If you had to put a price on your head, how much would you be worth? Hundreds, thousands, millions or billions of dollars?
What are all of the things that you bring to the table in your relationships, family and work?
What do you value spending money on?
Your daily coffee to get you going in the morning, a weekly or monthly housekeeper to keep you sane, travel, quality clothing that is comfortable and doesn’t fall apart in the washer, organic food, massages for relaxation, phone apps to make your life more efficient?
What about your health? How much is that worth?
For the longest time, I thought I valued my health because I was “doing all of the right things.” I was “eating healthy”, meaning I was mainly choosing veggies, meat and occasionally indulging in a treat. I was lifting weights, doing yoga and/or cardio daily. I was taking high-quality supplements to give my body extra nutritional support. And I was seeing a chiropractor, acupuncturist or massage therapist at least once every 2 months to tune up my body.
It wasn’t until I faced mold illness, estrogen dominance and was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s that I realized how much I hadn’t been valuing myself and my body.
Looking back now I can see the signs my body was giving me for over two years- how it was trying to tell me that something wasn’t right, and how I chose to ignore them because I had “more important” things to do or because I “didn’t have time.”
Not valuing yourself is at the core of almost every health issue I see.
With every client I’ve worked with or person I’ve spoken to about their health issues, there is always one common characteristic or behavior…a tendency to put others or everything else before self.
Here are some of the common ways this shows up…
Don’t have time to cook = making everything else a priority over cooking
Not exercising = not making time/not willing to invest in accountability (i.e. personal trainer)
Going to bed late = not setting healthy boundaries to support an early bedtime
Working long hours = won’t delegate, fear of asking for help and being seen as less than
Feeling really stressed out = not making time to de-stress and resisting spending money to relax
We make time and we find the money for what is important to us. If your car broke down and you needed to get somewhere, you would find the money to fix it. We all have the same 24 hours in a day, but how we choose to use those hours is what can make all the difference in your health.
A few years ago, during reiki training, my teacher said I had to meditate for 30 minutes 21 days in a row. My initial reaction was, “I don’t have time to meditate for 30 minutes every day! I barely have time to relax and watch TV at night with my husband.” But I never turn down a challenge, and if I wanted to learn reiki, making time to meditate was part of the deal.
I carved out 30 minutes to meditate one day at a time, and before I knew it 21 days had passed. Over time I fell in love with the positive effect’s meditation had on my body so much that now I meditate for 30 minutes twice a day at least 5 days a week!
How did I find time to do this when I originally felt like there wasn’t enough time in my day? I decided I was worth it, that my post-meditation bliss and my health was more rewarding and more important than some of the other things I was spending my time on. I let go of having to tidy up the house at night, decided to get up a little bit earlier and let my husband know how important meditation was to me so we could find other time to spend with each other.
It’s not our fault that we have evolved to not prioritize ourselves or see our self-worth. Somewhere along the line taking time for ourselves, voicing our needs, standing up for what we wanted or needed, and making ourselves a priority became shamed upon or seen as selfish.
But embracing your self-worth, making your health and self a priority is far from selfish, it’s essential to your survival.
If you don’t take care of yourself, who will?
Your kids or your family? Is that a fair burden to leave them with when you have all the power right now to ensure a better quality of life as you age?
When I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s I was faced with having to re-evaluate my lifestyle to see how it was or wasn’t supporting my health in order to try and figure out 1) how I landed here and 2) how could I recover from this.
Although I was “doing all of the right things”, or at least I thought I was, it wasn’t enough or exactly what my body needed. I couldn’t just keep doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different outcome for my health.
It was a humbling experience, to say the least. It forced me to look deep within and see where I was still not putting myself first, not valuing what I was worth.
A passage in one of my spiritual books describes to a tee what I was faced with and what most of my clients are faced with in regard to making health a priority…
“Awakening begins with noticing more of what you normally ignore. The process of denial happens so quickly that it is difficult to interrupt it at first. It is that imperceptible flash of feeling you override with a more acceptable thought, the burst of inspiration you judge to be foolish, the presence of greatness your unworthiness will not allow you to receive and the true feeling of dislike that guilt shames you to nullify. The mind would have you believe that awakening comes from what you know, but this is not a journey through the mind.”
