How often do you take the time to think about yourself, well being and place in the world? When your mind is allowed to wander back to you, are your thoughts negative? I know mine can be. With all the directions we are pulled these days prioritizing ourselves is hard. But guys it has to happen. You only get one life, you should live it the way you want to, not the way someone else has decided is best.
You need to take responsibility for yourself and your health.! As you do this I'll be right alongside you!
What is personal responsibility anyway?
Personal responsibility can mean many things but we're going to focus on your personal responsibility related to your health. Your mind may quickly jump to diet and exercise but we're going deeper than that here. But stick with me.
Personal responsibility for your own health means that you do not hand your health over to someone else.
You are responsible for the choices you make and the outcomes of those choices. You do your research, ask questions, be an active participant in your health. You decide that health is not just what you eat or how you exercise but it is instead how you live every moment of your life. It is how you choose to handle everything from a scraped knee to a stressful day. In our society we have put things into little boxes never thinking about connecting the dots. So let's connect some dots.
Personal responsibility at home
As a person you are not one thing, you do not fit into someone else's mold so unfortunately there is no perfect map just for your life. Instead you’ll have to make your own map. You get to choose what works for you and what you’ll work for. It will take time, discipline and sacrifice.
It may be simple but it's certainly not easy. I'm going to submit to you that it will be worth it.
Diets, exercise routines, morning habits, the perfect job, the clothes, the town or city, the house, these are all unique to you. I mean this in the deepest of ways. Our bodies are unique down to our strands of DNA. These bodies built from generations of evolution and the powerful touch of God's hand each react differently. What works for one does not work for all.
The first step to learning what works for you is getting to know yourself a little better.
What is your why?
You've heard it before and you'll hear it again. It’s because it is important. Why should you take responsibility for yourself?
Why do I want to take responsibility for myself? As a nurse I've seen what poor lifestyle choices lead to. I've seen what handing over your health to someone else looks like. And as an everyday human I've seen what it is to release control of your choices to someone else's beliefs. I've seen how it affects those around me when I've gone against my true beliefs. I've seen what this does to my children and husband. And folks it ain't pretty and I'd like to never see it again.
What are your priorities?
I do not mean what priorities has the world set upon you. I mean what do you hold most important in this life? As you explore your true priorities can you think about what excuses keep you from making these the priority in your day to day life?
Where does your time go?
How many times do you find yourself chasing your tail? Looking for lost items, picking up messes, struggling to decide what’s for supper? How often are you running, kids events, mom/dad events, work events, church events, events that are supposed to be relaxing but your mind is being pulled in other directions?
Somewhere along the way our schedules have filled up with things we're supposed to do.
But says who? What is the worst that would happen if we choose to spend time as a family taking care of our home (so things don't get lost so often?) Or spending time together instead of being pulled in different directions? I'm all for socialization outside of the family but there is a balance to be found.
What are your habits?
Take an honest inventory of your day. How much is spent in front of the TV? How much is spent sleeping just a little longer? How often are you on Facebook or Pinterest? How much is spent on planning your day? I find comfort in making plans but often that’s all the further I get and that's not helpful.
It is possible you have no idea what your habits even are or you may be blindingly aware of the habits you have that waste your time. There are days where rest is required, where a good comfy blanket and a Netflix binge is called for but it shouldn’t be a daily habit.
Contrary to popular belief money is not the root of all evil. I suggest listening to, or reading "You Are A Badass" (affiliate link) By Jen Sincero. It is a great book that helps you to really get to know yourself, break through the excuses and start creating the life you want to live. Beyond all that she talks about our relationships with money and how these relationships affect our lives. Money, for many people is a big stress. And because it is often what drives us to do what we do or want to change what we do, looking at your relationship with money is very important to your health.
Taking a look at all the outside distractions of our day to day lives allows us to find ways to get them in check. This allows us the ability and time to look deeper at ourselves. It allows us to listen to what our bodies have been trying to tell us. We do so many things without even realizing what we are doing or why we are doing them.
When we realize what our priorities are and what they aren't we can take back control of our lives and our health one baby step at a time.
