Why is it so hard to be healthy?
Most of us could admit that we’re falling short when it comes to our physical health. We know that being busy with work, family, and the many other hats we wear explains a significant portion of the struggle. Further, new diets, new research, and conflicting “expertise” about the do’s and don’ts can be confusing and de-motivating.
It feels like prioritizing physical health — diet, sleep, exercise — is a huge task we just don’t have the time, energy, or money for. But what if it’s not actually as hard as we think?
When we say “physical health,” we’re referring to an overall feeling of health and well-being. The state of feeling good as a result of being healthy.
What are the barriers we’re facing?
Not enough time.
Do you often tell yourself you just don’t have enough time to do what you know is healthy? You don’t have time to go to the gym, you don’t have time to buy groceries, you don’t have time to go to bed early enough?
You probably don’t want to hear it, but you actually do have more time than you think. Many of us who feel we never have enough time are reacting more to our perceived lack of control over our time, rather than an actual state of being busy.
We know you have a lot going on. A simple mindset shift isn’t going to add 10 hours to your day. But it can make a difference.
A recent study of 2,500 employees in technology and finance companies revealed that people who felt more passionate about their work were less rushed and harried than others. Another study found that people who viewed their goals as conflicting (for example, feeling like they have to choose between saving money and buying things they want, or between being healthy and eating food they like) felt shorter on time.
The way we perceive time is directly linked to the amount of time pressure we feel.
Not enough money.
Hey, staying healthy really can be expensive. Two-thirds of U.S. bankruptcies occur due to medical reasons. If you’ve ever gone without health insurance you know exactly how expensive health can be.
We honor if your finances truly don’t allow for you to prioritize your health in certain ways, but the link between financial and physical well-being is undeniable. Rather than viewing your financial well-being as a barrier to your physical health, a simple mindset shift can help inspire you to elevate in both areas. Prioritizing physical health is about prevention. While that gym membership or those organic groceries may cut into your current finances, your investment in your health will save you money in the long-term.
Whether you realize it or not, you could probably think of some scenarios where you ignored, minimized, self-diagnosed, or explained away something going on with your physical health. For example, maybe you’ve told yourself you’re just getting older, or it’s due to the cold weather. Maybe you tell yourself it’ll pass once something else in your life changes.
Why do we explain away problems with our health?
Sometimes, we really do think that our explanation is accurate. But other times, we fear finding out that there’s a problem. Or we know that there is a problem and we are avoiding dealing with it. The financial, emotional, and relational cost of addressing the issue can also act as a barrier.
Wait. It’s not actually as hard as I think?
Sometimes, we really don’t have enough time, money, or energy. There are some very real and extremely valid reasons for why prioritizing physical health and improving physical well-being is difficult at times.
Many of us have developed a habit and a lifestyle of ignoring our bodies and our needs, explaining away our lack of physical well-being. In some cases, simple adjustments to mindset and lifestyle can bring us into a space of enjoying life and feeling good.
Ready to get started?
- Make a plan
- Set goals
- Reflect on what a higher level of physical health means to you
- Don’t try to change everything all at once
- Aim to create new or improved health habits, not just end results
- Change/disrupt your environment
- Recognize that small changes add up