Let me start this off by saying that I’m not using this post to tell you how to be healthy and I’m not giving any tips on how to lose weight. If that is what you are looking for, you won’t find it here. What I am talking about it is what I’m doing to make sure that I take care of myself first.
2020 has been a difficult year, nobody can deny that. With this difficult year, a lot of us have had to really get grounded in what we believe is important. For me, one thing has been my overall health. I started the year off not drinking and being impatient to get back to working out hard to get back to a specific weight. I was kind of working on my mental and emotional health, but not giving the effort I really wanted to. I wanted to start my new job off right and I did.
But then COVID hit and life was turned upside down. Our society has been turned upside down. No, I’m not getting into politics here, you won’t ever find me doing that. But there have been a lot of emotional events for all members of our society, but primarily specific demographics. These events have also slapped a lot of people in the face who thought they were one way but quickly learned that all is not what it seemed. Throughout this year, there have been a lot of hard topics that have no longer been able to be hidden. There is a lot of divisiveness. It is depressing. In fact, a lot more people have been battling depression. But you already know this. It’s all over everything.
The question is, how does a person protect their health throughout this year, this divisiveness, these challenges facing our country, our communities, our families, and our friends? There is no one simple answer that will apply to every one of us. I also don’t think there is one answer. I personally believe that what it looks like to protect our health today will look different from tomorrow and the next day, next week, next month, next everything. What I will share with you is how I am trying to protect my health and how my husband and I are working together on it.
First things first, we, my husband and I, are very cautious about who we are around and where we go. We ask a lot of questions and decline a lot of things. We were getting more comfortable when the state’s positive test rate was on a very good decline. But then the cases started climbing. Drastically. The cases here are higher than when everything first shutdown in March. We have buttoned down the hatches and see people less. We do not do group things. We don’t do any shopping in person except for groceries. We don’t go to restaurants. We haven’t considered going to any public attraction. We question our friends and family about where they’ve been and who they have been around. We typically go home for Christmas for a week and are probably not doing that. From what we know, we are more strict about our contact than anybody we know.
For a lot of people, this sounds like hell. For us, this is how we are protecting ourselves and the few others we do see. We are protecting our health.
I am getting more and more strict about what I consume. I pretty much won’t read or listen to any news. I scroll social media less and less and when I do, I am very picky about whose posts I’ll actually read. I am an empath and I get stressed by what is going on in the world extremely easy. If I can’t control it and it is not positive, then I don’t consume it. My husband says that I can’t keep my head in the sand forever and I agree, but I can take what I need to know and leave the rest.
I allowed myself to start drinking again, but have restricted that again. Actually, I don’t like the word restricted. I’m not restricting myself. If I want a drink, I can have it. But, I’m choosing to remove things from my diet that can and will elevate my cortisol. This includes sugar. Both are drastically limited.
I’m making sure that I move my body at least 30 minutes a day. No, I’m not trying to lose weight. In fact, I’m working to love myself as I am instead of pushing my body to be some societally idealized weight. I move because it is good for all of me, especially my brain and my back.
I’m reading and consuming personal and professional development. I’m eating more for brain health than for a specific diet. If I want a big slice of cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory because my PMS cravings are impossible to qwell, well, I’m getting that cheesecake.
I’m taking care of all of me and I’m not punishing myself or pushing myself to unrealistic extremes. I’m not trying to be perfect. I am focusing on what my mind and body needs so I can be the best me, the best wife, and the best project manager I can be. I have learned to piss people off or be an asshole because I invited you over for dinner but you were around people I didn’t know and I didn’t feel confident in where they’ve been. I’m learning how to protect myself before giving everything to everybody else.
It didn’t happen all at once and trust me, I am not perfect in protecting my health. What matters to me is that I am taking care of myself and I am doing it in collaboration with my husband. This year has been hell and unlike a lot of people, I don’t think 2021 will be any easier. As long as we take care of ourselves, we can make it through this unrest and pandemic. Take care of you. Protect your health first.