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The Gift Of Self-Health

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How common is this scenario? It's late December and a large number of gifts have yet to be bought and wrappe.

How common is this scenario? It's late December and a large number of gifts have yet to be bought and wrapped. But what do you buy for people who already have everything? And how do you deal with the fact that you're tired and may have lost the "Christmas spirit"? How about the gift of self-health?

Long before doctors, nurses, hospitals or insurance companies came onto the scene, family members took care of each other. The wisdom of the elders was called upon to assist when illness or tragedy occurred. Somehow, all of this changed and people lost trust in their own self-healing capabilities. But doctors don't heal people; the body heals itself. A doctor is to your health care what a coach is to an athlete.

Self-Health Defined

Many ancient medical disciplines, including traditional Chinese medicine and Indian ayurvedic medicine, are based on the knowledge that your body can heal itself with the proper environment and removal of obstacles to health. Further, you can play an active role in this process and assume responsibility. This means being accountable for your actions. It is neither a doctor's nor the government's responsibility to make you healthy. It is yours.

5 Steps to Self-Health

  1. Fuel your desire. Probably the most important factor to initiate and achieve health is desire. If the mind is willing, the body will follow. Prepare a mental plan of action, with small attainable goals. Get into the right "head space"and stick with your plan.

  2. Make an effort. You do not get something for nothing. Effort, motivation, compliance, discipline, consistency and patience are essential attributes for this goal to be reached successfully.

  3. Set priorities. Sit down with a pen and paper and list, in order, your top five to 10 life priorities. Where do you rank money, work, family, religion, community and health? Beside these priorities, mark down the average length of time per day or week you spend on each. Is your number-one priority allotted the most amount of time and effort in your life? Or are you like most people, who rank health in the top one to two spots but spend very little time on it? Prioritize your health concerns, too. Take inventory of your body and mind, and review your own personal weaknesses or deficiencies. The more specific your goal, the more focused you will be on obtaining a solution.

  4. Build your knowledge. Educate yourself on the areas you have chosen to work on. Consult with conventional and complementary health providers. Obtain several opinions if need be. Go to the library or log onto the Internet and do your own research. While you're online, check out alive.com. Talk to your friends about their health-care experiences. Knowledge empowers you to take charge of your own wellness.

  5. Make a fresh start. It is impossible to intellectualize everything, so eventually you must just begin. Start with the practitioners you feel most comfortable with, but don't spread yourself "too thin." Over time, you will need to make changes and set new goals as you progress toward better health.

The Gift of Self-Health

Christmas does not need to be a "materialistic void" that leaves you exhausted. Stop and think about the actual meaning of Christmas and if your actions are in line with that. Focus less on yourself and more on what you can do to assist others. Visit a less fortunate family or volunteer to help babysit, clean or buy some healthy groceries. How about volunteering at a food bank or soup kitchen, or canvassing for your favourite charity or cause? Christmas is a very lonely time for a large portion of the population, and a visit to a retirement home or hospital can really make someone's day.

If gifts are in order, here is a short list of items and ideas you can give to your friends, family or yourself.

  • Appointment for a massage
  • Membership to an exercise facility
  • Subscription to a health magazine
  • Self-health book or video
  • Tickets to a play, opera, concert or comedy show
  • Houseplants
  • Certificate for a house-cleaning service
  • Long-distance telephone gift voucher
  • Appointment for a consultation with a wholistic health-care provider
  • Water filter or home water delivery
  • Juicer
  • Appointment for a consultation with a stress management counsellor
  • More time for your spouse and children
  • Exercise equipment
  • Organic, non-GMO seeds for a garden
  • Full-spectrum lights
  • Aromatherapy oils
  • Hand-held back massager
  • Donation to a charity
  • Gift certificate or basket full of goodies from the health food store

The gift of self-health begins with your own actions. Make a plan to eat less junk food and sugar and drink less alcohol and coffee during the holidays. Keep water intake high (two to three litres per day), get adequate sleep (at least seven to eight hours per night), get outside for fresh air and sunshine and keep physically active (skate, ski, toboggan). Rent some funny movies and laugh, laugh, laugh. If relationships need mending, start with forgiveness. Learn to say "no" when appropriate, without guilt. Stay away from pessimistic people; they are like "energy vampires." Pray, worship and meditate. Be thankful for all that you have.

Benefits of Self-Health

The benefits of self-health range from feeling and looking better to gaining control of your wellness destiny. What greater gift can you receive than to function at a high level and to flourish physically, mentally and emotionally? No monetary amount can replace the wealth you have when health resides within. Such wealth can certainly influence your family, friends and co-workers in a positive manner, and, in turn, enrich their lives.

Remember you are the steward of your own health, and ultimately the responsibility lies within. Become proactive, not reactive. Don't wait for a crisis to occur before you act. The benefits are yours to enjoy.

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