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Western society offers an almost infinite number of distractions to draw us away from our focus on self-development and good health.

For many, there are constraints to the choices we can make about how we live but, while we remain in fairly democratic countries, we do have many choices we can make to control our quality of life and lifestyle.

Work – If we are employed outside the home, we may have working hours set for us, but will have a number of choices. We may be able to choose whether or not to accept and celebrate the security of our work, or resent restrictions placed on us (I have done both in my time). We may be able to choose whether or not to work overtime and/or how much overtime. We can choose which other employees we associate with and how much time we spend with them.

Working from home presents different challenges and options. We can prepare a dedicated work space to reduce distractions and gain greater satisfaction from our work. We can choose to take breaks each hour to stretch, exercise and/or meditate. We can create a workspace with plants, pictures and bright but restful décor to enhance our working life.

Home life – It is easy to develop habits that are detrimental to our health. If we have ceased employment, we may find that we are becoming lethargic or spending too much time reading or watching TV. It is easy to get sucked into social media and waste many hours on trivia.

If we are able to live comfortably without paid employment, we have the chance to create a new career – getting well.

Recovery can become our full-time job and we can be as dedicated as we wish. This is the chance to change our prognosis from hopeless to fantastic.

Take regular breaks to exercise and meditate.

Take time each day to celebrate and be thankful for our home, garden, belongings, loved ones and weather (warm, cold, dry, wet – it is all great weather).

Create a regular routine of activity and rest to keep your body moving, but with enough intermittent “down time” to allow recovery.

Reading, Listening and Watching – What do we choose to watch on TV or social media, listen to on radio, or read?

Right now (August 2021), the world is full of fear, separation, bigotry and misinformation. This can exacerbate the fight/flight/freeze response in us, increasing production of adrenal chemicals and reducing production of dopamine, serotonin and anandamide.

We can choose to avoid the “news” (usually sensationalised and inaccurate) and find music or interesting discussion shows on radio. We can escape into comedy or watch documentaries on places we wish to visit or activities we enjoy.

Instead of listening to politicians present nebulous policies or “experts” analysing gloom and doom, we can watch our favourite sport or meditate to gentle music.

Fear and agitation will always be there waiting for us. But we can choose to move into a peaceful or joyful space, learn and have fun.

Involvement – In most communities, we have opportunities to spend some time supporting others through volunteering. This can provide connection with people outside our immediate circle, satisfaction in helping others, and activities that take us away from self-focus.

Even if we are relatively immobile, we may be able to sew a little, sort clothes, stuff envelopes, sit at a table and welcome people, or many other non-stressful jobs that are needed to support our communities.

Where possible, it is great to get involved with an exercise group or gymnasium, cycling club, walking group, book club, bird watchers or garden club. Once again, we may not be fully mobile, but can still participate and spend time with kind and generous people.

It is always good to be involved.

In lifestyle, we always have choices and it is up to us to make choices that will enhance our return to wellness.

Lifestyle episode 3 will discuss dressing for the day and business plan. See you next time 😊


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