Planning for Health
At this time of year there is a lot of planning for holiday celebrations in the workplace, among families, and friends. Rightly so, since we may not stop and positively interact with our loved ones and dear friends for much of the year. Something else that is of considerable value to reflect on at this time of year is the status of our health. Our employee and extended health insurance plans usually expire at the end of the calendar year, so it is a cost-effective time to seriously review your health, and to make a health-promoting-plan with a health practitioner – whether it is for a naturopath, massage therapist, dietitian, acupuncturist, chiropractor, dentist, or other provider. Often, goal-setting (including health-related goals) is relegated to the beginning of the New Year. However, goals are positive intentions that we can develop year-round.
The challenges that I have seen in my patients, and even in myself, is that we do not revisit our goals regularly enough, to make it real enough, and thus achievable enough. Part of that may be due to falling into our old habits, or just that we have not detailed a step-by-step plan to accomplish the goal. In regards to our health, our goals can involve simple steps, or more comprehensive segments in specific areas, and can include:
- Being more compassionate to yourself – becoming aware of your self-thoughts, re-viewing your feelings and beliefs about yourself
- Getting more exercise – take the stairs in buildings, up to work or home, and in the mall when shopping; or, commit to a series of exercise sessions with a personal trainer to get their expertise
- Eating better – start your meals with the vegetables, and finish them before you finish the main course; learn how to prepare a new vegetable each month; cook more meals at home, with support of your family; see a dietitian for help planning healthy meals, and to achieve any weight-reduction goals at the same time
- Making a prevention plan with your naturopathic doctor – address the symptoms and susceptibilities from your current or family history; do some testing to determine your nutritional or toxicity status and plan to improve these indicators of health
- Resolve to cleanse your body – re-examine the ingredients in the products you use or are planning to purchase, to make more environmentally-friendly choices; commit to a week-long detox program at each change of season (this is what they did 5000 years ago in India, when there were few toxins in the world!)
- If you are planning to marry or planning to have a baby, commit to a comprehensive pre-conception cleanse or a ‘couples cleanse’, to have a good healthy marriage and to improve the health of your baby-to-be. See my article on this topic – http://familynaturopath.ca/articles/toxins-in-babies/
- Learn more about your health – keep a record of your medical and naturopathic test reports (in a binder or file) after all, it is your health information; record observations of your self, and try to understand what is behind your findings; take an interest course on health promotion and family health
Regardless of what you choose your health goals to be, make a specific plan to achieve the goals, and revisit it at least every change of season, the next change is coming soon, December 21st.
Enjoy your December and take great care,
Rahim Habib ND