Monday, January 26, 2009

Your whole self

I was talking with someone the other day about the health of a close, aging relative who has actively ignored his mental health resulting in, I believe, a greater number of physical problems. "If only he had taken care of his mental health and his physical health, he wouldn't be where he is today." The next day, I was replaying this in my head, when I realized I am not practicing what I preach at all.

I do take care of my mental health, and to some extent my physical health, but I have some big illnesses looming in my future if I don't actively work on my physical health (type 2 diabetes, heart disease and diverticular disease). This got me thinking about what a whole person is, and what would one have to do to take care of my whole self. What does that mean and how is it defined? Some would say taking care of your emotional and physical self and some would include spiritual as well. Then I feel like I fall down the rabbit hole finding all sorts of little niches to take care of to prevent a precipitous decline. Of course I'm just running away from the fear of what changes I need to make in my life.

I need exercise. I need to eat more fiber, more vegetables and fruits, and fewer pastries, lattés and pints of Ben & Jerry's. I need to get more consistent rest.

I've started working on the fiber by eating more oats, adding flax seed meal to things and remembering that the fruit on the table isn't just for Fiona's benefit. I haven't been to a Starbuck's for five days (and before that it had been weeks since the last time). I've practically bankrupted my family with my stupid latté and pastry habit. Really. I'm just throwing this out to the world that I am thinking about this and trying.

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