top of page

Here’s to Health

by Nurse Jill

Nurse Jill article for Park County Community Journal

For those of us older than 30, it’s hard to believe that the year is ‘already’ 2024. Only 5 years from the futuristic Terminator setting and almost a solid ten years after the technologically progressive setting of Back to the Future II. We’re a far cry from where Hollywood thought we might be close to a quarter century into the 2000s.

Are you a far cry from where you thought you would be in 2024? Are you plagued by “shoulda,” “woulda,” “coulda?” Are you hoping for a new you in the new year?

As humans it seems that we are always battling degeneration–physically, mentally, and emotionally.The older we get the more there is to handle and keep up with in our daily circumstances. It is inevitable that something is going to give and a lot of times it is our physical (and mental) wellbeing that gets put on the back burner. Life seems to demand that we put aside what is truly important to us and disregards our boundaries.

Find your "Why". In order to make health a priority you have to find your "Why". What in your life is your reason for wanting better health? Is it a person? Is it an activity that you miss doing? Is it just for you to feel better and function better? Frame a picture of your "Why" where you can see it. Write it on a paper and post it at the front door. Put a sticky note on the remote to remind you why you’re making hard choices now in order to be better later.

Sit down and evaluate your commitments. After work, family, and friends where does your health fit into the equation? What do need to be able to stay (or get) healthy? 20 minutes a day? 30 minutes a day? How will you carve that out? Every day? Three days a week?

Start small. 20 minutes a day is much easier to put a boundary around than 60 or even 30 minutes a day. Put it in your calendar each week for every day or at least three days a week to start. Treat it like you treat your job. Practice saying, “Sorry, I’m busy at that time. What other time would work for you?” Even 20 minutes a day is going to be a fantastic bump to your health both mentally and physically.

Talk to your doctor. If you haven’t been exercising much or have chronic conditions that make exercising difficult then a chat with your doctor will make sure that you don’t injure yourself or worsen any conditions that may be sensitive to physical exertion.

Just get up. It is so very difficult to get up in the morning and take care of you. It is difficult to get up after work once you’ve sat down. Especially if you haven’t built a habit for caring for yourself it is challenging to do something different in order to work towards the “new you.” However, if you don’t do it now it will be that much harder tomorrow. And while you may feel that you’re doing “ok” right now, not doing little things for your health can actually turn into big complications if you get ill or injured. Just like you wouldn’t leave a hole in your roof because it doesn’t rain much in the summer you shouldn’t leave your health unattended just because you’re not facing illness or injury in the current moment.

Even just 20 minutes a day can not only help decrease the risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity but can actually increase your creativity, mood, and sleep quality. If you are already dealing with high blood pressure, diabetes, or obesity then that 20 minutes of stepping out can aid your current treatment plan to be more effective.

Find a friend. A promenade pal on your walks or a lunch buddy for healthy eating can give you the needed boost to make a positive change. Find someone to call when you’re walking that can keep you accountable in your health endeavors. Find someone to go say hello to when on your walk. There are even smartphone apps that you can download to help keep you on the road to improvement.

Focus on success. You don’t have to drop 50 pounds by tomorrow or even by the end of the month. Focus on what you can accomplish. You went for a 20 minute walk–success. You smoked one less cigarette per day for a week–success. You only had one small sweet treat today– success. Focus on your successes and then build on them. Once you start making the small goals you can use those as stepping stones for the large goals. Fifty pounds by the end of the year. Quitting smoking by 2025. Walking every day by summer. The difference between failure and success is merely persistence and the knowledge that you CAN.

People often feel that it’s all or nothing in health but even little bits of positive change can make a bigger difference than you realize. So find a "Why" and make a plan, just get up, grab a friend, and start doing something, however small it is. Here’s to the new year and here’s to you!


Commenting has been turned off.
bottom of page