The beginning of spring is when most people awaken from the winter doldrums. They have been caught up with all the winter activity that usually plagues the majority of us. It is now time to begin thinking about breaking out of the cocoon that has kept us wrapped up tight for so many months.
The end of summer leads most of us to begin thinking about the approaching holiday season, and for many of us—football. The lingering heat of those hot summer months begins to fade away. The days shorten and we know that it’s only a matter of time when green will fade to brown. Cold rain will begin falling from the sky, and, for a large part of the country, snow will slowly pile up as winter wraps its frozen arms around us.
Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and, finally, New Years taxes our very existence. We then get to take a deep breath for a few months, roused only a couple of times during our much needed recovery period. It’s such a pleasure to have the new year begin with shorter days and longer nights that allows us a type of hibernation—a time of recovery from all that holiday activity.
Then, along comes St. Patrick’s Day. Even though I am not Irish, I believe that day is the day that begins our awakening process. Spring is less than a week away. The days begin to grow longer. It’s time to really think about getting up and out—up off the couch and out the door. It’s now time to think about taking care of yourself.
Most of us slack off during the winter months. It all begins with the end of summer, but winter is when healthy activity takes a real beating. We cut back on our physical activity. And, those holiday meals really put a damper on healthy eating. We tend to drink too much, eat too much, and sit too much. It’s now time to, once again, get back into the routine of taking care of ourselves.
We really shouldn’t be at this point. We should have stayed focused on taking care of ourselves, even during those winter months. But, the majority of us thinks that taking a little time off now and then can’t really hurt anything. That kind of thinking is okay at 20, but really takes its toll at 50 or 60. At 20 or 30 it’s easy to get back into the routine of exercise and healthy eating. By the time 40 rolls around we had better be well focused on healthy living, because when 50 and 60 hits it might be too late to change the bad habits we’ve acquired.
You’re probably wondering how what I’ve been saying relates to the title at the beginning of all this. At this point it doesn’t. Give me a minute and I’ll see if I can’t link the two together. It might take a little doing, so stay with me.
The coming of spring is when you should begin thinking about yourself. Actually, you should think this way daily all year long, but based on what I said earlier I’ll stick with spring thinking. Now is the time to think about how you are going to improve your life through healthy living. When I say healthy living I mean mind and body.
Think of your body as a temple. The mind is the master of that temple. Together they can work wonders. If the body needs to heal, the mind can help in that process, but only if the body has the proper nourishment and the mind has positive thoughts. This is the holistic approach to healthy living. And, this approach to life begins with “ME.” The me is you, and you must consider taking care of yourself before you can care for anything else around you.
I mention all this because during my travels I see so many people that are harming themselves by succumbing to the unhealthy lifestyles that are prevalent throughout our culture. Fast food, drugs, alcohol, tobacco, television, lack of exercise, junk food, the list goes on and on. It’s so easy to grab something to eat on the go, or to justify spending every evening in front of the television because we need to relax from the stressful day at work we had. Once we get into that sort of routine it’s very difficult to break it. As the body gets lazy, the mind gets lazier.
We need a balance in life. Everything in moderation. Too much of any one thing can lead to the kinds of results that you want to avoid. At all times we should be striving to reach a point where happiness prevails. I’m not saying you need to go around with a perpetual smile on your face, but you should be looking for the pleasant side of all that you encounter. That helps the mind keep the body healthy. Happy, healthy thoughts leads to a happy, healthy body. Healthy eating, along with moderate exercise, allows the body to maintain its health, and that physical health allows the mind to foster healthy, happy thoughts.
And, it all begins with “ME.” Even the first responder thinks of keeping themselves safe first before they help others. If the oxygen mask falls from the ceiling of the airliner you’re on you’re instructed to don yours before assisting your child, or anyone around you, with theirs. You can’t help others if you don’t care for yourself first—both mind and body.
All of this sounds a little bit selfish, and maybe it is, but if you put your own well being somewhere in the back of your mind, then you will most likely not reach that point where you can change those bad habits that got you there. Long life grows from healthy living. Healthy living starts with thinking of yourself first. So, remember—It’s All About Me.