In all this recent talk about healthcare reform and so on, there seems to be one huge component overlooked in the discussion, time and again. That is that self-care is perhaps the most important component of all. It is, as stated before, this component that Aloha Promises Forever will largely focus on when we discuss health related issues.
There are a myriad of daily choices we make that affect our physical, mental and spiritual health. These can be largely broken down into eight key areas. These eight areas are vital to overall health and well-being. The values, lifestyle, habits and motivations each of us have hugely affect our general health and any concerns that might arise. Taking a look at where each of us is at this moment is a really great first step into living a healthier, happier life.
I. Body Work
Get on up out of that chair and move! Exercise does your body good!! It will give you more energy, strength and flexibility. It is also good for your mind. I would argue that it is good for your soul as well. Your body is a temple – not just a wonderland.
Regular exercise lowers blood pressure and cholesterol and that reduces risk for heart disease, stroke and a number of other of the modern ailments that most frequently undermine our happiness and health. The range of opportunities in this much needed component varies per age and where you are now entering this journey of health from. It can include walking, gardening, dancing, weight lifting, martial arts, a number of areas and options -all yours to mold into what works for you. Hey, even kissing burns calories!!
The thing is – find out what works for you… then Work It!!
II. Value Your Surroundings
Does it surprise you to know that your surroundings are an active component to your health and fitness on multiple levels? It probably should not. But, yes, our environment affects your health.
Knowing this does not mean that you can control and change all things – at least not all at once. But, we need to look at safety, clutter, noise, offensive odors, bad lighting (not to be judgmental of lights) and things like water quality. Think Flint, Michigan on the latter and realize that there are at least tiny steps we can all take to improve these components to our health and well being.
III. Personal Development
Health and happiness are fully integrated. What we do to improve one generally improves the other. Knowing this, it is probably not a huge surprise that I will say that among the first things to look at changing and improving is that man or woman in the mirror.
Now, I know some of us might look at our loved one and think.. ‘kinda hard to improve on that’.. or maybe that is just me looking at Ally? But, I’ll tell you what.. when I look at me? Well, long ago, I read The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin and in it I read that one of the historical figures I most look up to had a life long habit of writing out 13 key areas that he would improve on daily though out his long life. I have less expectations of myself. So, every year, between my birthday on 12/23 through 12/31, I take active stock of myself – where I am at that time and where I want to be by the next year. Another couple hundred years of this and I should be good to go…. 😉
As to the rest of you in the blogosphere? Well, I think it runs down like this:
It’s a mater of balance and each of us comes into this from exactly where we are. Most of us are adults. This means we need to strike not just a pose but a balance between personal and work life. Each of us needs to look at how we spend our time and energy each day. Let’s start doing the things that give us energy and while not being afraid to do things that make us tired.. let’s make sure it’s a worthy expenditure. Let’s spend time doing what matters most! Let’s focus on that loop of what makes us happy makes us healthy makes us happy until we find that glide spot of health and happiness that most promotes the goodness of each of our lives. Who’s in on this with me?
IV. Fueling Up Wisely
Eat and drink to nourish your body and mind! Walk back from bad habit and choose healthy, wise choices that best complement our lifestyles. Do not be afraid to wisely supplement as needed and known to support our health goals.
A little bit of alcohol and caffeine can be healthy and useful. But the emphasis there should be on a bolded, italicized perhaps even underscored little. Keep yourself on healthy trends but do not be overly critical here either. Well, I mean unless you really need to be for reasons that we will go into later. Keep your body and mind properly fueled and you get that extra mileage you want!
V. On the Importance of Sleep and Rest
In full disclosure and conceding confession, this is maybe the hardest part for me. When I got really ill, I could not sleep. On average, I got 1 to maybe 2-3 hours of sleep a night. I will not bore you with stories of dealing with pain like I have never felt before. I will just say that we all face obstacles in life at times. It’s ours to either overcome or succumb. We really do not have the luxury of doing both. And I’ll add that in overcoming, I formed some really horrible sleep patterns that I am working on overcoming in my final steps to regaining my optimal health. I do not share this to overly whine. But, to say, that look, if you dear readers have things you need to deal with, it’s okay. I’m with you every step of the way. We’ll get there!
I use to believe that sleep was overrated. Ally and my eldest little girl and a wealth of reading and study have convinced me that sleep is about one of the most important things we can do for ourselves. Sleep is not for the weak. It’s for the healthy!!
Sleep has a buddy called rest. Take a moment. Stretch your physical, mental and emotional legs and find a deep breath of peace. Relaxing lowers stress. Take time to do activities that are enjoyable and recharge you. All of this is important to your health and well-being. See, Ally… I do listen…. sometimes… okay all the time.. I just do not always get things right from the start…
VI. Relating to Relationships
There is a huge difference between being alone and enjoying that solitude and being lonely. Family, friends and co-workers are very important. When you lose these social networks you can get sick and allow yourself to be kept sick.
Positive relationships are healthy and revitalize us. So, let me please encourage everyone to form these important bonds. Also, while on topic, let me give a quiet shout out the that life partner who makes my every day better and better. Thank you, Ally. I know this was going to be yours to write. But, you’re busy. So, instead, this health stuff is dedicated to you, my love. And to all of our readers who we hope it is helpful to as well.
Our partners in life are a source of strength on every level. Caring, sharing and being listened to are vital to being all we are as humans. So, let’s do just that. Can you relate?
VII. Spiritual Connection
Everyone has a different walk of life. We all come with different beliefs even within same faith systems. But to each of us, meaningfulness and purpose is extremely important. Even to atheists. If you find that hard to believe, just take a mental walk through the blogosphere or open your eyes and ears to the world. Almost all of us want to find our importance and relevance. All of us can. God did not make trash. He made each of us with purpose and to fulfill our lives well, richly and deeply.
From then, this need to be and fully be who we are and who we are meant to grow to be we seek out those things of relevance to each of us. We turn to find strength and comfort when we need to do that. In turn, we help others to find strength and comfort when times are hard or they are stumbling. It’s all part of being humans be-ing and not simply doing.
I want to encourage each of us to continue to do so being it in spirituality, nature, art, music or in helping others. This then is how to more fully live and live well. This then is what I and we at Aloha Promises Forever seek to share for ourselves, our loved ones and our readers. May each of us fully live to our greatest capacity.
VIII. The Power of Mind
Never underestimate the power of the human mind. Of all the resources of this world, this is in my estimate the greatest of all our known resources. As such, in all of its capacities and capabilities it is the key component of all the key components to ensure good health on physical, mental and emotional levels.
There is a tremendous connection between the body, brain and mind. Warriors, athletes and others have learned in many ways to harness the power of mind. It can be used to visual success in a number of areas and/or events. As time goes on, we will review some mind-body practices that help to tap into the power of the mind to heal, cope and overcome.
This concludes Aloha Promises Forever’s summary of where we anticipate going with respect to future health information and resources. If anyone has any additional ideas, we are of course open to inquiries and suggestions.
We’ll see you on the journey!!