'Happiness is an inside job, don't let anyone else take that much power over your life.'
Your priorities are not what you say they are, they are revealed by the way in which you choose to live your life. I spent so many years of my life trying to achieve things for other people's happiness; living, reacting and responding to other peoples opinions. It wasn't until a therapist who was incredibly instrumental in a lot of the changes I've made told me that to care for yourself, to prioritise your own happiness and to most importantly love yourself how you wish to be loved by another is not selfish; it is essential for a mentally healthy and fulfilling life... Yet how many of us actually take time to make
a priority? Sometimes you have to take a step back to realise what's important to you in life... sometimes it takes an awful event to spark a realisation that change is necessary... however it may be that you decide on what matters most to you, the thing to remember is that you and you alone are responsible for your own actions.
Sadly, health is something taken for granted, something that goes unappreciated until it has gone and only when we have a diagnosis do we begin to become concerned about it. Health is a luxury, and we should treat it as one, but unfortunately we live in a world where money and success are prioritised above health and happiness. People are full to the brim with excuses for why health is not a priority to them, to why they 'needed' that chocolate bar, to why their life is just too stressful to worry about their diet and fitness too. But what people fail to understand is that all of this goes hand in hand... feel stressed? Exercise. Feel sluggish? Eat nutritious food. Making your body happy on the inside goes a very long way in helping you feel the same on the outside. Below I have compiled my list of answers to these countless excuses to prove that if you wish, you can always find time to prioritise your health.
1. 'Instead of 'I don't have time', try saying 'it's not a priority' and see how that feels'. -
Including time spent commuting, I work 53 hours a week, I am maintaining a first in my degree, running my blog and still have time to train six days a week (minimum), with some days involving both a morning and evening gym sessions and find time to meal prep. It is so important to dedicate time to your health. Remember: everyone has the same amount of hours in the day, it's not a case of not having time it's a case of not finding time. OK, so let's break it down... you work full time meaning at least 8 hours a day, in a less than ideal scenario your commute is two hours a day, in addition to this you want a good 8 hours sleep and you need an hour in the morning to get ready for work and make your lunch. That totals your current daily hours to 19, leaving a clear five hours left. Take off an hour or two for dinner and seeing friends and family and you still have three whole hours to binge on Netflix... obviously a bigger priority than your health right?
2. But then comes excuse number two 'I've worked hard and deserve time to chill'. -
Correct, down time and relaxation are also incredibly important for your health, but three hours a day EVERY DAY? Just in the 'working week' this totals 15 hours of 'Netflix' time, (not including the 48 hours of weekend freedom), and you're still convincing yourself you don't have time to fit in an hour of exercise? So yes, relax, unwind and take time for your mind to switch off but I promise this relaxation will be infinitely more beneficial after exercise.
3. Excuse number 3: I don't have enough money to join the gym -
Firstly there are a plethora of flexible gym memberships available for under £20 a month, costing you an average of 66p a day, or £4.66 a week. Skipping on that Starbucks once a week or having one less cocktail on a night out could fund a gym membership for a week. Even more, not buying that new £20 bargain dress could pay for a whole month. Ask yourself what's more important. If money really is a struggle it isn't even necessary to join a gym to stay fit and healthy. It costs absolutely nothing to go on a run, or even a walk and if you're not feeling confident to exercise in public you can always complete bodyweight based circuits in the comfort of your own home.
4. The worst one of all: I can't think of anything worse than spending my free time exercising -
Would you still feel that way when being treated in hospital for diabetes, heart disease or liver failure? In most people books I'd like to think an hours exercise here and there is infinitely more enjoyable than a lifetime of medical treatment to help minimise the irreversible damage to your health. When you take away your health you have nothing... in fact if your health really suffers you won't be able to see your friends or go on those nights out... but you will have infinite Netflix time. Which somehow doesn't seem so appealing when it's your only choice.
This blog post isn't meant to be a lecture or a moan, it's meant to be a plea. A request from me for you to spend some time to really assess what is important to you in this life. Remember: if it's important you'll find a way, if it's not you'll find an excuse.