I feel I should mention this is not a checklist that needs to be done in chronological order. You can go over the above and below mentioned topics and take the time to free write on them. Let your mind wander over them. Figure out which one speaks to you the loudest and see what you can do to make some changes in that particular area. It's a delicate dance and it will never be perfect but knowing yourself will help you to live the life you want to live.
Now that you have a good idea why you can't seem to find the time to take care of yourself lets go even deeper. Health is not a checklist or a to do list. It’s an all day, everyday, mind and body dance. Health is the moves you make, the food you eat and the attitude you carry.
What is your best health? Know what is normal for you.
Knowing yourself and what makes you feel your best is key to your best health.
Learning the cause and effect of your personal situations is important to your health and well being. Sit with yourself and discover how you feel with choices you make.
Did you eat to much of Santa's candy and now are you dragging?
Do you have a headache, have you drank enough water?
Are you feeling achy because you sat in one position all day?
Take stock of how your choices make you feel and decide what little changes you can make to find your best health.
What works best for you?
What you can eat?
Do you have to avoid dairy or certain grains? Some people are not meant to be vegetarians and that’s okay.
Taking into consideration what your body tolerates when it comes to food can make changing your diet easier. Diets don't have to be complicated. You don't need to add a ton of supplements and shakes, you just need to eat real food.
Slowly shift yourself away from processed foods and you'll be headed in the right direction. You don't have to over complicate what veggies you eat, just eat more veggies. Do what works best for you.
Learn how you move and how you like to move.
Does the thought of an hour of cardio make you sit down quick? Maybe, however you love to stretch throughout the day. Any movement is good movement.
You don't have to over complicate your workout routine. You don't have to get lost in the amount of cardio vs strength training. You just have to move more. Find a balance doing what works best for you. But get up and MOVE!
What excuses are you holding onto and why?
Do you have excuses for your behavior. Do you have excuses for your inability to make changes? Are you gaining something from your behaviors? Even the ones with bad results? Do you gain sympathy or attention. Do you get out of doing something hard? You may not even realize this is happening but really look at yourself and see what you discover.
What are you capable of?
Our life situations, no matter how well managed, play a part in what we are capable of.
As you examine where your time goes and where your stress comes from, give yourself grace. You are capable of much more than you can imagine, however we are all human and you have to create a life that fits your unique self.
The crazy schedule of a nurse does not allow me to workout each day before work. I know some people are able to do this even with 12 hour shifts. I however have to drive long distances for many of my shifts and I find good sleep is essential to a good shift. Instead I workout while I work by making every move I make meaningful.
Know how to take basic care of yourself.
This brings us full circle. Taking time to get to know yourself will teach you to know how to care for yourself. Understanding cause and effect is a big piece of knowing how to take care of yourself. So much of maintaining a healthy life is prevention and being proactive.
Once you begin to listen to your mind and body, understand what it needs to stay fit and well, you’ll be able to get ahead of illness through basic steps that you’ll compile as you go.
Some people suffer each season from allergies, some have chronic UTI’s. Others have painful periods or suffer from other sorts of chronic pain. In many cases these things don’t have to be life long problems. And you don’t always have to make a clinic appointment to treat the symptoms. When you get to know yourself, you can get ahead of some of your chronic problems.
Know how to handle the unexpected.
Life is full of unexpected illnesses and injuries. These do not have to break you. Many illnesses and injuries can be taken care of at home by YOU! Gaining confidence in your self care and understanding your limits allows you take control in these situations.
Many unexpected illnesses are quite normal. During cold and flu season you do not have to stress yourself out over the assumed visit to the hospital. A cut, burn or bite does not automatically mean you need to head to the hospital.
We have to take responsibility for our own health. We have to take back control of our health. There are many avenues available to help you on this journey. I’m going to show you how you can use herbs for the unexpected. I’m also going to give you insight on normal illnesses. The ones that you can take care of at home with a little more knowledge. And if you do end up in the healthcare system you have responsibilities as well but that’s for another day and another post.
Comment below, ask some questions, tell me what you need to help you on this journey!