Self-Care: A Role Model for Wellness
My mother is visiting me in New York City this weekend. At 92 years of age with a youthful spirit, she always wants to go, go, go, despite limitations in her walking ability. Over a recent period of several years, she had both knees and both hips replaced and is grateful for her present level of mobility. Taking care of oneself begins with a positive attitude and the desire to embrace life for all it's worth, no matter what the limitations. Sometimes healthy habits do require considerable sacrifice. My mother has a remarkable appetite, but her dietary restrictions have eliminated quite a few of her favorite foods. She knows that her body functions better without them. She loves to exercise and does her own home-based routine religiously, as well as taking classes in yoga and balance. She can't really participate in the balance class because of problems with her equilibrium, but she attends, hoping to pick up some tips.
On a daily basis, she makes it a point to stay well-hydrated, checking to make sure that her urine runs clear, which indicates that the body has plenty of fluid. She's immaculate in her personal hygiene, whether it's flossing her teeth or abstaining from coffee to keep her breath sweet. She is very diligent about keeping her routine doctor appointments and following up on their suggestions to keep herself in the best possible shape.
By definition, wellness is self-directed well-being. My mother is a role model in countless ways, beginning with her outlook on life and her practice of self-care. By her example, I see clearly how your mental constitution can affect your physical well-being and make all the difference in whether you thrive in life or just survive the journey.