I looked down at the scale this morning in horror – I am suffering from the COVID-19.
No, not the virus – I’m talking about the nineteen pounds I have added, mostly to my waistline, over the last year of compromised lifestyle. And I bet I’m not the only one.
I have wrestled with overweight throughout my life – yes, I know I don’t look that heavy, but that’s only because I am so tall I can absorb and withstand a multitude of sins.
But what it really comes down to, and has always come down to, is deciding to choose habits that lead to fitness and wellness – losing weight is nowhere near as appealing as gaining health.
I found an article from “The Healthy” on self-care that brings this notion to a steady rolling boil. It starts, of course, with commitment, and moves into purpose – the ravages of stress in 2020 were more intense than most of us have dealt with. In fact, an American Psychological Association survey demonstrated that 70% of the participants reported increased stress from the pandemic, and more than half experienced mood swings, emotional outbursts, and increased tension.
It’s clear that adopting better routines is one of the prime stress-busters we have at our disposal, and so the need for effective self-care regimens is accentuated. Here are seven tips the article recommends.
- Make up your own rules. Self-care is about you, so pick actions that work for you. Meditation, exercise, diet, social engagement, chiropractic care, it’s all very personal, so pay attention to and honor your preferences.
- Be realistic. Establish targets that are attainable, and work toward attaining them.
- Be intentional yet flexible. You may need to vary your strategies to be successful.
- Maintain boundaries, notice barriers. The parameters by which you measure progress depend on being reasonable, even as you are thorough. If someone or something is preventing you from getting into the optimal rhythm, handle it.
- Make a “you” list. Write down your plan for self-care, and keep it fun by selecting novel or unique activities you enjoy that take you in the right direction, like walking in the park, practicing yoga, dancing, making a special dish, or hanging out with friends who are supportive of your endeavors.
- Stay present by unplugging. Rather than being perpetually distracted by the challenges of the day, be in the moment, and you’ll be more mindful and less likely to violate your principles.
- Be consistent. Staying on course is essential for the outcome you want. If you wander into unfavorable patterns, bring yourself back to center as soon as possible.
Easier said than done, of course. These are excellent guidelines, but it comes back to my first point – without a significant decision and perseverance to follow through, this is nothing more than a good idea. We are constantly bombarded by conscious and subconscious messaging designed to steer us toward someone else’s objectives for us. It’s only through personal power and common sense that we can transcend the gravitational attraction of poor behaviors and achieve the results we desire.
Right after we finish the leftovers from our delicious Valentine’s Day dinner, especially Regina’s famous strawberry shortcake.
Dennis Perman DC, for The Masters Circle Global
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