Since we started social distancing, routine and life went through the window. I for one had funny sleep hours until I readjusted myself. Now my circadian rhythm wakes me up at around 7.00 AM or 7.30 in the morning. Like myself, you might find you’re having to redefine what personal health means for you, in this social distancing period.
Going out, going for walks, hiking, going to the gym or for a routine checkup is looked down upon unless it’s really important. However, I think we can remain healthy and wise while still locked down by remembering and applying simple personal health lessons.
Personal Health Starts With You
The simple choices we make will determine how healthy we’ll be. Choices like drinking more water, eating more fruits, reading books and video calling our friends can have great benefits and impact on our personal health.
By owning our health, our bodies and our choices, we can move towards better personal health, improved self-care and better self-esteem.
What You Eat Affects What You Feel
Raise your hand if you’ve felt like crap after eating crappy foods while binging at midnight. Raise both hands if you’ve felt worse after eating junk for days and no real food. I always feel good after having a meal cooked from scratch. I feel awesome after I take warm lemon water in the morning, before starting my day.
Take foods that make you feel good, energized and that increase your faith in your decision making process.
Personal Health Requires Consent
Once upon a time, I was barely 13 years at the time. My siblings and I went for a health checkup (for a stomach bug) here in Kenya. Back then, there was so much stigma around HIV/AIDs due to the lack of information about HIV/AIDs. Hospitals were also collecting a lot of data, such that it was mandatory to get tested before accessing treatment.
This meant there was not much counselling done around the issue and some patients went through with the tests just so that they can access treatment. Well, long story short, while my siblings did get tested as they were feeling really bad, I refused because It did not seat well with me.
I didn’t understand much about consent back then. My reasoning was, ‘If mum and dad don’t have it, then I don’t have it.’ Personal health especially sexual and mental health requires consent especially with the taboo associated with them.
If it doesn’t feel right, it’s wise to explore why it doesn’t feel right.
Personal Health Requires Help From Experts
Sometimes this is expensive, and there is the shame associated with sexual health and mental health. I remember going to the gynaecologist the first time. It felt weird as women’s health is very personal. It’s good to find a doctor who understands you, and who you can get along. After a couple of annual visits, the shame and weirdness dissipate.
At other times, expenses and prices hold us back from pursuing personal health or being consistent in the pursuit of personal health. If you’re in the US, you can get 15% off women’s sexual health tests here. I tend to prefer tests that can be done at home especially when I have no one to accompany me to the doctor’s and I like the privacy it offers. For my non-US based readers, explore options available in your local chemists.
Personal Health Goes Beyond The Physical
It’s also mental and spiritual. Any kind of health problems that can’t be seen nor touched, such as depression and anxiety is often met with a lot of stigmas. Personally, I’ve been met with peculiar expressions when I’ve spoken about my past struggle with anxiety.
Identify where your anxiety comes from and see what you can change. Moreover, if you have no mental health problems, pursue peace and activities that give you joy. This can also mean reading more books, feeding your soul or listening to uplifting music.
There’s Peace In Being Less Busy
And a difference between being busy and productive. I like being productive, however, I don’t like being busy. We ought to search for balance. Balance is being able to meet your work goals but also having time for family and hobbies.
Surround Yourself With People Who Bring Out The Best In You
If it’s costing you peace, it’s too costly. Sometimes, we throw these cliches around but they mean a lot especially in a situation where peace is the last thing on your mind. Call people who make you feel joy, motivation or hope. No Debby downers.
I like talking to other writers and bloggers because they get it. They understand the struggle behind creating content. They know what it means by putting your story out there, and sometimes that’s all I need.
Personal health means making the right decisions for you, whether these decisions revolve around mental, physical or sexual health. It means doing the best for you. How are you pursuing personal health in lockdown 2020? Let me know in the comments below.