I have been talking about self care, along with healthy habits quite a bit recently in my blog posts. It has primarily been in general terms, but today I wanted to share more from a personal level.
Prioritizing Self Care Changed My Life
Somewhere around 5 or so years ago, it had gotten to the point where I could not walk up a set of stairs normally. I literally had to take a step up with my right leg and then pull my left leg up to rest of the same step. Repeat this over and over until I had made it up the flight of stairs.
Even just regular walking was getting more and more uncomfortable.
This would be my life going forward. I was bemoaning the situation while getting my hair cut one day when a friend overheard and suggested a massage therapist.
I decided to take action. I also had several friends who visited chiropractors. In for a penny, in for a pound.
I began with the chiropractor who after Xrays informed me that there was a big difference between the length of my legs. We started with 2 – 3 visits a week and even just one adjustment I could feel some improvement.
I also began visiting the recommended massage therapist a couple of times a month. She also recommended several regular exercise movements to make as daily habits. I also tried to get on my foam roller a few minutes every day too. (If you haven’t ever used a foam roller, it hurts, especially when you have a lot of trigger points like me.)
It wasn’t easy or fast, but after about 6 – 9 months I was able to go up a flight of stairs normally and without pain.
The Why and the How
Apparently, I have a pretty significant level of Myofascial Pain Syndrome. Maybe it has been caused by the difference in the length of my legs, which the doctor suspects was caused by injury somewhere along the line. Who knows for sure. But I get knots and more knots in my muscles which cause tender areas and eventually pain in even unrelated areas of my body.
Today I am no longer going to the chiropractor, but am still visiting the massage therapist on a regular basis as well as my foam roller. I have found that if don’t continue these healthier habits then the pain in my lower leg will come back.
I was able to reclaim my mobility by seeking professional help and forming habits that would make a difference in my health. So that’s my personal story about one instance of taking a stand and refusing to accept the direction my body was going.
Why I Believe Healthy Habits are Critical
I watched my Mom gradually go downhill primarily because she wouldn’t make the effort to implement good habits and improve her overall well-being. Her neck started bothering her and it finally got to the point that we would be talking to the top of her head. Instead, of trying to figure out a solution, her response was simply, “Getting old is hell!”
Well getting old is no picnic, but I believe by trying to maintain a healthier lifestyle you can enjoy your later years more than simply enduring.
I am now watching my husband go through many of the same behaviors. He is not at a healthy weight and doesn’t practice healthy eating. Doctor, after doctor has, has told him he needs to get more physical activity. He does what he wants to do which is often not what leads to better overall health.
My Personal To-Do List of Habits
After watching two people who I love do the same things as they aged I am determined to be different. I believe with all my heart that practicing self-love and making even just one good habit stick can be life-changing. The old saying that you are only as old as you feel can become a reality if you back it up with great habits.
So here is my personal list of Good Habits to bring into my daily life:
- Eat more healthy foods to aid my quest to lose weight. I am eating much more plant-based now.
- Get more sleep to improve my mental health
- Go outside and get some fresh air regularly to reduce stress
- Spend time with friends and family for a better work-life balance
Those are my primary intentions to move toward better health. Next up is a list of habits for you to consider for your own health.
Suggestions for Good Habits
What works for everyone is different, but here are some great tips for bringing more self-care and healthy habits into your life. If you are feeling overwhelmed right now maybe just pick one or two great habits to start. The key then is to stay focused and make those habits stick.
- Start the day with a healthy breakfast
- Limit the time you spend on social media accounts. Switch that to time spent with a family member.
- Try to reduce junk food and artificial sweeteners in your diet.
- Try and replace some bad habits with new habits that will actually result in better health for you.
- Focus on more sleep and more exercise for more energy.
Change Your Life
I hope my personal story here has given you some motivation to change your life if needed. You don’t have to be like my Mom and my husband. You don’t have to simply accept health issues that pop up as you age.
By being proactive I have improved my skin, my mobility and my mental awareness. I certainly haven’t met all of my goals but I am convinced that a great many people think there are things you have to accept as you age when that is not necessarily true.
You can do it too! I believe in you.
Want to stay in the loop? Sign up for our newsletter.
2 thoughts on “My Personal Story of Why Self Care is a Healthy Habit!”
Thanks for this Susan. I feel the same way. My story is different though – I had a great role model. My dad did physical labor most of his life – welding, installing and fixing water wells, a mechanic of anything on wheels. He always said to not ever say you are old. His theory was that once you say it out loud, you start believing it. So I never say it. He passed away at 93, and up until a year before that, he was still climbing windmills to repair them, and working every day. Hang in there – and NEVER say you are getting old!!! LOL Gayle Harris
Gayle, Thanks so much for responding and for sharing your story as well. I totally agree!! I am fighting against that “march of time” with everything I’ve got. At the very least, I want to be aging gracefully!! Rock on sister!!! Susan