What comes to mind when you hear the word “health”? Most likely, you think of health in terms of your physical well-being. Specifically, what you’re eating or not eating (cauliflower v. confection) , and what you’re doing or not doing (exercise v. exhaustion).
No guilt here. I want you to think broadly about this term and what it really means on a figurative, not literal scale.
A current counseling paradigm offers the BIOPSYCHOSOCIOLSPIRITUAL Model for health and well-being. What exactly does this mean? Let’s look at this term and break it down into individual sections.
Your body. How do you care for your physical body? You have only been given one body.
Although this is stating the obvious, the point is this: Only you can take care of you. A new habit can be formed today. Start the process now before age and lack of proactivity take a toll.
Do you get enough sleep? Enough cardio? Enough vegetables, lean protein, and fruit? If so, the weight and body image will fall into place.
Taking care of your body doesn’t happen by default.
Your mind. How do you care for your thought process? You have only been given one mind.
I used to think that thoughts were not within one’s control. Personal experience and a graduate degree later, this is not the case (exceptions are made for certain types of mental illness). How do you interpret your past experiences? Your present experiences? Does your way of thinking put you in a “good” place emotionally or a “not so good” place? You can learn to pay attention to your self talk and make sure you are believing truth instead of lies. Believing a lie of some sort almost always gets us into emotional upheaval.
Taking care of your mind doesn’t happen by default.
Your support system. How do you care for your relationships? Your marriage? Your family? Your sphere of influence?
Are you taking ownership of your part of the relationship? No, not what the OTHER person does or doesn’t do, but only what is within your control? This is a sticky issue, particularly when conflict, crisis, confusion, and unhealthy communication are involved. If so, add a life coach, therapist, or pastor as part of your support network if needed.
If you need to walk through confession, do it.
If you need to offer forgiveness to let yourself off the hook, do it.
If you need to be a friend to someone in crisis, do it.
If you need to confront someone due to a difficult situation, do it. And do it in love.
If you need to learn skills for communicating and listening better to those in your close inner circle of life, do it.
Tell your spouse you love him or her. Tell your children you love them. And do it often.
Taking care of your relationships doesn’t happen by default.
Your soul. How do you care for your soul?
Even if you claim you are not a spiritual person, per se, then I ask this question: What do you worship? You will worship someone, something, or yourself. And, if it hasn’t happened yet, eventually your soul will be sold out to a cause that has no long term satisfaction or peace.
Also feed your soul with healthy, good hobbies, skills, and things that bring enjoyment. For example, my list includes reading, writing, studying, time with family, sunshine. Sunshine. Sunshine. Sunshine…..Food for my soul that hasn’t arrived yet.
Take care of the totality of YOU. You are one of a kind (Psalm 139). You are a work in progress (2 Corinthians 3:18).
You are writing the pages of your life story with each day that passes. And the decisions you make today will not only benefit you, but those around you as well.
Taking care of yourself doesn’t happen by default. Start today. There’s strength for the journey. Take heart. Take hope.