Taking Care of Yourself

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Taking Care of Yourself

Taking care of yourself makes the difference between making it through the day feeling well or struggling with your health. The problem is often people don’t make the time to take care of themselves, and sooner or later they’ll experience poor health.

Alas many don’t wake up to this until they experience very poor health. Only then do they realise the importance of taking care of themselves and begin to make it a priority for themselves.

Many people with serious illnesses would give anything for a single day of perfect health. After all, it’s only when you lose your health that you realize what you once had.

“In order to change we must be sick and tired of being sick and tired.” Author Unknown

It’s time for you to put yourself first and particularly your health. If “putting yourself first” sounds too self-centred ask yourself ‘how will you being ill affect you and those depending on you?’ Many of us have so many responsibilities in life that we forget to take care of ourselves. With all the attention we give to taking care of others, juggling tasks, meeting deadlines and being responsible, it’s no wonder we often feel there’s no space in our busy schedules left for us. Also it should be no surprise how quickly many of you find your health plummeting.

“In taking care of everyone in our lives, we often forget to take time to care for ourselves”

Too often we just don’t seem to think about ourselves and the things we do, and particularly the things we don’t do. We work, pay bills, do things for others, but when it comes to ourselves and our health that’s way down on our priority list.

Taking care of yourself necessitates self-care and one of the most important things you can do for yourself is establish a healthy lifestyle. Consuming a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, and being sure you get enough sleep are all important for long-term health. Self-care requires just a few basic habits that are crucial to your functioning.

To stay as healthy as possible, you have to be an active participant in your own care. You can help maintain health and wellness by following a few steps every day, and be aware of changes in how you feel. Healthy living is within your reach, if you decide it’s important enough for you to attempt it. There are steps you can take right now that will make today healthier than yesterday and pave the way for healthy living tomorrow.

So it’s time to focus on yourself and your health.

If you have health, you probably will be happy, and if you have health and happiness, you have all the wealth you need, even if it is not all you want. Elbert Hubbard

Let me provide you some simple changes that can make a huge impact on your well-being and your inner state of being.

Drink more Water

Drink more water. At least two litres daily. Your body is nearly two-thirds water and so it is really important that you drink enough fluid to stay hydrated and healthy. Being adequately hydrated is essential to living a healthier life.

Eat Breakfast

Get into the habit of eating breakfast for good health. A healthy breakfast will make you more energized throughout the day. As the well-known quote says “Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper.” Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day giving you energy to start a new day, and bringing with it many other health benefits.


Physical activity is essential to healthy living. The body was meant to move, and when it does not, it can become weak and ill. Exercising has a host of benefits for your body and mind. Having good cardiovascular health is essential if you want to benefit from good health. At least 30 minutes a day should be your minimum target. So hit the gym, take a class, or walk in the park. This is a must do as research shows that a sedentary lifestyle is bad for your health. You need to do vigorous activity that gets you mildly out of breath, should break a sweat and take your heart rate to a level of 50 – 70% of your maximum heart rate.

Eat Healthily

What you put into your body directly affects how you feel physically, your mood, your mental clarity, your internal workings, and even your skin. A well-balanced diet is the cornerstone of a healthy diet. Eating well is important to help you live a healthier life. You need to eat a well-balanced diet with all the necessary nutrients your body needs. It will include all five food groups each day. At least five portions of different fruit and vegetables; starch-based foods, such as Wholegrain cereals, wholemeal bread, potatoes, rice or pasta should fill about a third of your plate at each meal; Protein particularly fish, poultry or lean meat.

Keep Clean

It’s important to maintain your personal hygiene. Wash your hands often, especially after going to the toilet. You need to floss and brush your teeth twice daily. Showering or bathing is something you should do daily. Wearing cleaning clothes will also help your overall disposition.

Get adequate Sleep

When you sleep, your body produces cells that fight infection, inflammation, and stress—which means that getting too little sleep or poor-quality sleep not only makes you more prone to getting sick, but also increases the time you need to recover from illness. You should aim to get about 8 hours sleep daily.

Manage Stress

Stress is one of the most powerful forces over you that causes ill health. You must get it in check. I strongly recommend doing relaxation exercises such as deep breathing, meditation and progressive muscular relaxation. If you want to live a healthy lifestyle, you will need to manage the stress in your life so that it does not overtake you. This means taking charge of your thoughts, emotions, tasks, and environment to get your body back in balance.

Be Sociable

No man is an island. We weren’t born to be alone. We need to communicate and interact with others. You need to spend time with people whose company you enjoy, having friendships and spending time with these people is important to your health. They will provide you with a support group who can help you with your mental and emotional well-being.

Do things you enjoy

A saying we all know is ‘all work and no play …’ and for your health, particularly mental to be at a good level you must make the time to spend on things you enjoy doing. I suggest that we each have a hobby that we love, and we spend time doing it every week, no matter what it is. Whether this is reading, working in your garden, playing some sport, writing or playing some instrument, it doesn’t really matter.

You should not smoke

If you smoke, stopping smoking is often the single most effective thing that you can do to reduce your risk of future illness. Smoking causes lung cancer and other cancers, and increases your risk of heart disease and stroke. Simple! The benefit to health will begin almost immediately you stop.

Limit Alcohol.

Excessive consumption of alcohol can lead to a negative impact on your overall health. If you have to drink alcohol consume no more than one alcoholic beverage daily if you’re female or two if you’re male.

Journal Daily

Journaling can greatly improve your well-being. When suffering from ill health I strongly suggest using a journal to record how you’re feeling day by day. Also record your thoughts, the things you do, your achievements. Reflect on your day and write everything you think that matters.

Focus on Gratitude

Life isn’t always going to be going well, but always reminding yourself and acknowledging those things that are good and that you’re happy about will work as a pick-me up. No matter how insignificant some of those things you are pleased about may be, focusing on them and your gratitude that they are there will help you in a big way.

Now it is time for you to begin implementing these into your life so as to make you feel better and healthier. No matter when you choose to start with, they will quickly begin to bring about improvements.

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About the author: Larry Lewis
My name is Larry Lewis, Health & Wellness Life Coach, Founder of Healthy Lifestyles Living, contributor to the Huffington Post, recently featured in the Sunday Mail Newspaper and somebody who went from being an owner of a chain of gyms and fitness fanatic, to a visually impaired overweight and incredibly sick person. Read about my illness to wellness story.
One comment
  1. victoria says:

    Very interesting and thorough read here. I agree with the ideas of limiting alcohol and smoking. Habits like this tend to lead to even worse habits down the road. Also, as a clarification, the quote “Sick and Tired” is attributed commonly to civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer.

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