There were plenty of moments leading up to my diagnosis when I could sense that something wasn’t right in my body: I started putting on weight, I wasn’t recovering from my workouts well, I didn’t have the same energy or endurance, I started grinding my teeth, had occasional ear ringing and I had acne for the first time in my life, just to name a few of the signs.
But I kept pushing it off telling myself I would do something about it “soon” (ignoring it), judging myself for not exercising hard enough and thinking I must just be out of shape, and resisting spending the money to seek help or to actually run some tests to take a look at what was going on.
Before I knew it, two years had flown by. I had gained 15 pounds, had some severe hormonal issues going on and I didn’t feel anything like myself in my body.
Over time, if we keep giving ourselves the short end of the stick, it will eventually catch up to us until one day you look in the mirror and wonder “how the heck did I get here.”
Luckily, I caught my Hashimoto’s early and was able to reverse it quickly. I honored that I needed to modify my diet, even though it meant eating differently than everyone else. I made even more time to meditate to allow my body to heal. I set my ego aside and turned down the intensity of my exercise. I embraced the fact that I had to take even more supplements for a period of time to support my body’s healing process. And I accepted I need to spend money on me to get me back to where I wanted to be.
Had I owned my self-worth sooner, made time for myself, and paid attention to what my body was trying to tell me, maybe I would have never landed myself in such a pickle in the first place.
Don’t wait until you’re faced with a health crisis to value yourself.
It’s the little things we do each day that either add or subtract value to our self-worth. Think of it as your bank account. If you’re constantly withdrawing money for every time you give to others or your work, for every instance you eat something that isn’t right for you because you didn’t make time to cook or plan ahead, for every night you stayed up burning the midnight oil or for every workout you forced yourself to do even when you were tired, you would find yourself quickly in debt.
We have to deposit money into our body bank account just as much, if not more than we withdraw it.
Any time you give back to yourself, communicate your needs and take action to make yourself more of a priority, you build your value. It might be uncomfortable at first, but with each value-building action, you take your confidence to keep taking action will grow.
Here are 3 simple ways you can start to reclaim and build value in your self-worth to support your health…
#1- Do 1 Thing A Day
Doing just one thing a day for yourself, and no one else is one of the simplest and easiest steps you can take towards embracing your self-worth. This can be as simple as taking a bubble bath, stepping outside for a break at work or making 5 minutes to meditate. You’ll find that you’ll gravitate to it more often when you consistently do it through the power of positive reinforcement and reward.
#2- Hire help
You can’t do it all alone. Everyone needs help. Often times when my clients run up against excuses about not having time or knowledge to achieve what they want I ask them, “what resources or support do you need to make it happen?” Do you need to hire a housekeeper to free up some time, a personal trainer or health coach for accountability and guidance or a food delivery service to take the work out of it. I have come to know that my time is worth money. If I have to pay someone to do a job I can do myself just to get a moment of peace and relaxation, it’s totally worth it!
#3- Schedule An Escape
Your work vacation benefits are meant to be used. That’s why you have them. And if you work for yourself, there’s no excuse to not use them. This is such a common area where people downplay the value of themselves while making work more of a priority. Whether it’s a half-day, a long weekend or several weeks, this is one of the best ways that you can invest in yourself by immersing in nature and/or by simply disconnecting from the monotony of your typical day. When you schedule an escape, you will emerge more energize and rejuvenated. You deserve a damn vacation.
We tend to lean on so much science when it comes to our health: eat this not that, exercise this way, take these supplements, etc. But the way we are acting, the way we are being and how we are treating ourselves play just as much a role in the outcomes of our health as what we put in and on our body. Valuing yourself creates a positive impact on a cellular level that boosts your health.
Don’t wait until it’s too late until you’re faced with a fork in the road or a health crisis. Start depositing money in your body bank today and building your health 401K for the future.
So how can you start depositing more than you’re withdrawing to build your value and self-worth?