Billy Connolly said it best when he suggested if we want to be healthy we need to “…eat less and move more!” Brilliant!
I have created a short four-part mini-series of blogs/vlogs/podcasts discussing the four pillars of self-care which are:
and I am doing so under the umbrella of POYOOMF – Put On Your Own Oxygen Mask First.
POYOOMF speaks to the absolute prerequisite for those of us that want to contribute, to add value, to be of service to others that we look after ourselves first – you know the drill in an aircraft situation – you are warned to POYOOMF – Put On Your Own Oxygen Mask First so you are capable of remaining well enough to assist others – well POYOOMF is true in every aspect of life my friend.
This is week 1; Health.
Our ability to be of service to others is hindered if we ourselves are unhealthy physically.
And no more than there are four pillars of self-care, there happen to be four pillars of a healthy body,
- Peace of Mind
Billy Connolly speaks the truth – eat less and move more, how simple can it be? it needn’t be any more complicated than that but for some reason it is for many people. You see it’s not about starving yourself – your body needs nutrients to function, so it’s about eating less of the bad stuff and appropriate amounts of the good stuff.
I’m not vegan, nor even vegetarian, but I am more aware than ever that our bodies metabolize that which grows most naturally, so it makes sense that we should incorporate more fruit and veg into our diet more often.
We don’t have to be rocket scientists or medical professionals to realize that a consistent diet of burgers, chips and fizzy drinks (even if they are diet versions of same), yet too many people place taste and convenience higher in their priorities than nutrition too often.
I’m not fanatical about diet; I’m just aware of the need so I choose my foods to give me a balance that works for me; that I am happy with. It includes a fry most weekends and a couple (two – not the Irish meaning of a couple which could easily stretch to 5 or 6) of pints of Guinness on a Friday evening alongside the odd (infrequent, not 3, 5, 7, 9!) glass of red wine with dinner. All in all I eat enough to do the stuff that I want to do and I am comfortable with my 55 year old weight and shape.
Moderation in everything, including moderation itself, serves as a Golden Rule I am happy to live by.
The second pillar of health is Exercise.
None of us is getting any younger – every second draws us inexorably towards the finish line. Our bodies are naturally atrophying, wasting away by the minute as we age and whilst there is nothing we can do to stop the process, we can so something about maintaining our very best physical health for as long as we can.
We must get involved in some form of exercise – a form that works for us and that we can enjoy. Some pump iron, others run, walk, swim, cycle, play sports and a million other physical activities that help them stay alert, and allow them look and feel as young as they can for as long as they can.
I don’t do weights. I used run (42 minute 10k guy back in the day) but not anymore because I damaged my knees doing same – today I practice yoga for 15 minutes and push-up and sit-up my age (55) most days in the week (by most days I mean 4 over 7).
The Yoga is for suppleness – I can not only touch my toes easily but can place my palms on the floor without bending my legs – not bad for an oul’ fella!
The push-ups and sit ups are for strength. Why number them in accordance with my age? Why not? I am 55 and can comfortably push up 55 times so when I am 56, adding one won’t be an issue – so when I am 80, 90 and 100, it shouldn’t be a bother…
The second aspect to my physical regime is walking – I walk a lot to compensate for sitting a lot and walking by water is my absolute favorite thing to do – twenty minutes most days in the week does it for me.
You have to figure out what will do it for you – what activity is your exercise of choice?
The third aspect of health is rest – specifically sleep.
We don’t get enough of it – why not? Too busy? Too distracted? Trying to numb ourselves by watching too much TV or surfing silly cat pictures on Facebook too late into the night (perhaps while sipping some alcoholic beverage) so that we fall into bed exhausted and hope that will send us into deep sleep quickly – you know that not to be true; the outcome is usually fitful sleep at best and if it is too late, the morning will come all to quickly – the alarm clock acting as the starters gun – shooting us off into another hamster-wheel day.
Not good enough my friend.
