Self Care 4: Do you take good care of your health?
So many books, magazine articles, and medical journals stress the possibility of reversing chronic diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, as well as increasing mobility and decreasing general aches and pains. Does it sound too good to be true? It's not. Every improvement is a wonderful thing and increases your quality of life.
Knowledge will guide you to valuable self-help strategies. Here are three things to do to get started...
Schedule a visit to your doctor. Call it your self-care visit. Find out, if you don't already know, what areas you need to attend to. Is your blood pressure high? How about your cholesterol and glucose? Find out your numbers and determine if they are high or low. This will give you an idea of goals to set.
Learn strategies to address your health issues. Don't be determined to solve all your problems, but develop some self-care strategies to begin moving in the right direction.
Develop a system to keep track and to hold yourself accountable for what you are doing and to determine if you are making progress.
Nutritional self care.
Most chronic illnesses and conditions respond positively to improvement in what you put in your body. In fact, many experts say that many chronic illnesses are reversible through the right diet. We tend to think that's not possible because we can't imagine giving up the processed foods and can't seem to get to a point of increasing fruits and vegetables appreciably. But improvements in nutrition have improved health over and over again. So, you'll be doing a good thing for yourself if you spend some self-care time on healthy nutrition.
Movement is an important self care item to increase good health.
Keep moving. I've made the mistake several times during my life of going long periods of time without engaging in regular physical activity. Movement is one of the best self-care strategies you can add to your list. For me, lack of exercise lead to aches and pains and lack of energy. Stand up and move around every few minutes is a good rule to live by. I have been walking outdoors every morning for quite a while now, and it has made a big difference in how I feel emotionally as well as physically.
Rest is a necessary self-care strategy too.
Are you yawning throughout the day or longing for a nap mid-afternoon. Getting enough sleep will increase your energy level. And a lack of energy could be due to sleep apnea, which is a condition that should be evaluated.
I guess the main point of this post is to not neglect what you can do day-to-day to improve your health. We tend to want to ignore physical signs that we should change our ways, but eventually it does catch up to us with extra pounds and chronic diseases. Take a good look at this area and begin to gradually add better and better self-care strategies.
We have an opportunity. It is never too late to take care of yourself and reap the benefits.