10 Tips for a Healthier You!

By Lauve Metcalfe

    1. Consider an alternative to resolutions, fads and diets. Instead, create a comprehensive Taking Care of Yourself program that evaluates overall lifestyle. I use the acronym SPECIES (social, physical, emotional, career, intellectual, environmental, spiritual) to address elements essential to the wellness of mind, body and spirit. Write down a couple of positive statements under each category. This channels energy into reinforcing positive behavior and assists with recognition of areas for future tweaking.
    2. Get motivated. There are four barriers to taking care of yourself: unrealistic expectations, unreasonable social norms, family dynamics and a lack of skill development. Self-motivation is key to overcoming these challenges. The first step? Acknowledge that you’re worth it.
    3. Examine your support system. Create and maintain healthy relationships with family, friends, co-workers and the community to help you through the traumas of life.
    4. Reassess your fitness routine. Regular exercise, healthy nutrition, adequate sleep and stress management are central to a good wellness plan.
    5. Come to your emotional rescue. It is not uncommon to try to fill emotional voids with unhealthful habits such as alcohol, drugs, overeating or shopping. Examine the emotional roots of these issues: Are you lonely? Do you accept your worth as an individual? What do you need to tap into emotionally to become the best possible you?
    6. Be your own career counselor. Every job has difficult people and aspects that we don’t enjoy, but create a focus so that you gain satisfaction from at least 70 percent to 80 percent of your work. Retired? Explore interests of passions with a second career, or volunteer your services in the community.
    7. Stimulate your intellect. The people in trouble intellectually are the ones who think they know it all. Those who continually learn are enlivened and appreciate life.
    8. Be environmentally conscious. This is not a recycle, reduce, reuse message as much as it is about the clutter in your life. Clues for cutting clutter: Resist the urge to buy in bulk; eliminate waste and the need for storage; clean your closets and donate the items to a charity; buy a new item only after you give something old away; and set realistic housecleaning goals.
    9. Nurture your spirit. This is not so much about religion as about appreciating the spirit within us. Many people fall out of the habit of feeling good. Create moments in life that allow you to reconnect with that spirit. Commune with nature, take a hike, play with children, help out others, and be kind and loving to those you meet.
    10. Honor your wisdom and pass it on. Pass on the knowledge that you have gained to help others live a more productive life.

Lauve Metcalfe has a master’s degree in health promotion and is a Tucson-based wellness consultant and a licensed wellness coach. She’s on the University of Arizona College of Medicine faculty. Check out her Web site at lauvemetcalfe.com

Lauve Metcalfe