At the conclusion of 2019 the Aligned Life staff and I looked ahead towards 2020 and created a curriculum of themes, classes and focus points that we believed would help our patients have their healthiest year yet. The overarching theme for the year was “Creating Sustainable Health Habits”. At that point in time we had decided to call the month of July the month of “Reigniting Habits”. We chose this, because we believed that although people could start the year off right with goal setting and creating initial routines, we often lose momentum around July and need to be reminded of the original objectives. Never could we have known at that time just how spot on this reminder of the importance of our habits would be needed at this point in time.
As I have spoken with patients going through the last 3-4 months I have been strongly reminded of the importance of routines in helping human beings achieve and maintain their health. These daily, weekly or monthly habits allow people to limit the effect of the external world. By keeping up with the things that mean the most to them, often this includes their health, it allows them to be present with handling new challenges along their path. For many, COVID, racial injustice, job changes and the impending election have proven to be too much to handle in addition to maintaining their healthy lifestyle. This has shown up in the office as missed appointments, less effort in home care exercises and traction, as well as a reduced frequency of healthy lifestyle habits including exercise and nutrition. Accordingly, I have seen more pain, more suffering and less quality of life in the last few months than I have seen in my initial 12 years of clinical practice. I believe this stems from how we often manifest health problems in our body’s based upon the mental stress we experience. I also believe that a lack of healthy habits leads to the accumulation of stress and eventual disease or injury.
That being said, I have also seen a select group of people who appear to be unphased by everything that has transpired. They continue to appear light and in control. They seem to approach life with a “glass half full” attitude even in the midst of chaos. They have NOT experienced more pain in their body’s. They have NOT begun to eat poorly, lack exercise or no-show on their chiropractic care. It has been fascinating, watching these select individuals navigate this time frame and observe how they have done things differently than others. This difference, although subtle, I believe has made all the difference in their ability to remain healthy and thriving in the last few months.
To be clear, these people are no different than anyone else. The only thing they have done, is recognize that a healthy mind and body are foundational in creating an amazing life. Accordingly, they have set up a plan to give themselves the best chance to be healthy and they have done what it takes to stick to that plan. I have also noticed that these people have chosen NOT to just do the minimum of what is necessary. In contrast they have added health building activities during this challenging time with the understanding that this would further ensure their most valuable asset during times of stress. Adding workouts, adding adjustments, adding meditations, adding healthy foods, BEYOND what they normally receive has been the hallmark feature of these remarkable individuals.
It is my hope, that by increasing awareness as to what the best practices are for how to win during a time when things are challenging, that ALL of our community at Aligned Life can benefit. We look forward to partnering with you this month as you reestablish your health and life goals!
-Dr. Devin Shea