A world-wide self-care crisis
This is the fourth post in a series about self-leadership: how your choices impact your health and your life, taking you to a specific future. Today: you are responsible for the choices that determine your health and your quality of life.
We are in a world-wide self-care crisis, and it’s invisible and insidious. The real crisis not about the population getting older; it’s about us, the way we live. We’re in a profound self–care crisis, because we don’t feel responsible for the consequences of our choices, and how they impact our own health, mental and physical.
70% of your physical and mental health is based on your daily choices. But, you think, what about your genes? The chemical imbalances predisposing you to diabetes, depression or cardiovascular disease? The fact is that your genes account for less than 30% of your health, your resilience, your resistance to mental and physical illness, and even how you age. The other 70% is about the choices and decisions you make, how you take care of yourself, day in and day out.
Self-leadership is about the choices you make, and how they impact your life. How you support and fuel yourself is what most impacts your health, your wellness and your life. Your choices determine whether you’re maintaining your health or not; whether you’ll age quickly or slow down the aging process; whether you’ll have a heart attack, develop diabetes or dementia, or live strong and happy way past your 90’s. Your choices. Daily.
We’re the most informed cohort in the history of humankind: we know what we need to support our health and life capital: more sleep, more fruits and vegetables and less processed food, more physical activity… and so on. But being informed doesn’t mean we do something about it. In fact, unless you use that information to do something, knowledge alone will only bring you guilt – that awareness and discomfort that comes from being aware that you shoudn’t have another piece of cheesecake, but still do…
Thinking about something isn’t enough. To get results, you need to make better choices, and take action, which is what self-leadership is about: the awareness that you make your own choices: not your parents, spouse, social media, employer or a winning lottery ticket. You are responsible for your choices and actions, and where they take you. The cheesecake doesn’t feel right for the life you want? It’s your decision. You’re tired? Get sleep: it’s your choice.
Your choices determine your health, your happiness and your life. Take a small step today, focusing on self-care and respect. Take the lead on your own life choices. Caring, respectful choices, repeated often enough, have a dramatic, cumulative impact, whereas feeling depleted or burned out won’t bring you health, joy or fulfilment.
Taking care of yourself matters. Your daily choices have the most impact on your life, and we need to stop believing that ignoring something makes it disappear. Of course it doesn’t. The health care crisis isn’t about people getting older or sicker, it’s about us not taking responsibility for ourselves, and for the consequences of our actions. If you take responsibility, you realize that the solution is yours, and you’ll do something about it. That simple, you’ve taken control over your life.
Self-leadership is being consequent that actions = results. It’s about making the right decisions, the ones that support you, to protect your life and health capital, instead of depleting it one day at a time, feeling depressed about your health, appearance or the way your life turns out, then regretting too late what you’ve lost. You won’t change your life overnight, but taking better care of you, a little more, a little more often will change the whole picture.
Taking care of yourself can be both simple and enjoyable. It doesn’t have to be hard or exhausting, and it shouldn’t. All you need is to make a few small, realistic changes, whether it’s getting a little more sleep to help you focus and be in a better mood, or getting enough nutrients to function / build health and be at a healthier weight. Choose something easy, light and fun, as simple as adding an apple to your standard breakfast, or enjoying a slow evening off-line. Life is simple, when you take the lead.
So, what will you do today, to give yourself the self-care you need to support your life? Think about something realistic, small and appealing that would make a positive difference, and do it today. Build up the kind of life, health and happiness you want, one day and one choice at a time. Congratulations, you’re on your way to a life that fits and fulfills you!
So, what could you do today, to take better care of yourself?