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Over the weekend, I was working outside in the yard, and I noticed that some of the slate on the patio was caving in. Upon further inspection, I realized that the patio was being compromised by the loss of a big tree that occurred during Hurricane Sandy (before we bought the house). It’s hard to imagine, but the deep roots of the tree were continuing to decompose, causing erosion beneath the patio.
I’ve been thinking about how this is symbolic of our health and how we take care of ourselves. What we did and how we lived five or ten years ago still has an impact on us. More so, how we were raised, and how our parents and grandparents lived is imprinted epigenetically on us and impacts our current state of health and well-being. Our blood type is the first piece of the genetic puzzle; knowing it provides great insight into our strengths, weaknesses and predispositions so that we can build a healthy foundation to support us as we navigate not only each stage of life but also seasonal issues that arise.
Once we set our plan in motion, it is important from time to time to assess and take stock of how we are doing. I tend to do these check-ins annually on my birthday or at the start of a new season. With spring’s arrival, it’s a great time to take an hour to sit quietly and run through a personal assessment, which includes:
Physical Health: How am I feeling? Aches and pains? Vitality? Energy? Am I eating in a way that supports my life? Do I get enough exercise?
Emotional Health: How is my overall well-being? Happiness factor? Stress levels? Am I experiencing joy? Am I communicating honestly and effectively with the people in my life?
Sleep Health: Am I sleeping through the night? Do I get enough sleep? Do I feel rested in the morning? What keeps me up at night?
Life Purpose: Do I feel fulfilled by my work? My avocation? My friendships? My community engagement? Do I feel that my life has meaning and purpose?
Answering each of these questions allows us to self-assess and see ourselves clearly. It may be that everything is fine, and if so, good for you! For me, over the course of time, some little cheats or cutting corners occur, and external stress mounts; this exercise provides an opportunity for me to consciously recommit to my health and well-being program. What I have also seen is that if we have a health issue or a pressing life event, we tend to focus entirely on that, forgetting to look at ourselves holistically. This self-assessment process can bring our whole selves back into focus—not just the aching hip or the seasonal allergy—providing us with the opportunity to reassess what we do foundationally to support ourselves.
In my self-assessment, I realized that I’d been focusing so much on a hip/lower back issue that I left my whole self out of the picture. My “foundational” supplements got squeezed out as I focused on my back and hip. This is not unique to me, as I’ve spoken with a lot of people who have gone through similar experiences.
So, I have adjusted my diet to reinforce Beneficial foods, included more meditation time on a daily basis and updated my supplement protocol to include some of my favorite basics—Polyvite and Phytocal—as well as bone and joint support, and supplements for seasonal changes. By regularly self-assessing and making adjustments this way, we stay in touch with our overall health and return to basics, making us stronger and better equipped to deal with seasonal or episodic health issues.
With the busy lives we all live, it’s easy to become fragmented or disconnected from ourselves. I encourage you to take the time and tune into yourself to self-assess. You may be surprised by some of your answers.