Have you ever really stopped to think about it?
I truly hope you have. I would argue that your health is your most precious asset. Without good health everything else is of less value to you. Your ability to enjoy life is compromised somewhat. If you suffer from ill health, I’m sure you can relate.
Clients come to see me because they want to improve their health. Maybe they are tired, not sleeping, gaining weight, stressed, depressed or anxious, riddled with allergies or sensitivities or just constantly catching every bug that goes around. Does this sound familiar?
Amongst other evaluations, one of the important things I do is examine their diet and lifestyle for clues as to what might be contributing to their current state of health.
Once I have identified those aspects that might be perpetuating their health issues we have to work out how to change them for the better.
It’s fair to say that occasionally I get some pushback!
Sometimes, clients are not prepared to change their routine (even though it is clearly not supporting good health) or perhaps they aren’t prepared to take the herbal or nutritional supplements I prescribe. Working out how to make this happen and convincing my clients of the benefits is all part of being an effective naturopath. However it can be difficult to achieve the outcomes my clients desire if they are not prepared to make the investment in their health.
What’s the reason you are reluctant to invest in your health?
Making an investment in your health generally requires changing something. In my experience, when someone is reluctant to change it often comes down to time, money or skills.
Lack of time
Let’s look at the “time” issue first.
Most of us “don’t have enough time” to do all the things we want to do. Often, it is time to exercise or time to prepare a healthy meal or time to unwind or sleep that is the first thing to go. You find yourself going to bed late, skipping an exercise session to finish work instead, eating fast food or not eating at all.
How often have you said one of these things to yourself?
“I don’t have time to exercise today”
“I don’t have time to go to the supermarket so I’ll just get take away”
“I haven’t got time to cook, I’ll order in.”
“I’ll just finish this task first…then I’ll relax”
Your busy, so taking care of yourself gets pushed down the priority list and the next thing you know, you’re feeling like rubbish and you are stuck in a cycle.
As someone once said (and I wish I could remember who),
“If you don’t have time to look after your health now, I hope you are prepared to lose time to illness later!”
If time is the issue, we need to work on ways to integrate your new health habits into your day. We lower our expectations, start small and make tiny changes. It’s not about turning your day upside down, it’s about being creative. And that’s where I can help. You can do this!
And what about money?
Most of us don’t have enough money for all the things we would like. As such we have to make choices about what we spend our money on. Obviously there are some essentials such as a roof over our heads, food on the table, the kids’ education and clothes on our backs. These are your priorities. But I do hope your health (and that of your family) is also given priority, especially over things that are arguably “non-essential”.
Is cost one of the things preventing you from seeking help with your diet and lifestyle or taking herbal and nutritional supplements to achieve and maintain good health? Yes? Then having a budget so you know exactly where your hard-earned money goes would be really beneficial. (Budgeting is a skill I learned in my many years as an accountant. It can seem daunting but it doesn’t have to be).
Have you stopped to think about the things you happily spend money on? Perhaps they bring happiness now or make life easier in the short-term but is that happiness short-lived and will you still be glad you spent that money in 20 or 30 years’ time?
It fascinates me that some of us will happily spend money on “toys” or, what I would call “superficial” improvements like getting your nails done or your hair coloured but then say that it costs too much to look after your health. I really hope this doesn’t apply to you.
If money is your issue, I encourage you to learn the skill of money management. It could be a real game-changer in helping you achieve your long-term aspirations. It also means we can develop a health plan to fit your budget.
Lack of skills or ability
Not having the right skills to do something is really going to make you resistant to it.
Let’s say I have recommended that you eat more vegetables or fish in your diet. It sounds simple enough but there could be a number of reasons why you don’t do it. Maybe you aren’t in charge of the cooking. Maybe you have to cook for others and they aren’t on board with the changes. Maybe you don’t know how to prepare or cook these foods. If any of this is true there is a good chance you will avoid this recommendation.
If you’ve never done a yoga class before, the thought of going to a yoga studio might be very daunting.
It’s not because you don’t want to, it’s just because you don’t know how…yet!
Skills can be learned and ability can grow. You have to learn to walk before you can run. So, again, that’s where we start. With something so simple you won’t even hesitate to give it a go.
So, is your health worth the investment?
It is not my intention to judge, but as your health advocate it is my job to remind you occasionally of the importance of prioritising your health. Even if you are feeling well now, it is important to make the right choices to stay that way. (If you are wondering if I can help, you can read more about my naturopathic approach here.)