- What do you feed it? (Healthy stuff vs stuff you know is bad for them, like junk food?)
- What do you give it to drink? (Water? Milk? vs Alcohol, coffee, pop?)
- What do you do when it is tired? (Let it nap, or give it a double-double from Tim Hortons’ and keep it up until it is exhausted?)
- What do you do when it is sick? (Let it rest, bring it to the vet? vs force it to do what it always does and hope the illness doesn’t get worse)
- What do you do when they seem sad? (Be curious and talk to them in a comforting, kind tone or tell them why they shouldn’t be sad and act as if they are not?)
What would happen if we treated ourselves as well as most of us treat our pets?
(Exercise from presentation by Catherine Morisset, life coach in Ottawa Cda, http://imagineplus.ca)
Life is pretty busy for most people and it can easily become overwhelming.
It is also really common for us to prioritize doing things that we know are good for ourselves last (which really just means its not a priority at all).
This usually comes from old survival maps and stories we learned that taught us that we need to focus on meeting other people’s needs before our own, and we often even feel guilty for allowing ourselves to put our own needs equal to others instead of below them.
When that happens, we may let ourselves do something for ourselves, but we don’t allow ourselves to enjoy it. For example, we will let ourselves go out with friends, but we will get really drunk or hook up with someone unhealthy. Some people will simply spend the evening telling people what a bad mother/brother/sister/friend they are or being really negative, which also gets other people to reject them. This process confirms that we are somehow “bad” and shouldn’t have gone out in the first place.
So here are the 2 things I hope you take from today
- It is basic math, if we do more things that make us feel weaker in the course of a day than things that make us feel stronger, it is impossible for us to feel well. Think of it as a bank account. If we are making more withdrawals than deposits, things won’t go well for us. We can’t feel better when we are not doing things that make us feel better.
- The other catch is that people think they should be “better” once they went to therapy, or started some sort of medication. Mental health is no different than physical health. While we are actively doing things that keep us physically and mentally well, we will feel physically and mentally well. When we are not, we feel worse. Being healthy is an ongoing choice and process, not something we ever get to tick off as complete.
Let’s look at an example
- If I decide to eat healthy foods, cut out pop and fast food, and start to exercise more, I will inevitably feel physically better within days to weeks. If I fall back to old habits and start eating junk food, drinking pop and not moving much, I will feel worse, also within days to weeks.
- Similarly, if I choose to prioritize meditating first thing daily, or journalling or getting to bed at a decent hour, I will feel healthy while I am making healthy choices. When I stop, I will feel worse.
Here is a worksheet to help you build awareness so you can move closer to building your Epic Life. Remember to use the information as FEEDBACK vs evaluation and choose how you can start making tiny tweaks (SMART goals) that will allow you to move towards living your values!
See you next week!