A friend of mine, Taylor, is a nurse. When I saw her recently, I asked her about the challenges and rewards of his chosen profession. I assumed that, given the problems in our health care system, she may have issues with under-staffing, regulations or hospital politics. What she told me took me by surprise.
Taylor shared, “There are day-to-day aggravations. Even so, I love my job. My biggest challenge is when a patient and their family members repeatedly call on me and the medical team to provide the patient with the very best care..right now. Right this minute. ‘Who is the best in this field?’ and ‘Where is the surgeon, and why haven’t we heard from her yet?’ and ‘We called for fresh ice 5 minutes ago!’ I understand the frustration and fear. However, so often the patient is someone who has neglected their health in the most basic ways for years, maybe decades. Now, everything has to happen at once and is my responsibility. We are doing the best we can. Not everything is an emergency, and we are required to triage. It’s disheartening when people don’t take any responsibility for their own health.”
All of us will be faced with health crises…our own and others’. Certainly, we want the very best care when we are dealing with them. We can do better when it comes to taking care of ourselves in the meantime.
Do you know someone – maybe it’s YOU – who is sacrificing their health for their business? Hitting the drive-thru for a another junk-food lunch, because you’re in a hurry? Skipping the gym…again. Indulging in too many sweets. Before you find yourself in a health crisis, you might make a few changes now…
- Watch a few food and food industry documentaries. On Netflix, look for Forks Over Knives, Food, Inc. and What The Health. Food is our most powerful medicine. We can do better.
- Consider Yoga. While Yoga can be a spiritual practice, people of all beliefs and religious affiliations have found peace, flexibility and strength through regular practice. Bonus! You can do Yoga anywhere with a book – like, – or a nifty app.
- Keep moving. Hurray for standing desks. That’s a move in the right direction. And fitness apps and bracelets. Make it easy and go for a walk, around the building or down the street, for 5 minutes an hour. Leave your phone behind when you do.
- Drink water, not soda. Get real about how much alcohol you drink?
- Smoking? It may be time for a new path to smoke free.
- Dust off a workout video – you probably still have a few classics from the ’80s. #letsgetphysical
And even if you take amazing care of yourself and your health, at some point, a health crisis can strike. Maybe I – maybe you – will be faced with hospitalization. It may be an emergency situation, like an accident or trauma. Or it could be age catching us by surprise. Life is, after all, a gravity sport.
Bottom line, we are ultimately responsible for our own health and wellness. I also know this for sure: Every time I have been sick or injured, the path to recovery has been one of personal growth. I’ve learned humility. I’ve discovered a deep appreciation for my body’s capacity and ability to heal. I’ve become a better athlete. Case in point, about 30 years ago I snapped my ACL in a skiing accident. I never had it surgically repaired, however I did become a more present and balanced skiier. A few weeks ago I was stunned to learn that I have arthritis in my hips. Sure, they are a little sore. However I am a long distance runner and I pride myself on my physical fitness. I was initially in denial about the doctors’ assessments. Now, I am accepting that, damn it, life gets lifey and no one is immune to the ravages of time on the planet. I am going to have to make some changes in my lifestyle. I’m looking at all my options, a specialized diet, stem cell therapy, vitamins and supplements, and a new approach to working out. I’m committing to more yoga, less running, and maybe it’s time to buy a cool bike.
There will be some amazing rainbows on the next phase of my journey, I just know it. I probably will need some professional help, and I hope to be kind and grateful as I recieve it. I also know I have a lot of people depending on me. It’s important that I recover and take these lessons to heart, and to my business.
Bottom line: It’s easy to sacrifice your health for your business. In the long run, that will cost you. You could lose your hard earned wealth trying to recapture some glimmer of health. I encourage you to prioritize your health and fitness. That way, you – and I – will have a head start on recovering and learning from the unexpected rock in the road.
Comments? Tips? Let’s hear ’em!
“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.”