BlogCoping with IllnessSelf-Care

Self-Care 101: Do One Healthy Thing

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Do one healthy thing. This is not a new topic for me.  I have written about it in other ways, on other days.  But I keep hearing the theme–in sessions, in online discussions, with friends and family–of feeling like the process of making healthy choices is too big, too overwhelming, too much.  Often, healthy choices involve change.  Sometimes healthy choices involve a lot of change.  And, I don’t know about you, but I often resist change.

Maybe you are trying to survive with a serious illness, or change your weight, or build healthier relationships, or just trying to feel comfortable in your own skin. Maybe you also have a job to do, a home to clean, kids or a partner to support. And maybe the idea of being pro-active about your physical and mental health feels entirely overwhelming.

If this sounds familiar, then I’m inviting you to try a strategy that I rely on all the time.  Do one healthy thing.  You don’t have to change your entire life.  Just try one thing.  Here’s a short list of some of the ideas I’ve used and suggest to clients:

  • Go for a walk (not a surprise after last week’s post, I know).  You don’t need to walk for miles–even ten or fifteen minutes out in the fresh air can change your day.
  • Take three to five deep breaths.
  • Meditate for five to ten minutes
  • Call or text someone who you can rely on to respond in a caring way.
  • Do a that lengthens your whole body.
  • Add an extra vegetable to your dinner.
  • Cook with friends instead of eating out.
  • Write a letter.
  • Use a journal or blog to explore a situation that made you upset.
  • List several things that make you happy.
  • Schedule something to look forward to.
  • Explore some support options (online groups, psychologists, etc).

Most of the suggestions I have included require a small commitment of time, energy, or other resources.  I did that on purpose.  If you feel lousy, mentally or physically, doing even the small stuff takes a lot of work.

None of these behaviors by themselves will change your life.  But if you can do one healthy thing for yourself every day, then over time you are building a habit.  And positive habits can change your life.

Do you have a “go-to” healthy activity that you turn to when you feel low?  Please share it!

 

Image Credit: Photo by Mrs Logic via Flickr under Creative Commons License

 

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6 comments

  1. Hi Ann –
    I always love your self help posts! One good thing a day is a big step!

  2. I like many of the items on your list. “Eat a piece of fruit” is often the one healthy thing I need to choose. So is “put on your gym clothes.” I always feel so much better after working out, but changing clothes somehow seems to take the most effort to accomplish.

    1. Rachelle,

      That is one reason that I keep a set of workout clothes in the office–to cut down on my barriers to getting it done!

      Warmly,
      Ann

  3. The power of one small step or action is great on moving things forward in self care. I’ve gone so far as to purchase some special workout clothes so I feel a responsibility to use them. And, it also encourages me to get out and move!

  4. A great list of suggestions, Ann

    This makes the idea of self-care much more manageable and less overwhelming 🙂

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