This is a time of year that is known for an abundance of things – food, gifts, celebrations, family, friends – but not known for supporting a healthful lifestyle. Before you start throwing pies at me, this is a great time to work on having a more healthful relationship with food. If we associate the holiday season as a time to gorge rather than enjoy food, we are missing an important lesson in how we relate to food. I enjoy food and food is much more than eating for the purpose of nourishing our bodies. Food (and the socialization around food) can nourish our souls. In addition to the normal household management routines that I prefer to keep during the holidays, I have to make an effort to engage in the gift of health to myself.
What is the gift of health?
From my perspective, the gift of health includes those self care activities that help me feel better, have more energy, and keep me feeling physically and psychologically better. I enjoy being physically active and eating a variety of foods (in moderation- which is a much more in depth topic) that nourish both my body and soul. Just yesterday I tried a new recipe as part of my strategy for having a nice hot bowl of some hot filling goodness today. Engaging in healthy eating and physical activity takes work and planning for most of us. My current top three activities that help me give myself the gift of health include – regular scheduling and planning, engaging in some sort of physical activity daily, and eating mostly home prepared meals. So you may be battling with chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypothyroidism, or gastrointestinal issues and there is no reason to put off until the next year what we can make a habit of starting now. I am a person who likes numbers so my goal is to focus on doing well with my exercise and nutrition at least most of the time. I know that I will feel better physically and mentally if I give myself that gift. I look forward to returning to triathlons, more strenuous hikes, backpacking, and the many other activities that I have missed due to the many demands upon my time.
What does the gift of health mean to you?