I spend a lot more time outdoors, walking, exploring and having adventures. I’ve noticed that I’ve felt better physically and emotionally since I’ve been spending more time outdoors and getting more exercise.
There are a few basic things we can all do to improve our mood, our health, and ultimately our productivity. A lot of times people tell me they’re too busy to fit these things into their lives. I challenge this mindset: What is the cost to you and those you care about if you don’t take care of basic self-sufficiency? Your moods and unavailability for your own life come at a great cost to you and those you love. Think: first put on your own oxygen mask, then help others.
I hear many reasons that prevent people from taking care of themselves. Here are the best:
4. Elderly Parents
If you want to be your best self and have more capacity for these five things and the rest of your life, you will be moving self-care up your priority list today. If just reading makes you feel reluctant, ask yourself tough questions. How come you don’t want to take care of yourself? Do you think someone else should do more? Do you really feel worthy of your own care?
The truth is that no matter how much you or your partner is doing, there is always more to do. Tasks will always be there. If you wait to have fun, have sex, or take care of yourself until chores are done, you won’t get to those life-affirming activities.
Let’s look at the list of why people don’t come to be “selfish” or selfish.
1. work. No matter how much time you spend, you won’t finish or catch up. You may get ragged trying. As I recently wrote in another column here, more hours don’t increase productivity; it actually decreases it. It’s hard to be productive or come up with good ideas when you’re fried. I know you may be worried about losing your job. However, if it’s fresh every day, you’ll bring more to the table.
2 children. Touchy topic. Children need time to stare at clouds and play outside. It is not healthy for you or your children to be the focus of all your hopes and dreams for their future. Unspoken (or spoken) parenting competitions and keeping up/surpassing what you think other parents are doing is a lazy cycle that serves no one. It hurts you and your kids. An excessive focus on children damages your marriage. And in the end it will cause more harm to your kids as they don’t have an example of healthy adult relationship. If you focus on your children because things are not good between you and your partner, you are actively harming your children.
3. Tasks. They never end. If you can’t relax because of unfolded towels or unread emails, you’re depriving yourself of life. And you set an example for your children that you cannot take back.
4. Elderly Parents: Yes, they raised and cared for you. They want the best for her. you worry about her Do they want you to be happy and fulfilled? Healthy parents want that for you. If they are demanding and difficult, it has likely affected you throughout your life and it is time to address and heal that within yourself.
5. Money: This is a huge topic. You want enough, which is sufficient for your needs and leads to retirement? Or do you want to do or have whatever you want, whenever you want? Not only is that expensive, it’s probably taking a toll on our planet, and what example to set for your children? Besides, when do you actually have time to spend your money on meaningful activities?
Healthy living is about balance and moderation. But that’s not the actual culture of Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area. I asked you last week where your focus is. I ask you to look closely at your stated priorities and find out what is healthy for you.
I have no answers for you. We are all unique and while we have our own specific goals and needs, there are many basic needs that we all share – based on the human brain. We need safety and security, we need food and a roof over our heads, we need love and community. Are you doing what it takes to achieve those points? Stuck in unresolved childhood or generational issues? When you’re on your deathbed, what will you regret, what will you feel good about?
Here are important things for self-care:
1. Sleep Hygiene: Without sleep, your capacity for anything and everything is severely limited. Get a schedule. No devices (TV and phones/tablets included) two hours before bed. No TV in your bedroom. If you’d rather watch others live their TV lives than talk to your partner or make love, maybe it’s time for couples counseling.
2. Exercise: You can set aside 20-30 minutes several times a week to take care of your body so it can serve you well for the rest of your life. Walking and looking at trees and flowers, listening to birds and the wind in the trees, smelling jasmine and roses is good for your physical and mental health.
3. Food: I know, tough area. You want to eat healthy and you want junk food. Mostly eat well and have a few treats. Being a food sergeant is rigid. Think moderation. When you deny yourself treats, you want them even more and can lead to unhealthy eating behaviors — and all that anxiety and guilt takes its own toll.
4. Be outside: let yourself be slowed down outside. Find new rhythms. Try to be outdoors without imposing your normal fast/goal oriented self. breathe slower Of course, sometimes you want to be purposeful outdoors; let that be a “sometimes” behavior. There is much to learn and admire about the cycles of nature.
Making time for these things will also improve your relationship. Sex can be an essential, pleasurable physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual activity.
If you have trouble shifting, talk to your partner. Make a pact to support each other in these life-affirming activities. It may require major changes in your life. Is it worth? I say absolutely. After spending time alone and exploring your soul, what is your response?
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