You’ve probably heard more times than you can count, the secret to good health and healthy aging is “Eat Right and Exercise”. It’s hard to argue this, since there are mountains of evidence to show it to be true. I would like to add another key ingredient to healthy aging is “Self Care”.
Why Self Care? Well, diet and exercise is a “no go” if you don’t care enough to get off the couch. The motivation to care for yourself, and all the responsibility that it entails, is what makes the discipline of eating right and exercising possible. You have to “self care” enough to choose an apple over a bag of chips. You have to “self care” enough to get out early to walk 2 miles or lift weights daily. Without self care, you simply accept whatever happens to you and don’t care enough to protect yourself from the negative changes of aging.
There are thingswe need to do to take care of ourselves that we are scared to doSelf care can mean much more than just eating right and exercising. Caring for your skin, monitoring your strength, maintaining a positive mental attitude, appropriate medical testing, taking action when you notice changes - these all fall under the banner of self care. Self care is the internal mechanism that makes a 75 year old woman energetic and fun to be with and an 82 year old man ready to get up and take on the world every morning. If you are feeling tired and run down right now, chances are good that you are not making caring for yourself the top priority. Before you say, “Taking care of myself as my top priority would be selfish, I have to take care of others first”, stop and think about what you are saying for a moment. How can you care for others properly if you aren’t taking care of yourself?
Making caring for yourself a priority takes a mind shift. Are you relaxing in front of the TV or are you taking away something important from yourself? Are you skipping brushing your teeth or are you not caring enough for yourself? When you begin to look at each and every action as either caring for yourself or not caring for yourself, it becomes easier to make choices that build you up instead of tearing you down.
Bette Davis once famously said, “Old age is no place for sissies.” and I think you’ll agree she was right. There are plenty of things that we need to do to take care of ourselves that we would much rather not do or are maybe even scared to do. A colonoscopy is the first thing that comes to mind, but there are plenty of others. Our Feeling Ageless newsletter regularly covers all the levels of Self Care beyond eating right and exercising. We’ll give you tips and ideas for staying motivated and positive, always moving forward to your better self, even when it feels easier not to care.
You are a creation of your heart and spirit. Don’t make yourself the last person on the your list to get the attention you deserve. Sign up today and learn how to treat yourself right.