Balance is a natural part of health

A monthly column from a primary care doctor in Woodinville.

Life is truly all about balance. With a million things to do during the day and different people wanting our attention, “balance” seems like an impossible thing. The most common reasons I hear for not being able to achieve health goals are things like “I have no time for myself,” “I don’t have energy after the work day to cook,” “I have such a long commute there is no time for exercise,” and “Eating healthy would mean I have to cook an extra meal for myself.” I want to discuss ways to create balance in your life to be able to achieve the goals you want.

The thing is, nothing is really ever in perfect balance. Just as there is no such thing as perfection, we are all constantly trying to make ourselves better in one way or another. One thing that contributes to feeling in control of your life, is to feel centered and grounded. A grounding technique could include feeling your feet on the floor, closing your eyes, and taking a deep breath inhaling and exhaling. Feeling grounded means that you feel connected to the earth, you feel your own presence and the art of feeling at peace. Other things that are grounding include exercising outdoors, gardening, meditation, yoga or a deep heated sauna. I encourage you to find something that works for you and practice it daily.

The next thing to do is to create healthy habits that become part of your everyday routine. It takes a full 30 days in a row to create a habit, given that you actually practice it daily. Forget thinking of an excuse right now as to why you cannot do something. I firmly believe that if you want to do something you can find a way to make it happen, and if not then you won’t. The choice is up to you. Try not to talk yourself out of setting goals and making them happen, you are responsible for your own change. Motivation comes from inside, and giving yourself a pep talk instead of being pessimistic is the first step.

Write down five things you want to change or achieve in your health right now, such as eating whole food meals, shopping only organic, working out three times per week, running a half marathon, giving yourself more “you time,” decreasing alcohol intake, or giving up sugar. These are just examples — you should make these goals personal for what you really want. After that, start today and do not give up. When you commit to doing the things you have set out to do, it will boost your self-esteem. As you become healthy and feel good about yourself, you will be a more fun, energetic, caring person to be around. Prioritize your physical and mental health and you will have the ability to maintain balance in all aspects of your life.

Dr. Allison Apfelbaum is a Primary Care doctor at Tree of Health Integrative Medicine clinic in Woodinville. To learn more go to www.treeofhealthmedicine.com or call 425-408-0040 to schedule an appointment.

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