Your Health is Your Wealth, so Make Yourself a Priority

BY: - 29 Apr '16 | Lifestyle

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By Lia Miller

We’re just past a quarter of the way into 2016, and once again we are busy. Busy working, busy playing, busy dreaming, busy achieving—basically we’re busy being busy. Unfortunately, this isn’t unusual; in fact, it is the “American Way.”

Well I’m sorry but I just can’t do that, I have to call a flag on the play. I am at a point where I have never felt more tired, been more stressed and felt more nearer to the end of my rope than I do now. Something has got to give.

As a working mother of two young children and someone who is notorious for taking on too much (read: not being able to say, “no”), my wellness, health and overall wellbeing is being compromised. And it’s all (okay, not all but mostly) my fault. If you are like me, you have the tendency to do everything because you can. You might even take pride in the feeling of the accomplishment you get from ticking items off the to-do list.

So what am I to do? How can I turn things around? If you are at the burnout point like me, then it is time for a little introspection. It’s time to sit back, take stock and to realize that just because you can do everything doesn’t mean you should. Recognize there is always a trade-off. While you may be able to do a lot, you also need to consider what is being lost/sacrificed? I know it is gratifying to get things done and to “slay” at work, at home and in life. But if you are coming home completely spent, you’ve begun to give up doing things you used to love, including exercise, healthy eating, socializing with friends and loved ones, pursuing favorite hobbies, etc. You will eventually end up feeling bitter, resentful, tired, unfulfilled,and unhappy.

The way forward is to change our priorities. If we don’t value health and wellness over other pursuits, the things that matter to us most will begin to fall apart. Here are some ways I’ve discovered to reclaim my sanity, peace of mind and energy that don’t require me to make sacrifices in terms of time trade-offs:

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Make Time For You

In order to make the shift, you have to commit to yourself first. I always say, “If you can’t take care of yourself, you won’t be able to take care of anyone else.” Make the commitment to yourself. Remember this isn’t a zero sum game, you can make gradual changes to your daily routine to start reintroducing into your life the essential “me time.” Your first step should be putting yourself at the top of the to-do list.

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Exercise Anyway Possible

The key here is moderation; start by doing what is easy. I work on the fourth floor in my building, so I take the stairs whenever possible. I take the stairs coming off the metro, and I take the longest route to the cafeteria at lunch.

If I can’t make it to the gym, I find that by employing these methods, I often exceed the 10,000 step minimum for my FitBit daily goal. If you can, request a standing desk at your office instead of staying sedentary all day in a seated desk. With a standing desk, I am able to do leg lifts, calf raises, squats, and even lunges at my desk, and much more. I try to force myself to stand for at least 30 to 60 minutes in short 10 to 15 minute intervals (or longer if it is a good day) over the course of the day.

If this seems too much, start with what works for you. The trick is to get moving and to find less time-consuming ways to incorporate exercise into your day.

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Eat Constantly

I know it seems counter intuitive, especially if you are counting calories, but don’t skip meals. Eat and keep eating. When we skip meals, we tend to crash and are 9 times out of 10 more likely to grab an unhealthy snack, such as soda, coffee, candy or doughnuts because they are fast and easy.

Eat frequently every few hours and be prepared , as in bringing in your own food and snacks, so that you have healthy options on-hand. This will also make you less likely to grab an unhealthy alternative.

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Sleep

According to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), and no surprise to anyone, sleep is essential for health and wellbeing. Yet millions of people do not sleep enough or suffer from lack of sleep. The truth is that everyone’s individual sleep needs vary. But the NSF says the optimal amount of sleep for adults is 7 to 9 hours. Initially, 7 to 9 hours seemed impossible to me between work, life work, restless kids and the running to-do list in my head that seems to require immediate attention in the 2 to 4 a.m. window. But once I gave myself a hard lights out time and stuck to it, I immediately began to feel better and became more productive and efficient at work.

If you live a stressful, busy, at times drama-filled and constantly on-the-go life, then following these steps will help diminish those stresses by improving your physical, mental and emotional health, thus making you a priority again.


Lia Miller, known to the blogging world as Lia World Traveler, is the quintessential every-woman, a loving wife and mother, daughter, sister, friend, author/singer/song-writer, movie and book buff, DIY loc’d naturalista, food lover, sports and fitness enthusiast, news junkie, traveling fool, diplomat, diversity/social inclusion advocate and life-time learner. She shares her adventures and insights with you at Life As I See It.

About the author

Lia Miller wrote 23 articles on this blog.

Lia Miller is an every woman, in that she does and is interested in a lot of things. Lia is a wife and mother, ambitious/career focused individual, writer and award winning blogger, do-it-yourself loc’d naturalista, foodie, avid reader, movie buff, sports enthusiast, passionate about music, dance, and the arts, news junkie, advocate for the underdog/under-represented, with an incurable bug for traveling and exploring the world. Lia is also a clinical social worker with a concentration in children, relationships, and family dynamics. Lia’s focus is to find and share how to get the best out of life by living fully, loving hard, and always learning.

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I’ve Experienced a Lot of Adversity in My Life: What Can I Do to Remain Optimistic?

