm
- Cook so you have leftovers (I love eating leftovers for breakfast or lunch the following day)
- Breathe from your belly
- Tell yourself that your health matters and that taking care of yourself first is the best insurance that you’ll stick around to be able to take care of those you love.
Getting healthier doesn’t have to be hard or painful and it sure beats the alternative. If you need support, ask for it. I, for one, am rooting for you!