My preference is to get up early (usually 6am) and I try to set myself up for a full seven hours, so lights out by 11 latest and wind-down starting 30 to 60 minutes before that.
What’s your sleep routine?
Peace of Mind.
Ok. Think about it. You can’t really be effective and clear thinking around diet, exercise and rest if your brain is revving like a Fomula 1 racing car at the starting line of a Grand Prix Tournament.
So for you to benefit most from the other three pillars, it is imperative you find ways to wrestle the grey matter between your ears into submission so that it serves you and not the other way around!
How? Not sure what might work for you, but as with diet, exercise and rest, let me share what works for me. Meditation and Reading.
Along with my exercise regime I have developed the habit of meditating and reading most days.
My mediation consists of me sitting up straight in a straight backed chair, feet firmly planted on the ground. I wear comfortable loose-fitting clothes and make sure I am well wrapped up so I stay warm.
I get comfortable, close my eyes and start to breathe in and out taking my attention through two breaths in and out to every part of my body in the process, effectively breathing in and out (metaphorically) through my scalp, my eyes, my mouth, my neck, chest, arms, abdomen, lower parts, thighs, calves and my favorite – my feet! I carry my stress in my feet (any other feet stressers out there?) so I love it when, having worked my way down through my body, I get to breathe out all the stress through the soles of my feet – literally mine is a head to toe approach to meditation.
The second aspect to peace of mind is reading. I have developed the habit of reading ten-a-day – that is ten minutes or ten pages per day in a book that will stretch my thinking; I can think of no other practice that has had such a positive impact on me holistically than the habit of reading ten-a-day.
Bottom line is you must get your head screwed on straight if you want to be healthy.
I promise if you take consistent steps towards improbement in each of the four aspects of health; diet, exercise, rest and peace of mind, life will be fuller for you. I can’t promise you more years in your life, that’s up to the Man Upstairs, I can promise you more life in your years! Indeed a biblical phrase that repeats often through the book is he/she … died old and full of years! Great phrase. Speaks volumes.
Two quick questions to finish.
- What is your Big Rock when it comes to health? Big Rock alludes to THE most important thing around any subject; in this case health – what is it about your health that is pressing, that irks you most? Is it diet? Exercise? Rest? Peace of Mind? Pick one and write it down – that’s your Big Rock
- The second question is what ONE THING can you do this week that would have the biggest positive impact on the Big Rock? And write that down
Your homework… Do it! Identify one Big Rock and One Thing you can do about it and then Do it!
Then come back next week and we’ll share another coffee together as we explore the second pillar of four. Next week we’ll be talking about Wealth as a necessary pillar of POYOOMF!
See you then.
Have a good one.
Thank you for thinking with me, as ever I wish you well
Ps. More on the Big Rocks Theory? Click here.
MORE. Did you enjoy that? Fancy a sip of some of my recent “Coffee with Colm” Blog posts:
- In Pursuit Of Happiness. Happiness is derived from Contribution (or the link between Contribution and Self-Care) – click here.
- What’s Your Purpose? What’s Your 2020 Vision for Your Life? (Or why are you doing what you are doing?) – click here.
- WHEN will a robot replace your profession? (or the world of driver-less cars and self-learning Artificial Intelligence) – click here.
HIRE ME TO SPEAK. Consider me speaking at your event, launch, awards, or as your after-dinner keynote. Find out more here.
WORK WITH ME OR THE COBM | SOUNDING BOARD TEAM. Need help with your business? Check out the areas I and The Sounding Board of trusted experts can assist with. Find out more here.
FREE AUDIO BOOK. If would like a complimentary copy of my book “Feeding Johnny – How to Build a Business Despite the Roadblocks” in audio, narrated by yours truly so you get all the nuances, feel free to grab one here.
DEEP DIVE. If you would like to go deeper in your own personal journey, you can review the first step in my “12 Steps to Create the Life You Really Want” for FREE. Check it out here.
LinkedIn. Perhaps the thing to do right now is simply to hook up professionally on LinkedIn – if that’s of interest, click here.