Hello Dear Reader,
I awoke this morning to hear of Robin Williams death. So often, when we hear of health statistics, we are sometimes spurred into action to do something to improve our health. How often, I wonder are we inspired to improve our mental health and well being?
We know what to do to stay healthy and yet so many of us choose to not do so. I was one of those people. I would work night after night until bedtime, getting ready for the next day. I thought I was healthy but as my weight increased so did my self loathing and my mood often sank into darkness. I thought that I couldn’t control those emotions and eventually went to my GP. Who, surprise surprise just drugged me! I was also sent for the six sessions of ‘taking therapy’ which truthfully did nothing more than get me to the self realisation that I wasn’t happy. I knew that every morning when I didn’t want to get out of bed and go to work. I also hated it, I loath self pity and didn’t want to be in the same room as anyone miserable so needed to get rid of the behaviour that caused me to be unhappy.
I now put my health and well being at the very top of my ‘to do list’ every day!
Remember here, this is not advice but this is what I do to maintain my own health and well being and it doesn’t cost me anything. So, here’s what I do to maintain my thrifty well being.
I put myself first.
You heard right. I make no excuses for this. We live in a world where we are supposed to conform to the most crippling constraints. I no longer do that. I have chosen to live with less, to buy less, to do less, to have less, to eat less, to experience less. It’s my choice. I have chosen a work life balance which means I earn less but live more. We work for 40 hours a week, we sleep for 56 hours a week and out of a week with 168 hours, that leaves 72 hours where we really should live the way we want to. My simple thrifty life is my choice, I no longer worry about materialism, about trends or what anyone else has. By stripping my life back to needs I have the time and finances to live the way I want to. I put myself first.
I don’t apologise for what I like.
I like quiet. I like Radio 4 and a cup of tea. I like order and peace. I like a notepad next to my computer. I like to sleep with the window open. I like empty places. I like sewing, reading and making things. I like to sit in the garden and listen to the birds. I like riding my bike and walking on clifftops and moorland. I like jumble sales and charity shops and the occasional farmers’ market. I like being home. I’m not going to list the things I don’t like as I don’t want negatives in my head so I focus on what I do like.
I don’t worry about money.
I’ve got this one sewn up! I bought the smallest house I could, with a tiny mortgage, with very low running costs and I live simply. I don’t have to ration or economise here as I can afford to live in it. I ‘get rid’ of money each month by overpaying the mortgage and there’s next to nothing left after that. However, I am very wealthy. I eat every day, I have a roof over my head, I can pay all my bills on time, I can dress myself and I can keep myself clean and warm. In the grand scheme of things, I am very well off and live really well.
I don’t need people to like me.
There are things I like and don’t like, do and don’t do and people are no different. I accept that. My life is no better or worse, or any richer or depleted if you like me or not. No body is responsible for anyone else’s happiness that’s a personal responsibility. It is therefore my responsibility to be happy and not yours which means I’m ok with someone not liking me. I like myself, enjoy my company and think I’m just great.
I accept the impermanence of life.
Everything comes and goes. Nothing lasts forever. Everything has the organic capability of reverting to dust and that includes, stuff, family, friends, relationships, jobs, houses, money and experiences. Nothing lasts forever, not even love. Everything has its expiry date. One day Dearly Beloved, my parents, my children, my pets, my friends and I will die. Everything is temporary. How I feel right now is not how I will feel: in ten minutes, tonight, tomorrow or next year. What I like, how I live, what I do is exactly the same. Nothing remains the same and accepting that gives me a great sense of peace. I don’t worry about when ‘it’ will end and just accept the fact that it will.
I am responsible for my own health.
Everything about my health is vital. We don’t make our own essential fatty acids and need to eat them, nor do we make our own nutrients and need to eat them. Our bodies are designed to be active, to have a percentage of muscle and a healthy weight. When I was over weight (I’m still over weight and constantly working on that one) I was tired, less active and not happy with my appearance. It was my responsibility to change that. We all know that we need to raise our heart rate for at least one hour a day to the point of ‘puffing’ and I make it my challenge to do that. I check my calorie intake and keep it low and make sure my blood sugar levels are stable. I don’t eat between meals, I always eat (although can’t at the moment as the paint is drying on my table) sat at a table, which I laid as I respect myself enough to take time to eat properly. I get to bed early and make sure my evenings are quiet so I can switch my brain off before I go to bed. I limit alcohol and caffiene and make sure my main fluids are water. Sounds like a long list but improving my physical health has given me the greatest improvements in my well being.
I’ll add this again, I don’t suggest you do any of the things that I do, they are my choice and suit me. Your life, behaviour and choices are your own.
Now over to you. Who is going to do their best (which is all any of us can do) to make their own life better today? If you could change one thing that you do, that you know doesn’t do you any good, what would it be?
RIP Mr Williams and so many thanks for your creative genius.
Love Froogs xxxx