It is the responsibility of every individual to bring their healthiest self to their marriage.
While we can’t always control every aspect of our health, recognizing this responsibility and being committed to controlling what you can control is something you owe your spouse.
Take a moment and honestly assess how well you are doing with being/becoming your healthiest version of you.
How do you manage stress? Do you have healthy coping skills to handle the ups and downs of life? If not, get them. If you find yourself depressed, overly anxious, losing your temper it is your responsibility to learn healthy coping skills. Seek professional help to get the support you need and determine if medication may be needed. If your emotional health feels out of balance you can be assured it is not just impacting you, it is impacting your spouse and your entire family.
If you find you turn to drugs or alcohol as a way of coping with stress or emotional issues get help. It cannot be overstated how destructive drugs and alcohol can be to a marriage and family.
Do you make an effort to eat healthy foods? In an age of fast and convenient food most of the food options we are presented with are actually food-ish. By that I mean they are not foods found in nature. They may fill you up, may even taste good, but they provide precious little nutrients. Our bodies need healthy food to keep functioning optimally.
Of course, all things in moderation, I am not suggesting that you have to become a vegan and go gluten-free tomorrow. But be honest with yourself, how much effort do you put into maintaining a healthy diet of whole foods?
There is perhaps nothing more important to our overall well-being than physical exercise. Our bodies need it, our emotional regulation counts on it and yet when we get busy it is one of the first things to go. Make a commitment to yourself to get exercise; it is the single most important self-care activity.
When we get busy, when we get stressed, sleep can seem like our enemy. Do you have good sleep habits? If not, consider these guidelines:
• Go to bed at a reasonably consistent time every night
• Limit electronics just before bed – do not fall to sleep with the television on
• Avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed
• Sleep in a quiet, cool, dark room
Empower yourself to know what is going on with your health. Have a regular check-up; early intervention makes the difference with just about every health concern. Don’t be afraid to find out – go to the doctor. It is much easier to stay healthy than it is to try to restore health once disease has set in.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, so if becoming healthier feels overwhelming take small steps. Prioritize and determine what small changes you could make that would have the biggest impact. If you are depressed it is probably affecting every aspect of your life, so start there. If your physical health keeps you from enjoying life with the people you love, start there. And talk to each other – have on-going conversations about this. Work together as a team and support each other on this journey.