The morning of September 18, 2017 started out as a normal crazy Monday in my household. Someone overslept. Someone couldn’t find their book bag. And I just wanted everyone out so I could BREATHE and start my self-care and coffee time.
In the midst of the chaos, one of my girlfriends called and I immediately knew something was wrong. She was close to hysterics. I was able to make out that our other girlfriend had been rushed to the hospital with chest pains.
Here’s the thing. I’m the calm and collected friend. When everything is crazy, I jump into action and work to bring calm to the chaos. Honestly it took months for me to break down after seeing my friend – my sister – recuperating. I was reminded in those moments just how precious friendship, life and love are. That Saturday we were celebrating her upcoming nuptials and on Monday we were praying for her life and livelihood.
We each had an opportunity to look in on her immediately after her surgery and I whispered in her ear how much I loved her and that she’d better not die on me. I meant those words from the bottom of my heart. She was the fighter of our crew. The one who loved hard and let us know when and if we need to get it together. As women often do, she had put the needs and wants of those around her ahead of hers and this is where it had gotten her.
Getting and staying healthy is not easy and it can be expensive. When you’re predisposed to health issues, seeing multiple doctors who are prescribing multiple medications for their under- or uninsured patients it’s easy to see how health issues can compound.
You need meds you cannot afford.
You stress and have to decide what you can or cannot afford.
You get sicker.
Many of my friends are entrepreneurs and outside of state aid we may not qualify for affordable health insurance options are not readily available.
Over the last year, my Healthy Habits routines and encouraging others to make all aspects of their health a priority have become a bigger priority to me. After attending three funerals of Divas around the same age as me and supporting my friend and her family post-heart attack, this has to be a priority. We cannot say we’re too busy to make ourselves a priority.
7 Changes to Make for Your Health
Know your numbers and your risk – We can’t take a blind eye to the important numbers in our life, especially if we are predisposed to certain health issues. As an adoptee, I have no health history which means we make the assumption that I am at risk for all the things.
Make healthier choices – I will be the first to admit that it is not easy to live a healthier lifestyle when it’s not what you’re used to. Old cravings and habits are hard to break.
Move more – Park further away from the store entrance. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Walk in place while watching your favorite television show or washing dishes. Find simple ways to move more and then push yourself to do more.
Your mental health matters – This is a big one. We carry a lot of baggage emotionally and often shy away from an official depression or anxiety diagnosis. I have had conversations with fellow Divas that were literally in tears and ready to give up but refused to accept a prescription or professional help. It is essential to recognize that our mental health impacts our overall health and well-being.
Small steps add up – Often times we try to make these huge massive changes which can lead to frustration and disappointment. These unhealthy habits that we have didn’t just pop up, they’ve been cultivated for some time now. Recognize that those small changes you make do make a difference and give yourself credit for making a change in your life.
Indulge just don’t overindulge – Typically you can still have those not-so-healthy indulgences, just do it in slow doses. Have a small slice of pie rather than the whole thing loaded with ice cream and whipped cream. Or find kinda healthier versions of the treats that you enjoy as alternatives.
Do it for you and those you love – Last, but definitely not least, remember that these changes are for YOU and your benefit. They are so you can live a longer life to be available to those who love you. Think about your loved ones and how their lives would be if you were not here. I promise you that will be a reality check that will help you get up and make a few changes for the better.