Self-care ... are you proactive or reactive?

Self-care … are you proactive or reactive?

We all manage our health in one way or another; you are either proactive, invested daily and take preventive measures - or, you are reactive due to an illness, injury, circumstance, condition or diagnosis. I teach my clients, friends and family that being a proactive consumer is far cheaper and easier than the latter. I understand that shit happens sometimes and there are certain things that are far beyond our control; however, I know people who take better care of their car than they do their health. Don't get me wrong, I take really good care of my personal belongings but my overall health and well-being (all aspects - physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, social) should be a priority. If we aren't "ok" in all of these areas, then something is going to give (and trust me, something will give). If you don’t have all aspects of your overall health and well-being in check on a regular and consistent basis then when something tragic or unexpected happens in your life, it will not only affect you but your loved ones and those around you as well.

I have worked extremely hard for 25 years and have experienced lots of ups and downs in my life. The older I get the more I realize that nothing is guaranteed (besides wrinkles and taxes) and that every day is a blessing. I read something recently that really stuck with me - "God created it, Jesus died for it, the Spirit lives in it, so I better take care of it!" Whether you are a believer or not, the reality is the same, we have one body and two options; take care of it or don’t.

I work in healthcare as an educated, experienced and successful wellness consultant and health coach and have experienced a lot in my professional career as well as my personal life. I've lost close family members, said goodbye to good friends far too early in life, I have been abused and put down, I've suffered through personal injuries, I've been through divorce, was a single mom, have lived the second half of my life with no family close by, I have worked for awesome employers and I have worked for extremely toxic employers - BUT, I have overcome. Was it all easy, heck no, it took lots of hard work and perseverance and still does. So what's my point? We all have life experiences and stories, some good and some not so good. My point is, all areas of our life need to be worked on and nurtured every single day, kind of like a car. Here I go with the car bit again. If you don't change the oil in your car on a regular basis, your engine will suffer. If you don't change out the tires, your safety will be compromised. If you don't wash and polish the outside, it won't look shiny and clean and will eventually tarnish and rust. If you don't take care of the inside, it will start to collect dust and garbage and will eventually look and feel very dirty and dingy, and so on - which is just like our bodies. Self-care and maintenance are vital to our overall health and well-being. We need to be maintained and loved just like our cars.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), seven out of 10 U.S. deaths are caused by chronic disease, while roughly half of the country's population has been diagnosed with a chronic illness, including heart disease, cancer, diabetes, AIDS, or other conditions classified by the medical community as preventable. Preventable! None of us are exempt from disease or tragedy, that’s a harsh reality; however, we do have control over how we take care of and nourish our bodies, internally and externally, on a daily basis. We aren’t perfect and never will be and that’s ok but the more proactive we are, the better. I have a long way to go, I'm a daily work in progress, we all are. But if statistics prove that preventive care works then why in the world would we not do everything in our power to take care of what gives us life; our mind, body and soul!