It is so interesting how the seasons change our behavior. The New Year has always been a time to be better, healthier, and focus on ourselves. Compare that to the “season of giving”. It is during the holiday season that we or so likely to neglect ourselves. We spend countless hours and dollars making sure to get the right gifts for our loved ones, bake cookies for our friends, and setting expectations that could never be met. The result is a level of stress that takes a heavy toll on our health. As a primary care physician, I never stopped a patient’s antidepressant medication in the last 3 months of the year. Rates of depression skyrocket at that time of year. I refer you to the National Institutes of Mental Health for more information.
How is self-care so related to care for others? By committing to placing a high priority on your own health, you will be a better spouse, parent, and friend. How good a listener can your really be when you are exhaused and get 4 hours of sleep each night. What kind of roll model can you be if your snacks consist of a muffin or candy bar?
On the other hand, consider the message you relay to your children when you take to time to be physically fit. Even better, exercise with you kids. Your actions will speak volumes louder than any words could.
So, here are some suggested New Years resolutions to consider (I know it’s past the 1st of the year, but it’s never too late):
- Place a high priority on your own health. By giving yourself this gift, those around you will derive many benefits.
- Make 1 change today to care for yourself. Keep it simple-a five minute walk, have a salad instead of a starch on your supper plate tonight.
- If you are overweight (you are not alone, as 66% of Americans are), try a new plan to lose weight. Choose one that make sense to you.