It’s shopping season and I’m sure you’re thinking of what to get everyone in your life, so they feel appreciated and loved. Question is, what gift are you giving yourself?
It seems ironic to ask that since this is supposed to be the season of giving to others. However, too many of us are chronic givers - we give and give to everyone else, but fail to give to ourselves.
I’m a big believer in taking care of ourselves in order to perform better in life. We cannot function, let alone perform well, if our bodies are always depleted. We have become too used to being sleep-deprived, tense and poorly fed. We live off of five hours sleep, constantly deal with stressor after stressor, and eat fast food to keep us going. Yes, our bodies will function, but we are living below our body’s baseline of performance.
In the general sense, to be healthy means we are free of disease, but to perform - well, that’s a different thing. If health is a bike, then performance is a Ferrari. You deserve to perform well in life, to live it to the fullest and to succeed at the things that are important to you.
Here’s what I want you to do. It’s simple. It’s not expensive and the benefits will be enormous to not just your health, but also your performance.
Off to bed
First, you are going to get some sleep. If you’ve been working on less than six hours, then for the next two weeks, go for seven. Take a nap, go to bed early and/or sleep in.
Tell your family members what you are doing, so they understand when you go to bed and the dishes aren’t done. So what? Leave them. You can do them in the morning.
You need sleep and you won’t realize how badly you need it until you’ve gotten enough. It is an amazing feeling when you finally get several days of back-to-back sleep. Your happiness levels and imagination feel like they’re in overdrive and your ability to not get ticked off at everyone sharply declines. Plus, getting sleep increases your attractiveness, since it helps both your skin and eyes to look better.
The second thing you need to do is drive by your favorite fast food place, wave at it as you go by, and then head to Whole Foods or Fresh Market (or some yummy grocery store you never go into, but always debate visiting) and treat yourself to some really good tasting, healthy food.
Buy an organic pecan pie or eat lunch from the deli section, but splurge on you. I highly recommend eating something that you normally wouldn’t eat, but looks appetizing. Vow to spend $10 to $20, just today, on some new foods or even just a serving of super fresh food.
We tend to think eating well means skipping what we love and, instead, eating hay or all things that taste and look equivalent to hay. Not so. Eating should be something you enjoy, not dread, so spend a few extra bucks on treating yourself to better quality food.
My goal is to get you out of your fast-food routine and to try foods that can fuel your body better than the ones you are currently putting into your system.
Take out the kinks
The last gift to give yourself is a massage. Our poor bodies take a beating from the jobs we do, the sports we play, even the stress we are always under. Give yourself one hour to have a professional work the kinks out. Like sleep, you won’t know how much your body needed the attention until you receive it.
I personally recommend Pooler Massage Therapy. I recently went there and didn’t realize how badly my back muscles were feeling. Since then, I have promised myself that I would go at least every other month so I’m not in so much pain every day.
Take care of yourselves this season, my friends. Make sleep a priority. Eat better and don’t ignore the body that takes care of you every day. Life is too short to sell yourself short. Invest in you and start performing at your best.
Happy holidays and thanks for crossing life’s elusive finish line with me. December 17, 2017