What does it mean to be healthy? Several years ago, if you would’ve asked me that, I probably would’ve responded with something pertaining to what food you’re eating and what your weight is. While those things are certainly a part of health, I’m realizing more and more each day that being healthy involves much more than eating well.
I feel unhealthy. What does that mean? For me, it’s a general sense that something in my life is not in balance. Or maybe multiple somethings. Yep, definitely multiple somethings.
Back in May, I felt a similar discontent with my lifestyle. In an effort to make things better, I made a list in my journal: Steps to a Healthier Lifestyle. This is what I wrote:
- Pray (at least) first thing in the morning and last thing in the day
- Read EVERY DAY
- Practice an art (music, visual art, dance, etc) every day
- Create something artistic (write music, journal, paint, etc) every day
- Floss every day
- Stretch and do push-ups and ab work every day
- Drink the suggested amount of water daily
- Remember to have 1/3 food, 1/3 drink, & 1/3 breathing space (something I learned during Ramadan)
- Spend a significant amount of time each day intentionally listening to something else
- Spend at least 10 minutes each day in silence – sitting, walking, running
This list sounds really nice! I tracked my progress for 3 days only. How do you make these things an enjoyable part of every day life? When I see them in list-form, it looks like things I have to do each day, and that stresses me out!
What do you do when one thing on the list conflicts with another thing? In order to accomplish all of those things, I would never sleep…and sleep is SO understood in my world of healthiness that I didn’t even need to include it on the list! So what ends up getting sacrificed in the end?
For example, let’s take tonight. It’s 9pm. If I want to fulfill my sleep goals, I should be in bed by 10:30pm. In the next hour and a half, I’d like to vacuum the house, do an ab workout, read, hang out with my roommates, work on grad school applications, edit wedding photos, call a few friends, and draw diminished triads and their resolutions on every starting pitch. I’d also like to do nothing at all…giving myself time to de-stress after a long day of work. What takes precendence?
So there you have it, I suppose. I don’t have any answers for you today, ladies and gents…just more questions. I’m on a quest for a healthier lifestyle. I want to eat better, exercise more, read more, spend more time with friends, play more music, dance more, paint more…the list goes on and on. I know I’m not the only young adult struggling with this. So please, commiserate with me, or let me know what works for you! I’m convinced there’s a way.