The one thing you need to do to be healthy (it’s not what you think)

The one thing I would suggest you do to be healthy, is stop reading articles like ‘the one thing you need to do is…’ and trying to apply them to your own life.

 

We are living in this somewhat crazy world full of social media and online marketing, and click bait is where it’s at. It’s also all about random people who have gained social-celebrity status by being attractive and flexible telling the masses how they should change their lives in order to be more healthy (skinny, happy etc). This could be by going vegan, working out in accordance to a particular guide which will whip your flabby body into a bikini-ready state (just look at all the before and after photos!) or drinking a particular bum-flavoured tea.

Can you tell this culture doesn’t sit well with me?

I was walking on the beach recently, first thing in the morning after waking up while on a solo camping trip (an aside – this is a great kind of trip for pondering life). As I strolled I was considering my own health and what I need at the moment. I came up with a few things that I’d like to change in my current lifestyle. I’m not going to tell you the nitty-gritty of the particular things I settled on, because you know what? They won’t be the same for you.

(Well, given that we’re all humans and many of us are suffering from similar afflictions of too much stress and not enough sleep etc, some of them might overlap, but you know what I mean – my prescription is not your prescription.)

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I really believe that people are their own experts.

I did some training recently in Recovery philosophy, which is a framework used in mental health. The philosophy is that everyone is on their own journey; that people already have what they need in order to be well; and that their recovery/wellbeing is up to them and what they want it to be, not what a mental health clinician or psychiatrist tells them it should be. I think the same philosophy should apply in the whole of health care. What you need to be healthy is best known by you, because you know yourself from the inside out. So much of the time people know what it is they need (more sleep, less stressful work, healthier eating, less drinking, the list could go on) and they don’t need someone to tell them that, they need someone to support them to make those changes. But when the decision comes from you, where you say ‘this is what I need’ the motivation is so much stronger to actually create the change.

This is not discounting the role of doctors or health professionals: what you most need, at time, might be to seek the expert opinion from a specialist or doctor or naturopath or exercise physiologist – but on your terms. Going at a time when you’re ready, when you’ve decided this is the best course of action for your own wellbeing.

What do you need to be healthy? Let me know in the comments or drop me an email instead!

6 Replies to “The one thing you need to do to be healthy (it’s not what you think)”

    1. Hey Lacy, thanks for commenting! I totally agree – even though water is so simple, some days I forget to drink enough, and I really notice it when that happens! xx

  1. Hi Louise, Thanks for clarify this article has provided. After 15 hospital admissions for alcohol dependance and depression I’ve beed searching for motivation to get moving by collecting internet blogs, facebook quotes etc etc.
    Until now it never occurred to me to trust myself and look inward. After all, I have all the knowledge and know what to do but just can’t get going. I’ll give it another go…..and stop printing out articles. 🙂 Thanks Cath

    1. Hi Cath, thanks for your comment! Collecting motivation and inspiration by reading blogs and whatnot can be part of setting your own path – if you know what you need to do and find it helpful to get tips on how to achieve that, you’re still directing your own journey! Sometimes the thing we really need is to ask for support. I definitely hear you – sometimes knowing what we need to do is one thing, actually doing it is another. It’s usually not easy to change habits, especially when we’ve been ‘not doing’ for a long time! It sounds like you have a lot of insight into your journey so far and where you’re headed – all the best with it. xx

  2. I totally agree with this , I often find myself getting more worked up and anxious because I dont know where to start after reading loads of articles on what’s the latest exercise craze, health super food, what I should and shouldn’t do etc. I also think with the insane social media world- any one can claim to be a health guru, and sometimes I actually feel less motivated when looking at some instagram pages as I think “how can their lives look so perfect” – sometimes you just want to see what is real and hear about real stories of positive change. I have now started to simplify my life and don’t spend as much time on social media and if something that I read somewhere sticks with me then great but we cant change our life everytime someone says too. We have to want to change within ourselves when we feel we need to 🙂

    1. Thanks Taryn! I totally agree – I feel so much more sure of myself and what I need when I spend less time on social media. It’s very easy to get caught up in! xx

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