Updated: Apr 28
As busy people, some of us parents and caregivers as well, there’s a lot more on the line when it comes to our health. As a mom that had a child later in life, it’s a priority for me to live as long of a healthy and productive life as I can. I want to be here for my child and for all the milestones of his life. Heck, I may even make it long enough to babysit those grandkids! Whoa, let’s not get to out of hand! 😊
The point is there’s no chance of achieving any of this if I’m not in good shape; physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually. Does that mean going to the gym every day or running marathons? No, that might actually kill me. (Just kidding.) However, it does mean doing the basic things that support whole health and wellbeing to reach that goal. If I don’t want to get sick, I need to do the work to ensure that doesn’t happen. In short, it’s important to live a life that is not a case study for disease.
What is disease anyway? It is what it states: “dis – ease.” Lacking a sense of ease or balance. In some cases, it can be more challenging, like when it comes to things like Alzheimer’s Disease and cancer but on the whole, taking an active, whole-person approach to nutrition, exercise, stress management and selfcare can go a long way toward helping you lay a solid healthy foundation for good health and to reach those milestones.
The whole person approach to holistic health involves eating as well as you possibly can (clean, organic), finding time for movement every day (walking, biking, dancing), continuing to expand as a person through learning and growth (reading, taking classes or pursuing interesting activities) and finally, selfcare to support a feeling of balance (meditation, yoga, massage, Tai Chi).
I witnessed the importance of this approach first-hand. My mother was a very busy single-parent. Between work, home, kids and other responsibilities, these approaches were rarely if ever applied. Some due to lack of time, some due to lack of effort and some due to lack of interest. Back then (70’s, 80’s), there were the popular diet and exercise fads of the day (Grapefruit Diet and Jazzercise anyone?) However, while information and knowledge about food as medicine and long-term consequences of poor eating habits was known back then, the concepts were not embraced as widely and or publicized like they are today.
My mom worked a lot of hours, smoked, didn’t exercise, ate on the go and beyond a love for reading, had very few outlets for selfcare. Looking back on it now, this routine was a case study for disease. My mother battled cancer twice, losing the war the second time around after a long, hard fight. I can’t help but wonder if a few key changes in nutrition, physical movement and mindset would have made for a different, more positive outcome. I believe it would have.
Life is stressful for most of us. Add to that caring for others and keeping all the associated balls in the air. As a result, it is even more important to adopt a healthy lifestyle that supports good nutrition and a balanced approach to life and work. You’ll also be setting a good example for those around you including your family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers.
Take a look at your life, what are some habits and activities you participate in on a daily basis that may be setting you up to be a case study for disease. It’s time to get curious, shake them up and take action where you can. Here are a few tips you can apply to your current routine to help you change the narrative of your future case study.
Nutritional “To Do’s”:
Limit or eliminate smoking, alcohol and ingesting other recreational items that may harmfully impact your health. They feel good now, but the long-term damage will not be a party.
Try to eat as clean as possible. Cook with organic fruits and vegetables, limit packed foods, go for grass-fed, grass-finished meats. If it was grown or born, you can eat it. Don’t eat plants that come from a “plant.” Think about that one.
Cut down on sugar, fried fools, non-healthy fast foods. Believe it or not there are healthy alternatives to almost everything out there, you just need to find them. Take it slow, fit in the good stuff where you can and crowd out the bad stuff.
Try to cook at home as much as possible. This gives you insight into what you are eating every day and the ability to make better choices.
Food is medicine. Eating good, clean foods in proper amounts could be the key to balancing your blood sugar, lowering your blood pressure and cholesterol, and losing some weight. It will feel really good when your self-care and nutritional habits help support a reduction or elimination of prescribed medicines.
Physical “To Do’s”:
Make sure to get up, get out and move. Walking, biking, dancing, whatever takes you from one place to another (even just across the room) and gets your heart rate up. If you haven’t been active in a while, take it slow but get moving.
You can join a local group in your neighborhood that goes to a gym, walks, bikes, etc. Getting support and partnership can help keep it fun and help you stay committed.
Pick something that you enjoy, that works for you and most importantly, you can fit into your schedule! A little bit of something is better than any amount of nothing.
Growth and Mindset “To Do’s”:
Keep your mind open to new opportunities for learning and growth. Explore something new and enjoy the process.
Nurture your current interests and hobbies if you have them, make time to engage in the things that you enjoy. You’ll feel more like yourself when you do, and the personal time will feel fulfilling.
Volunteer to connect with others and nurture your inner spirit. When you volunteer you often get more out of it than you put in.
Selfcare “To Do’s”:
Take the time you need for you. If that’s going to a park to sit and watch the birds or checking into the spa for a full body massage.
Time dedicated to unplugging from work, family and friends is not selfish, it’s a necessity. Figure out what works with the schedule and recruit resources to help you get away for so time. If you have kids but no resources, look into programs where you can drop the kids off while you take a little time for yourself.
If finances are an obstacle, look for local or community resources to help with childcare activities and support.
Finally, connect with friends and family. You don’t just have to work out with friends. Go out dancing with them. Take a craft class with them. Relationships outside of work situations and other obligatory settings keep you well-rounded, balanced and social.
If you need support in changing your habits to be a case study in good health, let’s build that case together. Is it time for you to take action?
I look forward to hearing from you. If you know someone that needs to hear this message, I encourage you to like and share it!
Take care and be well,