What I Ask Writers to Do Today and Every Day

Filed in The Healthy Writer by on September 1, 2015 • views: 1527

Choose 2I’m sitting here outside the veterinarian’s office, waiting to take in my cat and dog in for their shots and regular annual checkups.

My dog (a black German shepherd) just puked. Unusual for her, but she’s older now, and I can’t blame her for experiencing a little tummy upset before seeing the doctor. Fortunately I have a pad that caught the mess, so we’re all good.

Tomorrow I’ll be driving home to Colorado to help my mom and step dad through my step dad’s hip replacement operation. I know we’re all nervous about it. You really can’t help but be nervous about any surgery, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we all feel like puking a little bit before it’s over.

Going to the doctor is never a fun experience. At least, I don’t know of anyone that really enjoys it.

But we humans tend to have a short memory, and once we’re out of the woods with our health, we go back to business as usual, even if that means habits that aren’t very good for us or for our long-term well being.

That’s why I’m asking writers today to stop and think before making their usual decisions.

People Are Robbed of Their Health Every Day

As a health writer, I’m faced with the reality of our population’s overall health condition every day. I read about people who are suffering big time from diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and more. I report about the latest scientific studies and the results we hope will eventually lead to cures for many of the major afflictions of our time.

Above all, I come face-to-face with the fact that though eventually, something is going to get us all, we have a lot of control over how comfortable we’ll be in the meantime.

That means when it comes time to exercise, or to choose something for dinner, or to decide whether to get to bed on time, I have words and images flowing through my mind that make it very clear what could happen if I don’t make the right choices, at least most of the time.

I know most people don’t consistently see the data I do. So I’m writing this short post to try to remind you, all my readers:

Your health is your number-one blessing.

The Reality that Faces Us if We Don’t Choose Health

Think about those you’ve known. What happens to them once their health starts to go downhill? Likely you’ve noticed changes, not only in the person’s physical well being, but in his or her personality, as well.

Health problems can rob an energetic person of his vibrancy, leaving behind a soul struggling to do everything he once did in a body that won’t cooperate.

Health problems can make the world look a lot darker than it was before. Over time, they can lead to depression, even apathy—both things that are extremely dangerous for writers, in particular.

We need all of our resources when we’re facing the blank page, or a series of revisions, or the launch of a new book. This life isn’t an easy one. Add health problems to the mix and you can buckle even the strongest knees.

So here’s my wish for you: that when you are faced with choices, as we all are everyday, you will choose your health.

Please Choose Your Health

No time to exercise? Choose your health and fit it in somewhere. Even a 20-minute walk is better than nothing.

In a hurry for lunch? Choose your health, and sidestep the fatty, fried food. Go for the grilled chicken sandwich with a fruit side or strawberry salad and a nice tall glass of water.

Majorly stressed out over your book launch? Choose your health with 30 minutes of calming yoga, tai chi, or music therapy, and make a point to help yourself relax.

Not getting enough sleep? Choose your health and make some changes. Shut down the lights sooner. Take the gadgets out of your room. Enjoy a nice hot bath before bed.

It’s the choices we make every day that will determine how we feel 10, 15, and 20 years from now. These aren’t things you can put off until tomorrow. The body and mind register every choice, every day, every month, and every year of your life. Each time you make the wrong one, there’s a price to pay—and the change adds up over time.

Maybe today you feel tired, but tomorrow you’re dealing with a headache, or a sinus infection, or some other more serious ramification of not getting enough sleep.

Maybe this week you gained a pound because you didn’t exercise regularly, but a year from now, it could be five pounds, and then ten, and then you’re facing the risks that come with being overweight.

Maybe today you felt your heart beating fast because you were stressed out, but three months from now, it could be a heart attack.

Sobering thoughts. I know. But they’re worth thinking about if they motivate you to make the right choices.

Please…choose your health today, tomorrow, and for the rest of your life!

Postscript: My stepdad made it through his surgery with flying colors.

Do you choose your health most of the time? Please share your tips with our readers.

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Comments (9)

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  1. What a wonderful article, Colleen.
    And you’re right. Our choices define us. The writer’s life, especially around release day, takes a toll on the body and the soul. Your easy suggestions here can make all the difference.
    Thanks for sharing!

    • Colleen says:

      Thanks so much, Paula. Sounds like you’re speaking from experience! Hope you’re taking good care of yourself. :O)

  2. An important reminder. Thanks for giving me a kick to quit putting off my walks. It’s really counterproductive because I love them. 🙂

  3. jan says:

    Okay – you caught me with my hands in the Kettle Corn! I have to get up and walk around every fifteen minutes or so otherwise my knees pop! Glad your step dad is okay!

  4. Kate says:

    We all need to be reminded to choose health – and then that’s exactly what we do for a period of time. “But we humans tend to have a short memory” so as soon as we feel better – that is so true Colleen. We go off running like a thoroughbred, just like before. That’s why we all need posts like yours – to reign in our race horse to a canter so it can think about those healthy choices every once in a while. I think I’ll go do some yoga now. 😉

  5. Chere Hagopian says:

    Great reminders! It’s the day-to-day individual choices, not the good intentions that may never materialize, that create our lives.

    I’m glad the surgery went well!!