Guilty Pleasures are Good for Your Health
Posted on March 27 2017
We all have guilty pleasures. What are yours? Singing in the shower? Listening to oldies from your high school days? Dancing in the rain? Pretending to be a superhero? Watching Austin Powers movies?
I have them too. One of my favorites is quiet time with the Wall Street Journal and a cup of Jo. It’s usually early morning, hair clipped back, running shoes on… trying to squeeze a few quiet moments in before Bucky (my doggie) pulls me from relaxed state to exercise mode. In addition to catching up on the world scene, the WSJ often has articles that inspire my work as a physical therapist.
One article that seemed particularly interesting was titled “Why Learning to Be Resilient is Good for Your Health.” This article struck a chord for me personally, and it related to so much of what our patients face each day. In addition to trying to heal from injury or pain, most of us have many things on the back burner that impact our ability to function: work stress, raising kids, running a business, taking care of aging parents, financial instability, politics, etc.
What is Resilience?
Webster defines resilience as “an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change.”
Benefits of Resilience
According to the Wall Street Journal, studies have found that “people with the most resilience tend to be more productive, less likely to have high health-care costs, and are less often absent from work.”
Incorporate Resilience Into Everyday Life
According to the WSJ article I was reading, there are some helpful tips on how to build resilience into every day life. I’ll paraphrase them here:
- Be present in each moment. Work toward not allowing worries from the past or future to sabotage your current experiences.
- Build playtime into each day. This could be a walk around the lake, lunch with a friend, or game night with the family. (See superhero image above… your kitchen table may be just a few steps away…)
- Cultivate gratitude. Make a daily list of 3 things you are thankful for, even if it includes a short line at Starbucks.
- Compartmentalize work from home. Use your drive home to sort the details of your day. Upon arriving home, take a deep breath and allow yourself to leave work at work. If you work from home, consider forwarding work calls to voicemail, power down your work computer, and close your office door.
- Healthy Breathing. When you feel stress coming on, close your eyes and slowly take three deep cleansing breaths.
- Think Positive. Increase your awareness of negative self-talk and divert your attention to subjects that bring you joy.
- Seek Sanctuary. When encountering stressful situations, one helpful tool is to move to a quiet and neutral space for five minutes. If you aren’t able to physically move, another option is to close your eyes and imagine you are in a welcoming place (forest, ocean, home with kids, on a walk, etc.)
There are many ways to live resiliently. I hope the tips above provide some helpful ideas to get the process started in your own life. In the coming weeks, I plan to put a few of these tips to work for me. Reading the WSJ isn’t my only guilty pleasure!
In the meantime, the clock is telling me it’s time to fold up the paper, get ready for my day, and head into Fit Physical Therapy – Arvada/YMCA. I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve such a wonderful community alongside the other five FPT clinics around town.
If pain or limited mobility is impacting your daily routine (or keeping you from your favorite guilty pleasures), let Fit Physical Therapy help you get back in the game of your life. We invite you to schedule an appointment at a clinic near you. Call today 303-409-02133.
Yours for resilient health,
Dr. Patti Hutt
Arvada/YMCA and Lakewood/Carmody Clinic
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