Doing Life Together

SmallerIs your life a great adventure or are you just trying to survive the day? Be honest. When it comes to everyday living, most of us would opt for more adventure and less boredom. We waste too much time fretting about things we can’t control and being distracted by the unimportant. The result is a gnawing restlessness and awareness that there is more to life than simply existing.

This is because God wants us to enjoy our lives, not waste them by obsessing on our thighs, wishing we were married to Brat Pitt or hoping to win the lottery even though we don’t play it! He wants our lives full of purpose and meaning, while resting in Him.

So how can we, as the Apostle Paul admonishes, be content but also embrace life to the fullest? Recently, I sat in a mental health training session in which the leaders were trying to help us to this end. The chosen path was through eastern meditation–not exactly my cup of green tea since it was incompatible with my Christian faith. So I decided to concentrate less on my naval and more on those essentials that really do lead to an enjoyable life. Those essentials involve our whole person.

Despite volumes of research that connect the physical body to our mental, emotional and even spiritual states, we simply don’t do what we need to do in order to improve our chances of enjoying life. Yet, physical self-care results in improved living. Here are four areas to consider in terms of self-care.

  • Are you getting enough sleep? This finding will cause you to reconsider how much sleep you get every night. Women who sleep five or less hours a night, weigh more than those who sleep seven hours. That’s right. The lack of sleep can make you fat! It also makes you irritable! The average person needs six to eight hours of sleep each night. For most of us, adhering to this guideline will take some work but if we make it a priority, the pay off is big.
  • Are you eating a healthy diet and eating at regular intervals a day? As a health and wellness expert, I know most of you know what to eat but don’t do it. We must look at why we eat. This is the subject of my book, Press Pause Before You Eat. Getting at the why of eating will help you take control over food rather than food controlling you. So if you want to say goodbye to mindless eating and hello to the joy of eating, follow the prescriptions offered in my book—slow down, think about what and why you eat, and be intentional.
  • Are you exercising regularly? None of us has time unless we make exercise a priority. I only exercise regularly because I am a grown up. Honestly, I hate exercise, but I do know the multitude of benefits associated with exercise—mood elevation, improved immune system, weight maintenance, better sleep and even better sex! No excuses! Find a simple way to get exercise into your daily routine—play outdoor games with your kids, take the stairs instead of the elevator, walk your pet, march in front of the TV, etc.
  • Are you accepting the physical changes that come with age? Whether it is the anxiety of puberty, the uncertainty of pregnancy or the dread of menopause, embrace your body and stop expecting it to be forever 21. Our bodies change. Consider the waist-it thickens before puberty, thins during puberty, expands during pregnancy and thickens again during menopause. This is normal and we need acceptance rather than angst.


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