We often find ourselves getting upset and knocked out of balance over things that are completely out of our control. We are attached to how we think the world, other people, traffic, the weather, etc. should act. We allow our health and happiness to be affected by these things that we truly have no control over and spend time and energy stewing over it. Then, we actively deny the control that we do have over our own health, happiness, schedule, and relationships. We are an interesting breed.
This week, I have been speaking with several people about the affect our physical body and daily habits can have on cognitive clarity and emotional health. It seems so simple that it couldn’t possibly be so powerful, but indeed it is. If we set our daily schedule up to meet our own body’s needs, we can experience better health across the board- physically, mentally, and emotionally. And then, we will experience better relationships with ourselves and with others as well.
Take a moment to consider that if we are overscheduled, constantly stressed out, not able to sleep well, and eating quick and processed foods, we are setting ourselves up for difficulty and future problems to solve. We cannot expect our thinking to be clear and our coping to be on point if we do not have a stable foundation of a properly functioning body to support us. Our body provides the understructure from which we can deal with the stressors in our lives and if our body is in difficulty, everything else will be as well.
We must realize that our daily habits are setting us up for health or illness in the future. The mind and body that we are currently living in is the result of what we have done regularly up to this point. The exciting news is that we have the ability to change how we feel and that we have more control over our schedule than we think. If we can prioritize our own self-care, we can reap the benefits.
Many work cultures train us into believing that our work comes first; before our own health and what our bodies need to function properly. We prioritize getting work done over eating, sleeping, moving our bodies, and sometimes, even over going to the bathroom. And we buy into the belief that we “have to”. However, we have much more control than we have been taught to believe.
If we wake up early, we could take that time for ourselves to start the day with intention and peace. Perhaps we sit and tune in for a few moments, walk around the block, or to take our time with a bath or shower. Using this time- even just a few minutes- to focus on ourselves rather than going in to work early in a futile attempt to complete the infinitely growing task list can help us to better deal with the stress of the day.
At lunch, if we dedicate the time to actually take a break from work and focus on nourishing our bodies with our biggest, most nutrient-dense meal of the day, we can experience healthier and more effective digestion as well as the energy our brain needs to tackle the afternoon tasks waiting for us.
Scheduling even ten minutes per day to focus on doing something that helps us feel better in our minds and bodies- journaling, reading, exercising, chatting with a friend- we can begin to feel the benefits of honoring our own needs first and we can become more effective and efficient at all of the other things that are competing for our energy and attention.
Changing our perspective on our relationship with ourselves, our bodies, and our schedule can have a positive ripple effect on our relationship with our lives. If we take care of ourselves first, we can then take care of everything else in our lives more effectively as well as cope with the ups and downs along the way.
This week, experiment with how you can schedule in intervals of putting your own needs first. We are aiming for babysteps- a way for you to see that you really do have the control over your schedule. Five or ten minutes a few times throughout the day is not only doable, but a great step in the right direction.
I will be taking control of my schedule right along with you.
Chat again soon,