Practice What you Preach

Talking the Talk and Walking the Walk

Nurses Smoking, Dentist’s with gross teeth, Doctors who are off the scale out of shape, Who am I to judge?

Nurses go through a tremendous amount of stress on the job, a Dentist’s mouth is not necessarily a reflection of his knowledge and doctors don’t have to all look like they do in Grey’s anatomy. But still, something seems a little off, at least in my mind it does.

I really like to make sure there is no dissonance between my actions and my words. I am a woman of my word and for that very reason I think it’s important to practice what you preach.  If an individual truly is invested with the health and well being of others, why wouldn’t they apply that same knowledge to themselves? By no means am I suggesting that you have to have it all together always. But I feel as though we need to be held accountable for our actions. I think what’s important to note is that it’s more about the effort than the actual result. For example, for the most part many therapists are encouraged to see other therapists (with the exception of cognitive behavioral therapists).  For the most part, it’s not about mastering your mental troubles, but about taking the steps toward wellness.

College is not only a time to learn the material, but I feel as though it’s the time to train for your future. Pre- K is to get you ready for grade school, which is a preparation for high school which is a preparation for college.  College is a preparation for…Life?  I believe that the habits you begin to form now can help you in your future.  I argue that you have to go above and beyond just the basic general school requirements, and make these 4 years worthwhile.  I know many individuals, including myself, are just anxious to go into the real world and do your thing. But we may fail to recognize the value and implications of these 4 years outside of the basic academics. This is our chance to discover who we really are and who we’d really like to be. We’re experimenting, challenging our old ways, making mistakes, not making mistakes, establishing habits. All in all, this is a great opportunity to continue to change for the best, and not to waste away. I think it’s important for each individual to really ask themselves if they are committed to the cause. Are you practicing what you want to preach?

My view of being committed to the health field really reflects a holistic medicine approach. In my mind, this includes the body, mind, and possibly spiritual aspects of the individual. [I’m probably sounding like a hippie by now]. so what I consume/what I don’t consume, am I trying to strengthen my heart muscles, what kinds of things am I doing to myself mentally? Being a well rounded individual is something that is important to me, and if someone were to ask my honest opinion I would suggest that they do the same.

Here are my make shift ways of integrating this concept to my own life:

Body:  I hate working out. [Emphasis on the hate] I love the Arc, sadly it’s week 7 (I think) and I have yet to set foot in that place. On top of that, running hurts my knees. I have bad knees and I’m supposed to be strengthening them to counteract that. Oops.

The compromise: I walk to class just about every day. So that’s a solid 2 miles maybe? On top of that I just really like to take walks and check things out. I also am getting into biking. On Tuesday mornings, I bike to the educational building and every Friday I make the trek out to Meadow Brook Park. Which by the way is a beautifully crafted chunk of land that sits south of campus ( check it out).

From what I remember in A&P it’s only going to get more difficult to build and maintain muscle, but it’s not just about the cardio. You are what you eat from your head to your feet. I don’t know where I remember hearing that from but I do believe that food can be the best medicine.  I am not a vegetarian, or Vegan but I don’t go crazy on the meat. I also make sure to have fruits & Vegetables as much as possible. For now, a healthyish diet is good enough for me.

I almost forgot, Sleep. That’s one thing I use to really not do. But after reading tons of articles on how important sleep is I’ve re-evaluated my needs. I know that’s probably easier than said but if you have not slept a solid 8 in days, perhaps Thursday night brothers isn’t the place to be. ( that’s debateable, I know, those are just my 2 cents)

Mind:

Feeling stressed? Yea me too! Let’s face it, college is stressful. That along with everything else that life throws at you can really be a lot on just one individual.

My coping mechanisms:

-Music. Need I say more?  My favorite stress songs: beatles- blackbird, Ingrid Michaelson- keep breathing, switchfoot- I dare you to move,   she&him- please please please let me get what I want, Enya- may it be,  Lucho gatica-El Reloj,  Ed sheeran- The Ateam, Noah and the Whale : 5 years time.  Eminem- Lose yourself,  Lil wayne- drop the world.

-Volunteering:  I think it’s good to find time to not get consumed with the “you.” This might sound a little counterproductive because when stressed the first thing that comes to mind is YOU. But I kind of like the opportunity of stepping outside of your shoes and focusing on the positive things you can still control and still being able to bring joy to others.

– Misery loves company: I like finding words or phrases that attempt to explain how I’m feeling. Whenever I’m stressed I like to go online and find quotes or old sayings that attempt to match whatever I’m feeling inside. It’s kind of nice be able to physically see something that goes along with whatever is brewing in my mind. At first I really thought I just liked the different wordings of stuff. But in all honestly, I’m hypothesizing that I like the idea that some other sucker was feeling the same way I am feeling.  That I’m not alone in this boat, or better yet I’m alone in this boat but that I’m in the middle of a sea with a ton of other people in their own boats.  Or I just really like clever quotes, and those are comforting to me.

Soul: Whether it’s turning to your faith or not I like to think of Soul as a way of focusing in on the “you “and what your body and mind is telling you to do.  That sounded kind of weird.  Maybe a better way of explaining that is through an example. I made a list of my favorite places in which I felt most at peace. Ice arena, eating coldstone ice cream outside on green street, Newman’s chapel, at mass, 7th floor of the psych building, Right in the middle of the arboretum. I think Soul can be just those times and places that really enrich you, or places that house peace, or just places that you love. Now that I officially sound like a a wanna-be Yoga instructor, you can think about what Soul means to you.

Bottom line: Figure out what works best for you. Everyone is the master of their own lives and thus knows what is best for them. But if you are going to master a subject, this is the time to do it. And I believe that if you are going to be a part of the health field that you should be fully committed, what better way to show it than with yourself?

Other resources on campus:

This Wednesday at  10/10/12 the lunch series will be giving a presentation about healthy/unhealthy coping mechanisms at 708. S. Matthews at noon. These types of events are so frequent on campus you just have to stay informed!

The Stress Management Coordinator is available to address such issues as stress, time management, self-esteem, and assertiveness. To schedule an appointment with a stress management coordinator, call Health Education at 333-2714. Appointments are kept confidential, informal, and generally last about an hour.

Your Friends! Ask your friends and use each other for inspiration/ideas. Stay informed.

-Karina Diaz

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