Sunday, January 07, 2007

Your Roadmap For Health

As the new year begins, we have to take stock of the past year so we can enter the New Year with plans to improve our mental and physical health. Time is not on our side. The days roll on like a burglar at night. Silently and without fanfare, the year will come to an end before you blink. These are my prescriptions for the coming year. Consider them as a template and add or subtract as necessary.

  1. Find yourself a physician and visit her annually for your physical examination . This is the only way you can unmask silent diseases like diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, thyroid diseases, prostate cancer, breast cancer, ovarian cancer and many others.
  2. Volunteer to do something for somebody. You may work in a soup kitchen, volunteer in a hospital or join a rotary club and do some good. Altruism does not only help the recipient. It also helps the giver.
  3. Forgive and move on. Forgiveness gives you a clean slate to paint your tapestry for the year. The chains of hurt around your neck are broken once and forever. This frees you to serve in any capacity your station in life requires. Nelson Mandela had his youth stolen from him by the oppressive South African regime. When he was released form jail, he started a new life by forgiving the authorities that imprisoned him. By so doing, he got the chance to heal and enjoy the rest of his life rather than carrying the hot coal of hatred in his hat to burn him whenever he put his hat on. By forgiving your enemies you also get the chance to heal.
  4. A saint who does not take care of his body cannot survive the onslaught of the germ. Hence find an exercise program that fits your lifestyle and do it consistently.
  5. Find time to meditate. Meditation has been found to relieve stress, which is part of life and if not relieved can kill you.
  6. Find time to socialize with your friends. If your links with your friends have been broken re-establish them. Your mental health partly depends on your relationships and social support.
  7. Find time to go to church. Religious activities have been found to be healthy and beneficial. The act of going to church with its social implications is in itself healthy and prolongs life.
  8. Find a stimulating hobby that can take the monotony from your life. Learning new things that are not related to your work keeps your mind younger by developing new neurons .
  9. Travel and expand your horizon. It makes you see the other side of the mountain and makes you realise that everyone is chasing after the same things in life. It also makes you love your neighbor as yourself.
  10. Your diet is medicine. It can make or unmake you. Therefore eat a well balanced diet with lots of fiber, nuts, fish, fruits and others. Prevention of disease is better than curing it.
  11. Add to your qualification and stay current in whatever you do at work. That way, when the downsizing comes, you would be ready to move on to another job easily. For example, you can do MBA if it will improve your job potential.
  12. Be kind to yourself. Don't take yourself too seriously. Life is short and fleeting. Enjoy it with all its disappointments.


queenhunnyb said...

Dr. Essel, your blogs are well-written: concise and eloquent. The way you frame your thoughts to us speaks of your humanity. Thank you for taking the time to write these columns. I take comfort in them, especially at the end of a bad day.

Manny Essel, MD said...

Thanks for your post.I am happy you like the ideas and words on these pages. I also get inspired painting these pictures of hope and inspiration.