What’s on your mind these days? When I asked some clients, and others who have a lot in common with my clients “What matters most to you?” responses included some things I expected to hear – family, work, community, a sense of peace and well-being. I was surprised that so many people mentioned “health.” Health, for self and loved ones, came up again when I asked about the fears or worries that keep you awake at night. There were other worries, too – something happening to my kids, pressures at work, making a big mistake, a loved one’s life difficulties, but health came up consistently with each person I talked to.
I don’t know why this surprised me. After all, I share in that valuing of and worries about health. We’ve probably all been injured or sick, or have seen someone we care about get hurt or fall ill. We know how suddenly a health problem can strike and how much it can change things. When we’re lucky, the problem is temporary. But even temporary events open our eyes to what it would be like to face a chronic or serious health challenge. While this is a hard truth, this vulnerability is a bond among us as a human beings. As an upside, it can lead us to connect empathically with each other.
There’s another up side. Awareness of our vulnerability can motivate us to be the best people we can possibly be, to live the life we most want for ourselves, and to help build the world we most want to leave for those who come after us. To do these things we have to be in good shape, healthy, energetic and strong. That means, in the midst of all we do, it’s important to focus some of our time and attention on taking good care of ourselves so we can keep on taking care of everything else.
You’re probably pretty familiar with the things you can do to stay healthy and energized. Exercise, good nutrition, sleep, vacations are all great ways to take care of yourself. So is yoga, meditation, spending time with friends, and unstructured downtime. Here’s one more to add to the mix. Writing. Not the kind you do for school or work, and not journaling either – though each of those kinds of writing are important in their own right.
There are five types of writing that have an impressive body of evidence showing that they improve health, happiness, life satisfaction and overall well being. They aren’t hard to learn and don’t have to take a lot of time to do. To find out more, join me for one of these in-person workshops focused on writing for well-being. I’ll keep you posted as I schedule additional online and in-person opportunities.
And, I could use your help! Please fill out this brief survey. The questions are similar to some of those I’ve been asking in person, and this way I can hear from more of you. I look forward to your responses!