I facilitate a gathering of women that meets every Monday morning, called the Healthy Lifestyle Group. It's a special interest group of our local branch of the American Association of University Women. We support each other in eating more nutritiously, being more active, and keeping a positive attitude.
This morning, I asked those present to do some brainstorming with me about what constitutes a healthy lifestyle. Besides the obvious of eating in moderation and exercising, we came up with the following:
* Keeping a journal - both of food eaten, and of feelings/attitudes
* Setting goals, and building in rewards all along the way
* Breaking old habits, which starts by being aware that they exist
* Eating at home as often as possible, so we control what goes in our bodies
* Prioritizing: what's really most important?
* Making time for yourself
That last one is hard for many people, I think especially so for women. We're trained from an early age to take care of those around us. We can become so busy that it's hard to make sure we're on our own to-do list every day.
But I know that making yourself a priority is crucial to living a healthy lifestyle. It isn’t about being selfish. It doesn’t mean that we stop taking care of the people and commitments in our lives: it means that we have more energy to do it! It means we’re saner and calmer, and have more to give to those we love because we care enough to give to ourselves first. It also means that we’re teaching our children and grandchildren to love and respect themselves by setting a good example of what self-care is all about.
Just like any other new habit we're working to adopt, making yourself a priority takes time. We must stay conscious every day of doing something good for ourselves - something that feeds our spirit, nurtures our body, and promotes our good health. It may be hard to squeeze in that time, but aren't you worth it?
There's an old expression that says we make time for what's most important in our lives. So let me ask you this:Where are you on your priority list?
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Until next time...