“What does healthy mean to you?” Health is different to each of us. It’s a very subjective term.
“Getting my ten thousand steps. The absence of pain or illness. Having the energy to do what I want. Fully functioning body organs. Eating right.” These are some of the answers I have heard.
In the midst of writing this article, my 89 year old aunt arrived after driving a few hours to my home. During our visit I asked her, “What does healthy mean to you, Tess?” She answered, “Well, it means changing from sadness to happiness.” I said, “Tell me more about that.” She explained, “Health makes you want to do more things you couldn’t have done when you were unhealthy. You can do what makes you happy.”
Not an expected answer, is it? Thank you, Aunt Tessie. You said it better than I ever could.
Health is a means, not an end. If we heeded all the articles and ads we come across that give advice about what we “should” and “shouldn’t” be doing for optimal health, we would never come to the end of what others say should be improved. Our health is a personal thing.
We want to be healthy to experience life the way we want. Let’s start there and keep it as simple as possible. Instead of seeing a potentially long road to some state of perfection, begin with the next logical step. What should be balanced or improved first?
Want to regain your energy? What one step can you take today to have more energy? You already know the answer. Make a plan and get some help to see it through.
Want to be able to more easily play and move with your young child? Start there. What would take you one step closer to living that vision? Take that step for your health. Then do it more consistently.
Define what health means to you and what you wish to experience for happiness. Then explore ways to attain that state. What is already within your reach? What is the next step you can take towards that? If life closes one door due to a health challenge, consider what IS possible. Once you have a plan, decide who can help you and keep you accountable for taking action.