How often have you heard the phrase “You’re no good to anyone, including yourself, if your tank is on empty.” or something similar to that? Well, guess what, it’s true! If you want to live a full, healthy, life that includes the strength and energy to persevere through difficult times in your life, then you can’t allow yourself to run on empty.
The first step to living a full, healthy, life is to understand that you need to make YOU, your number one priority. I know that you may think, or other people may tell you, that putting yourself first is a selfish act. It’s not. In fact, it is the exact opposite. It is the most unselfish thing you can do for you and your loved ones. Putting yourself first is not about self-importance and total disregard for others. It is about taking care of your health, mental and spiritual needs first so that you are strong enough to face challenges in your life and to be strong enough to support others during any life challenges that they may face.
Here are the 3 major needs that must be filled to keep you healthy and strong:
Health & Fitness: It is well known that regular exercise reduces health risks, so get outside and do something physical. Find time to ride a bike, take a walk or go to the gym. Nutrition also plays a big part in reducing health risks. This is not about crashing dieting. Just be mindful of what you are putting into your body. Try to incorporate lots of fruit, vegetables and protein into your everyday meal plan. Also, make sure you are getting the proper amount of sleep each night. A regular sleep pattern is key in order for your body to function properly.
Mental Health: Your mental health is just as important as your physical and nutritional health. You should have a good support system in place; one that includes family and friends that provide encouragement and bring light into your life. Learn to set healthy boundaries that include saying no once in a while. By mastering your mental health, you will be better equipped to handle any challenges that may come your way. You will be strong enough to know that with every setback there is a solution. Improving your mental health reduces the risk of depression, high blood pressure, ulcers and anxiety.
Spiritual Health: Spirituality is about seeking a meaningful connection with something bigger than yourself. For some spirituality means a connection with God or a higher power. For others it means connection with nature or a renewal of your soul. Spirituality opens you up to living a life of meaning and purpose. It can provide you with harmony and happiness and leave you with feelings of peace, contentment and gratitude. Whatever way you connect with your spiritual self, make it a daily part of your life. Start and end your day in meditation or prayer.