When it comes to health we spend a lot of time talking about what to do, or the actions to take to become healthier. In 2016 that’s a really important thing to do because of all our technology, desk jobs, TV habits and other sedentary pleasures. Don’t get me wrong, I love those activities (I love reading), do them myself and spend a lot of my day sitting or being less mobile (it’s not great to be huffing and puffing on the phone with a client). So it’s important that during the hours we are mobile and “doing” health activities that we really do make the most of it.
That said, just doing, blindly or not, isn’t the goal with health. Health isn’t just about “doing” the right thing (though sometimes actions are required), it’s about a state of being, about how you feel and about how you see and interact with the world. If you have your day scheduled from one health activity to the next you may be missing out on the opportunity to find peace and mental health. That’s only found when you take breaks and have fun.
I know it may not seem fun to do things like meditating, napping and sitting quietly, but those times of peace and reflection help you understand your goals and if they’re really what you want or if you need to make an adjustment, and work through the challenges and situations you are experiencing in your life (rather than just reacting to them), as well as take a break from the action of the world. Let’s be honest: when was the last time you had a good break? Do you make time for them on a regular basis? If not you should, even if it means you have to get a sitter for the kids or trade off with another family or your partner. Some people choose to get up early or stay up late because that’s the best time they know to find quiet.
The other thing I mentioned was fun. Having health means you have more opportunities for fun, and health isn’t just about ‘chores’ that have to be done. You can make them fun family activities, like getting dinner ready together, taking hikes in the national parks near you or visiting farmer’s markets to check out new foods to try. Health is also a great couple’s activity, like long walks, cooking classes and quiet time together.
But before you run off and get active this weekend, take some time to consider how you can work a little rest, reflection and relaxation into your life. You’ll find it easier to get through the challenges as they happen and feel better about all the things you have to do to be healthy or become healthier.
“Ceaseless activity, constant mental and emotional commotion, is not just the avoidance of our unwanted sense of emptiness, but (it is) also complicit in its continuing cause.” Guy Finley