Out of all of my GROWTH blogs this month, I have to say this one I struggle with the most. I mean, growing physically (as far as weight gain) has NEVER EVER been difficult for me, but trying to be in better shape has been a tough one. I have lost lots of weight before (and gained it all back). I have walked 3 miles on a daily basis--and not walked at all. I have done Yoga, weird exercises and a lot of sitting on the couch! However, I think there is a concept that all of us can continue to follow all our lives and that is to CONTINUE our HEALTHY physical growth. I think since a lot of us have probably already failed at our healthy New Year's resolutions, we need a better perspective about where to go next.
Grow In: How You Eat - No matter what my size has been, I have continued to strive to eat healthy. When I was a kid, I hated all sorts of vegetables. As I grew up, I tried different things, learned how to cook some better and how to enjoy raw veggies too. My husband and I still eat out, but, I always feel better when I can make and have a good balanced meal. I have tried to pay attention as to how certain foods affect me and will always try to be better. I fail a lot, but, I always have another chance to eat right. So I try to do that. I try not to punish myself or over reward myself for when I get it wrong or right. Balance is key in a lot of things, don't you think?
Grow In: How You Move - Here is the struggle. I always have good intentions to just MOVE MORE. I fail all the time at this one. But, I try to keep a child-like faith that I CAN always start! I grew up with a wonderful mom, but she was very self deprecating and unfortunately passed that down to my sisters and I. When I look at my sisters I never see two older, overweight women. I see two beautiful, amazing people that are strong and loving and both gifted in their own ways. I have tried to work on that thought process with myself and accept who I am (and what I look like) and then push myself to move because it's good for my longevity and health--not to look a certain way. No matter how old I get, I know I can always push myself to move physically more. I don't think that I will ever run around my neighborhood, so why feel guilty if I don't? Some things are just not for me to do. But, I can always strive to be a bit better.
Grow In: Preventative Care - This is something that you don't always think of when you are a young adult and that is doing things to prevent health issues in your life later. Maybe you haven't kept up with dental visits, or eye checks because you have never had a lot of cavities or worn glasses before, so why would that ever change?! Maybe you got used to not going to the doctor because you never get sick, then boom you did. The way to keep GROWING in your health is to take charge of what all that means. Keep up with wellness checks and good dental health. Eliminate things that can hurt your body later on. You may think you can party until the cows come home now, but your liver and other parts of your body will begin to show you that you can't. Maybe smoking has always been a fun social thing for you--until it wasn't. Maybe you are a sugar addict and have had no issues, until one day you are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. I am not trying to harp on particular things at all, but, anything that can contribute to the detriment of our lives, is something we need to keep under control and prevent the after effects before they happen. What are some things you can work on NOW so you don't have issues later? Make a decision and then when that is mastered, work on something else.
Grow In: Stress Management - We all will have stress in our lives. Period. It WILL happen. What we need to work on is to find ways to manage that stress that is both healthy and satisfying. When you are a little one, you have a blanket or favorite stuffed animal that might ease your stress. Maybe when your mom or dad sang to you and that would settle you down. But, what worked then, may not work at all now! You need to find what works to relax you now and continue to find things that help you manage your stress as you get older and your body changes. When I was raising 4 kids, had a sick mother, several pets and went through a divorce, I managed things somehow, so when I started feeling more anxiety as an older adult I felt really ill equipped because I had always managed so much worse! I kept feeling like I just needed to "suck it up" because somehow I could handle it. Well, that wasn't working for me. I needed some medical help to manage the stress in my life. I had to eliminate certain things to reduce stress, or come up with new routines in my life to help. Our bodies are always changing and what worked before may not work as well now. Pay attention and do things to keep your stress levels as low as possible. Your heart, your blood pressure and your mind will all treat you better if you do!
Grow In: Rest - When you are a busy adult and there is so much to do, resting is something we think we don't need. We outgrew naps when we were about 5. But, for our minds to function well and our bodies to be healthy and fight off illness, we need some good REST in our lives. When we rest, our bodies work on healing things that need attention. When we rest, our minds have time to relax and remember things we need to remember. When we rest, our energy levels increase so we can be more productive. Just like when we put our kids down for a nap because if they didn't have one they would be little terrors later on, we as adults need that in our lives too. Maybe not a daily nap, but making sure we get to bed at a decent time (consistently). Maybe not thinking about work past a certain time of the day (as much as we can) and making sure we take time for recreational relaxation with our families whenever we can. You can have a restful mindset and still accomplish all the things you need to do and make time for some of the wants, too.
Bottom line is: keep growing in the physical aspect of our lives for all of our lives. Never think we have reached our fullest potential, because there is always something that we can do a little better for our future selves. There is only one YOU and of all the people and things in your life, YOU have the most control over all of your experiences. Treat this wonderful gift of LIFE the best way you can. Your future self will love you for it!
Until Next Time!
Jen Lush--Associate Broker and Mother of Managing Broker