Are you someone who works and works until the point of collapse? I want you to stop doing that. One of the lessons I learned through my health issues was the importance of putting your needs at the top of your list and here’s 5 steps to living a better life.
I wrote this post almost 2 years ago now but I still try and live by these 5 steps as often as possible. I think that the more you focus on taking care of yourself the more likely it is that you will have a happier and better life.
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1. You need to sleep. Above all give your body rest. I need a lot of rest because my medications make me drowsy. If I try to push through it I can tell that my body suffers. So many people feel that not sleeping and working non stop is a virtue but it is damaging to your brain and body so in the end it’s not worth it. So figure out how much sleep you need and aim to get that much rest. It will make you more productive and keep you from getting sick as often. The less you are sick the more you can do and the less you’ll have to take time away from your life.
2. Ask for help when you need it, this one is extremely important. The weeks leading up to my stroke I was under a tremendous amount of stress. I needed help but was too afraid and embarrassed to admit the mistakes, mostly financial, that I had got us into. Even though they can’t say for sure that it played a role in my stroke I will always wonder if I had just asked for help and confided in someone if it could have been avoided. I learned people would have helped or at least been there to lean on if I had just asked.
3. Improve your health by eating better and being more active. I’m not good at this one but I am slowly making changes to my diet, eating no fast food, more fruits and vegetables and trying to move around more. I need to lose some weight and have started keeping track of what I eat and exercise on my phone. For starters though I stopped drinking regular soda and mostly drink water and the occasional coke Zero. My weight has dropped a little and I can tell I’m less bloated looking without all the Dr pepper.
4. Work on thinking positive thoughts. I’ve been through a lot of therapy after what I’ve been through and one of the most important lessons she’s taught me is that thoughts, actions and feelings are all connected. So when I’m feeling really anxious, anxiety is a big problem for me now, I try to stop and just think of something good. something my daughter has done or said recently or thinking of my niece and nephew. It doesn’t always stop all the anxiety but it puts god thoughts in my head and brings down my anxious feelings.
5. On the other side of things I’ve also realized that some people just cause me to feel too stressed. They are very negative or critical and make me feel bad to be around them. So for the most part I limit my time around these people. I feel like my health and well being has to be a top priority in my life and if my anxiety goes through the roof around them it could damage my health and it’s not worth it. It doesn’t mean they can’t be a part of my life necessarily but maybe less time or only in group settings where there are distractions.
I hope what I wrote here helps you realize that you can do things to improve your health and life before something bad happens to you. Right now I’m reading Thrive by Arianna Huffington creator of the Huffington Post and she also had a health crisis that made her stop and evaluate what she was doing in her life and to her body. It’s a great read from an inspirational woman. She also knows a lot about having a busy life and how you can burn out. I really care about all my readers and don’t want anything to happen to you because you didn’t take care of yourself.