Self-Management is defined as: management of or by oneself; the taking of responsibility for one’s own behaviour and well-being.
“It is a painful thing to look at your own trouble and know that you yourself and no one else has made it.” Sophocles
Are you someone struggling with your health?
So many people seem plagued by ill health, one problem after the others seems to affect them, and they find themselves looking forward to nothing, not enjoying life at all. Every day they wake feeling unwell and exhausted.
A client I’m working with found herself getting more and more depressed after a long period of ill health. She lives alone trying to deal with lots of joint pain issues but is afraid to do very much as there is no one around to help her. ‘What if I fall and can’t get up, I could be laying there for days, no one would know.’’ She is sick nearly all of the time, feeling tired a lot, and so listless that housework only gets done on good days, and there aren’t many of those. She has been going backwards and forwards to see her doctor and to the hospital for tests after tests.
My advice to her is to take back control of her life, and begin focusing on self-management. To this point she seems to have put the decisions and solutions in to the hands of her doctor, and to do very little for herself. When you have chronic health problems, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and helpless, as if the illness has taken over your life. One method of taking control is called “self-management.”
Self-management means that you take responsibility for doing what it takes to manage your illness effectively. It’s important for you to be responsible for your health because the treatment recommendations your doctor makes won’t do any good unless you follow them. He or she can’t make decisions for you or make you change your behaviour. Only you can do these things.
Regaining power and control over your live is a key aspect of recovery. Managing your illness involves making healthy lifestyle choices.
What is Recovery? It is a process of change through which individuals:
•Improve their health and wellness
•Live a self-directed life
•Strive to achieve their full potential
What does it require? There are four major components.
•Health: Make informed, healthy choices that support physical and emotional wellbeing.
•Home: Have a stable and safe place to live.
•Purpose: Engage in meaningful daily activities, such as a job or school, volunteering, caring for your family, or being creative. Work for independence, income, and resources to participate in society.
•Community: Build relationships and social networks that provide support.
My recovery, though slower than hoped for, is nevertheless assured. Frederick W. Borden
Self-management is very much dependent on self-motivation. Self-motivation is the force that keeps pushing us to go on; it’s our internal drive to achieve, produce, develop, and keep moving forward. When we think we’re ready to give up, or we just don’t know how to start, our self-motivation is what gets (and keeps) us going.
You have to take personal responsibility to heal yourself and enhance your well-being by making a commitment to live a “healthy lifestyle.
Your health is your responsibility. You are the only person who can make the lifestyle decisions that contribute to your well-being. You are the one who must take the steps to preserve your health and promote your wellness. Only you have the power to create wellness for yourself.
As a healthy lifestyle writer I have often said that smoking, poor nutrition, and lack of physical activity as well as other lifestyle factors are contributors to heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, and premature death. The truth is many illnesses could be avoided if people knew how to live in a healthy way.
The feeling that we are victims of circumstances, that we have no choice but to accept our lot in life, leaves us feeling helpless, hopeless, and depressed. But you don’t have to accept ill health you just have to actively begin to improve your lifestyle.
Many of you find yourself stressed, unfit, overweight, lacking energy, and know you need to implement healthy eating and exercise behavioural changes. You also know what needs to be done yet you know the probabilities are you’ll fail to succeed. You’ll find lots of reasons for this, all your work and family responsibilities, your lack of time and work
One day, I took a long, hard look in the mirror. What I saw made me realize if I didn’t begin focusing on my own health, there would be no future. I knew I had to change my life drastically if I was going to maintain an active relationship with my kids, grandkids, and get the chance to see them all develop, as well as any new members of my family.
“You don’t have to accept that aging is synonymous with declining health, or that becoming a shadow of your former self is a reluctant rite of passage.” Jeffry S. Life
I’m here to tell you that as you age, you don’t have to get old. Instead, you can get better. Study after study shows that the right lifestyle interventions can eliminate, prevent, delay, or even reverse aging and age-related diseases. But you have to adopt a healthy lifestyle if you want to experience healthy living.
Lifestyle changes can dramatically improve your health and slow the aging process. You have to take charge of your own health, become better informed, and implement a healthy lifestyle and keep it for life.
By taking responsibility for your own health now, you can achieve a good quality of life as you age. Every day the lifestyle choices you make—such as the foods you eat, amount of sleep you get, the exercise you do, the relaxation methods you utilise, the positive thoughts you have, the things you do which bring ‘meaning’ to your life, are determining your health right now, and will into the future.
Achieving wellness through self-management is a continuing series of small steps, taken one day at a time. Since wellness isn’t going to happen in a day, make a commitment to continue discovering the most appropriate methods and actions for you.
Promise to make healthy choices every day that will take you further along the path to enjoying wellness.
Start working on your lifestyle so you can get back to health, back to living. Focus on your own self-management!
Don’t wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful. Mark Victor Hansen