A simple recipe for health

HealthMy father’s prescription to all his patients was always: eat more fruits and vegetables and get enough rest. I used to doubt how such simple things could be the answer to all health issues. I wanted to hear fancy solutions and creative explanations, until I realised that our human nature is indeed that basic. Water is more vital than processed beverages. Simple common sense can be more powerful than complex systems.

I just recovered from a severe cold which had inflamed my lymbic vessels. I could hardly speak and had a hard time eating. My face was swollen and my head was bigger than it already was. I took ten pills a day, with their unfortunate side effects. While I cannot trace back to the source of the infection, this episode has been a wake-up call to align my mind and body and it has been a realisation that prevention beats cure.

Hence, my advice to you to take care of yourself and to make it a priority. Do not wait until sickness hits you. It is true that you are surrounded by noise: trucks, the people on the streets, the advertisements, the news…  It is also true that you are over-demanded and over-stretched at work, at home, and in your community, but it is essential that you pay attention to yourself and to what both your body and mind are saying.

Do the very simple things that will bring you health in life. In contrast to what you might expect, these steps are not complex. They require no doctoral degree nor any calculus knowledge. You just need to do the basics. First, take care of your body and heed the advice of eating healthy and resting well. Second, take care of your mind: Do some meditation and take yourself mentally to relax on the beach. Practice some introspection and try to find your own voice, for example through writing. Free yourself from any excuses you might have created.

Most importantly, decide that your health is important. You need determination to follow the simple recipe. Learn from Joe De Sena, about whom I recently read on Medium. This man did burpees during down-time, and he did them even in public spaces. He does not care what people, even his wife or kids are thinking about. He does burpees, because he wants to do them, and that is OK. How many times have you not taken care of yourself because you feared criticism? How many times have you stayed late in the office because someone else was still there? Life is too short to be living afraid; life is too vast to limit ourselves to others’ expectations.

Steve Jobs said: “Your time is limited so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

Decide today to take care of yourself and make it a priority. You have the right to listen to yourself, and to live the life you want; the least of which is to take care of your own mental and physical health.