How to (not) maintain good health

Health is like happiness, you only realize what you had once it’s gone.

Maintaining good health is central to a balanced and holistic wellness lifestyle. Nevertheless, talking about staying healthy when you’re actually healthy sounds very theoretical, at least to me. Because, how can you know about health when that is the only state you’ve known? Sometimes we have to experience the opposite, in this case, sickness.

Within a week, I felt unwell twice. Looking back at the events I know I didn’t apply the good practices I preached. I got carried away and got reminded that maintaining health is, should be, a daily habit!

Strangely enough, during the week before getting sick, part of me knew it would happen sooner or later. That part was observing, taking notes.

I thought I would share what I didn’t do, which led me to get unbalanced and prone to get sick. This time, not as the best tips everyone should know about, but real life lessons!

1. Not getting enough sleep

Whether you need to sleep for 6 or 9 hours, you should be getting enough of it. We read it often that we all should sleep 8 hours on average, I tend to believe that we are all different and some of us would need more than others. Listen to yourself and find your own sleep rhythm. Also, regularity is key. You should go to bed at fixed times and same goes with your alarm (you’re lucky if you don’t have to set any 😉 )

Sleeping is the starting point. If you wake up tired, not one day but every day for a whole week it will influence your mood, how you’ll go through your day, your actions (or lack of it), etc. Your sleep and its quality will have numerous ripple effects. Should I precise that they are mostly negative ones?

2. Skipping meals

One thing that should be a red flag is when I start skipping meals. When I’m focused or, on the contrary, out of my routine, I forget to eat. Even when I feel hungry, I’m not excited about anything. This is usually not a good sign.

As for me at least, when I feel good and when I’m in a good mood, I feel hungry all the time. Hunger is like my happiness barometer. Everyone is different and please don’t think I’m lucky when I “forget” to eat. As I said, this is usually an “oh-oh something’s wrong” sign that will trigger other bad habits.

3. Increase in caffeine intake

This is strongly linked to the previous point. When I don’t eat, I compensate with coffee. Because coffee doesn’t require any efforts, in terms of preparation but also ingestion (did I tell you that I hate chewing?). This is another sign of low energy.

Maybe this is the other way around because I drink more coffee I’m less energized. I’m not talking about the energy shot but the real one that is within.

I can feel myself being more tensed, more agitated.

4. Negative thoughts taking over

When I feel low energy, I notice that the negative thoughts come back with full force. Or, here again, because my energy level is low, I don’t feel like trying to control these thoughts. On the contrary.

I welcome them and together we throw a big party. The more negative I am, the more negative I get. It’s difficult not to get engulfed and this is where I know generally that I’m in a negative circle.

5. Unleashing your bad mood

And the list goes on. Once I feel filled with negativity, I spread it, because, why not? How could I possibly spread love and peace when there is a thunder within me?

Of course, it then affects my environment and loved ones, which in turn, makes me feel even worst about myself.

Have I already mentioned the vicious circle?

6. Getting physically sick

For me, that was and usually is, the last stop. There is no return. I’m imbalanced physically, mentally, and emotionally. How could it be any different?

This is the moment where the only thing I strongly desire is going back to health again. Health is so precious and we tend to think that it is given, something we are naturally entitled to, while this is actually something we have to nurture and work towards EVERY SINGLE DAY.

Luckily for me, it was something minor, a wake-up call to remind me that I’m fully responsible for my wellbeing state.

The lesson I’m taking away? I shouldn’t wait to get sick to realize that I’m losing control and act at an earlier stage.

Naturally, the next question is …

How to quickly return to balance?

I haven’t experienced it recently but from my past experience, I can share the following.

Look closely at the 6 steps of “How to get unbalanced” I listed 😉 What do they have in common? Do you see the pattern?

We have control. How can we regain and keep it? Simply by being disciplined, or saying differently, listening to our body!

It’s okay to get carried away and of course, it’s okay to let go here and there. I’m not saying we should live a rigid life with a rigid schedule. We are mostly here to experience life and do what brings us joy (in the long run).

Is it that bad if you sleep 5 hours instead of 7 because you got so focused on that project you’re working at the moment and love so much? Of course not! Is it okay to eat junk food or skip a meal once in a while? Of course!

Everything is fine to some extent. We all have our own limits and we are responsible for not crossing the line. When our body can’t take anymore how we treat it, it sends us a (gentle) reminder.

We shouldn’t take health for granted, just like anything in life. We are the captain of our own vessel and we should make sure it has everything it needs to take us through our journey.

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