Are you taking care of yourself? There are four aspects to consider: physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. This essay will consider the physical and emotional levels of life. Taking care of one or two is a good start. However, to lead a fulfilling life, each level needs attention on a regular basis. Do you take time to check in on yourself to make sure you’re doing all you can? Or do you live your life without reflection?
Are you taking care of yourself physically? Some things to consider: eating habits; healthy v. unhealthy foods; exercise; positive outlook; low stress.
First, eating habits are important. The standard is three good meals a day, but some people cannot actually do that. They may need to eat smaller meals more frequently due to health reasons. Even when a person can stick to those three meals, some experts promote a hearty breakfast that fuels your body to get a good start to the day, Others say a larger meal at noon is better than one in the evening so the food has time to digest before bedtime. In addition, still others suggest completing your food intake before 7pm for the same reason. Snacking can be good or bad for you. When you enjoy a healthy snack, your body receives important nutrients to maintain health. On the other hand, eating snack foods that contain empty calories, or may have harmful additives does nothing to keep you fit.
Healthy v. Unhealthy Foods
Second, the kind of foods you eat makes a difference to your health. An abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, some dairy, and small amounts of protein like meat, chicken, or fish, or rice and beans, are a good balance for a main course. In addition, use fresh or dried herbs and spices, a small amount of salt, and healthy oils for cooking and flavoring food. Healthy snacks are foods like fruits, nuts, or whole grain cereals with milk. However, unhealthy ones, like chips, ice cream, or some with high amounts of salt or sugar just taste good and probably add more weight than what you need to stay in shape.
Third, it’s important to keep your body moving in some way to keep all parts in good shape. Some people walk, others run. Many people have a routine of using the machines at a gym to stay fit. You may have machines at home. The point is to stay active. Inactivity depletes your muscles and bones. Sitting around may feel good after a long day at work, but it won’t keep you physically fit.
Fourth, a positive outlook can keep you active, even when you don’t feel like moving. It can motivate you to achieve things in life that would not happen if your outlook was negative. You can keep a positive outlook even when things are not going well. That is to say, looking at the circumstances and finding a silver lining, no matter what is very healthy.
Fifth, keeping stress levels low contributes to a happier life. In other words, do the best you can; be realistic in what you can accomplish; set up and maintain boundaries that help you make good decisions for yourself. High stress causes inflammation in the body, which in turn leads to pain and illness. Take care of yourself.
Are you taking care of yourself emotionally? Set boundaries; meditate; respond, don’t react; speak up for yourself.
What does it mean to set boundaries? It’s all about knowing what you can tolerate from outside influences. Boundaries in relationships can make a difference. If you want to be healthy, what will you accept from another in terms of how you are treated? And what won’t you accept? Do you let others talk over you? Do you form your opinions based on what others say? When you don’t use your voice to tell the world who you are, you are hiding your power.
If you only think what others think because you haven’t educated yourself, you’re letting them take over your thinking. When you don’t set boundaries, you give your power away in one way or another. Then you become emotionally depleted. Your self esteem and confidence remain low. You may not trust your judgment. Additionally, you may even be easily swayed. Ultimately, you are letting others dictate who you are.
Meditation Is a great way to begin to take care of yourself and figure out just who you are. As you do this, you build confidence and trust in yourself. That’s a good feeling. It helps you get a better idea of what your purpose in life is. Also, it can reveal your weaknesses and fears, which can then be dealt with and released. In doing so, your vibration rises and you feel so much better.
To meditate, find a quiet, comfortable spot. Sit with your feet on the floor and a straight back. Close your eyes and begin to breathe slowly and deeply. Concentrate on your breath. When your thoughts take you away from the breath, simply release them without judgment and go back to breathing slowly and deeply. It’s very common for thoughts to enter your mind. Just brush them away and begin the breath again. With time, you will become more calm, focused and have a better understanding of who you are.
Respond, Don’t React
There is a difference between responding and reacting in any situation. Responding means you are thinking about how you want to express your thoughts. You give yourself a moment and create a space before you speak. Doing this helps you formulate an idea that is yours and represents who you are.
On the other hand, a reaction is quick, without any consideration or pre-thought. It comes from deep inside, often triggered by a fear or hurt of some sort. You may not even be aware of the fear or hurt because the reaction is automatic. Reactions get you into trouble, like hurting feelings or damaging a relationship. Taking good care of yourself is taking care of what you consciously think before you say anything. It’s an important habit to develop.
Speak Up For Yourself
Using your voice to get what you need and want is important. When you have been raised to listen, but don’t speak, it is difficult to get your needs and wants met. Being raised this way does not mean your entire life must be silent. It is possible to make changes. Consciously consider the following: First, you must believe you can speak up. Second, you must feel worthy to express yourself. Third, expect people to listen to you. Fourth, just because someone does not agree with you does not mean your thoughts are wrong. Fifth, believe in yourself as a strong individual who has a right to be who they are.
When you speak up for yourself, it’s possible to get what you want and need. If you don’t, you won’t.
In order to live a healthy and happy life, it’s important to take care of yourself. You are the only one who is responsible for your well-being, particularly as you become an adult. Take the time to consider how you are doing that. Work toward being as healthy as you can be on the physical and emotional planes.
Just remember, that’s only half of what is important. In the next blog, mental and spiritual well-being will be examined. Until then, Adonai.