It's Been A Sick Year; Next Year Doesn't Have To Be
The first time I remember trying to make healthier habits was when I was in seventh grade. I decided that my breakfast of toaster pastries wasn’t a smart choice. I haven’t eaten them since. That was also when I realized I was living a fairly a sedentary lifestyle and started exercising outside of gym class.
No wonder I became a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, then, right?
In the years since, my diet has changed and my exercise has changed, but so have other aspects of my health.
At the time, I didn’t think about social health, spiritual health, or mental-emotional health. But, now, I know that these are equally as important.
In 2015, I decided to work on my mental-emotional health. I started seeing a free counselor and set keeping a gratitude journal as my 2016 New Year’s Resolution. I successfully wrote in it daily, always listing at least 5 things I was grateful for that day, sometimes listing several dozen.
My 2017 New Year’s Resolution focused on my financial “health” but I continued writing in my gratitude journal.
As 2018 approaches, I have a lot of health goals in mind.
I’ve been sick a LOT in 2017. I received outpatient treatment for thrush, a fungal skin infection, a Staph skin infection, and bronchitis. Additionally, I spent 6 days inpatient receiving treatment for a combination of diagnoses. I attribute my repeated illnesses to poor overall health.
Yes, I’m a dietitian. But having healthy meals (like the one above) doesn’t mean I’m healthy.
I eat healthier than some humans, but nutrition is just part of physical health. And physical health isn’t the only aspect of health.
Being a dietitian doesn’t mean I’m healthier mentally, emotionally, spiritually, or socially.
And, I believe that having poor mental, emotional, spiritual, and social health contributed to my poor physical health this year.
Think about it; mental and emotional stress puts a strain on your physical health.
When I’m stressed and anxious, I sleep less. I’m also more likely to reach for a second or third dessert. Sleeping less and eating less nutritious foods likely contributed to my increased susceptibility for sickness.
Long story short, I want to improve my health, but I don’t know yet what my 2018 New Year’s Resolution will be.
I do know that changing my health doesn’t have to be something I face alone. In fact, making changes is often done better together with other people.
So, over the last five weeks of the year, we will look at possible health resolutions to make for 2018 from the five different areas of health: Physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and social.
Have you thought about your resolution yet? If so, what are you planning to work on?