BY: - 3 May '16 | inspiration

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Hey Dr. B,

I have been going through some things in my personal life, and I do not know how to move on. I work very hard to remain positive and upbeat, but I have experienced a lot of adversity in my life. I was abused as a child, abandoned by my mother who used drugs and even experienced homelessness at one time. My mind is a mess. However, I keep pushing on because God has provided for me through the tough times. I have a heart of God and feel blessed because I am still breathing. Nevertheless, sometimes I still find it difficult to remain optimistic. With such turmoil in my life, what can I do to remain optimistic?

Thanks in advance,

A Blessed Man

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Dear Blessed Man,

The short answer to your question is to continue what you are doing, which is engaging in resilient thinking. You stated, “My mind is a mess, however, I keep pushing on because God has provided for me through the tough times. I have a heart of God and feel blessed because I am still breathing.” This is resilient thinking at its best.

Resilient thinking is the cognitive ability to identify and embrace realistic and optimistic thoughts that promote growth and forward progression after facing adversity. Resilient thinkers believe that experiencing adversity and/or misfortune is unavoidable at times. But seeing it for what it is and facing it with a positive attitude is the most effective way of coping with it. Resilient thinkers do not dread adversity because they view it as a pathway to succeeding in life, love and relationships. They also believe that opportunity can be found in hardship, and they understand how they perceive their situations will either propel them to a life of greatness or a life of despair. Resilient thinking enables individuals to operate out of faith and positions them to cope with vulnerability with confidence and hope.

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As a resilient thinker, I often tell myself that I cannot control or change things that occur outside of my Resilient Zone (cognitive processing and coping); therefore, I have to create desirable outcomes through my thoughts before I take action.

Like you, I have been through some things in my life. In reflecting on my life journey, I realized that I have experienced a great deal of adversity. Listed below are eleven personal hardships that caused me a great deal of distress, but they also contributed to me becoming a resilient thinker.

  • The beginning. I was born into poverty and raised in the ghetto by my single-parent mother.
  • At age 7. I was teased daily by my peers because I had a speech impediment and repeated the second grade as a result of performing poorly in school.
  • At age 8. I was shot in the arm by my mother’s ex-boyfriend while riding in a car.
  • At age 10. I saw a local drug dealer gunned down as I walked home from school.
  • At age 17. I loss my single-parent mother to her battle with cancer.
  • At age 18. I fell asleep at the steering wheel and totaled my car while driving to college my fresh year.
  • At age 19. I was robbed at gun point in broad daylight after visiting the library in downtown St. Louis while on summer break from college.
  • At age 21. I attended my 17-year-old nephew’s funeral after he was gunned down while walking home from the store. No arrest was made.
  • At age 22. I received a phone call informing me that one of my close friends was murdered during an attempted robbery.
  • At age 23. I attended my 34-year-old cousin’s funeral after he was accidentally shot by one of my nephews.
  • At age 24. I received a phone call informing me that another close friend was shot and killed during an attempted robbery.

When asked how did I overcome poverty and my personal hardships to become a successful doctor, psychotherapist, military office and an entrepreneur who earns more than $100,000 annually? I humbly reply: I learned and embraced the power of resilient thinking. Engaging in resilient thinking helped me make lasting change in my life and has empowered me to continue to successfully navigate through life, love and relationships.

Like myself, you are a warrior and I am glad to hear that you realize that breathing is a blessing. Every day you wake up, you get another opportunity to create the life you desire.

Please visit my website: drbuckingham.com and consider purchasing a copy of my book entitled, Resilient Thinking: The Power of Embracing Realistic and Optimistic Thoughts about Life, Love and Relationships. My book contains personal quotes/sayings that I created and used on a daily basis in order to help me exchange a lifestyle filled with hardship, disappointment and dread with a lifestyle filled with favor, satisfaction and confidence. The quotes ignite positive self-talk and resilient thinking.

As you continue on your journey and strive to find positivity in your life, remember the following:

“Resilient people find solutions in problems. In contrast, troubled people find problems in every solution.”

Best regards,

Dr. Buckingham

If you have questions for Dr. Dwayne Buckingham regarding relationships (married, single, etc), parenting, or personal growth and development, please send an email to askdrbuckingham@gmail.com

Disclaimer: The ideas, opinions and recommendations contained in this post are not intended as a substitute for seeking professional counseling or guidance. Any concerns or questions that you have about relationships or any other source of potential distress should be discussed with a professional, in person. The author is not liable or responsible for any personal or relational distress, loss or damage allegedly arising from any information or recommendations in this post.

 BMWK, are you a resilient thinker?

About the author

Dwayne Buckingham wrote 194 articles on this blog.

Dr. Dwayne L. Buckingham, author of Qualified, yet Single: Why Good Men Remain Single and Unconditional Love: What Every Woman and Man Desires in a Relationship, is a highly acclaimed international clinical psychotherapist, life coach, relationship and resiliency expert, motivational speaker and corporate consultant. He is also the President and Chief Executive Officer of R.E.A.L. Horizons Consulting Service, located in Silver Spring, Maryland. To learn more about Dr. Dwayne L. Buckingham visit his website at www.DrBuckingham.com.

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