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  • Writer's pictureDr. Francis Battisti & Dr. Helen Battisti

The Zone - Volume 104

Do I believe that I can stay healthy?

For the past few weeks we have been speaking with audiences throughout the country. One topic, from multiple perspectives, that individuals keeping asking about is self-care. This may be stemming from an increased awareness of how depleted some of us are beginning to feel within the realms of body, mind, and spirit. This sense of depletion is understandable because of the state of the world. However, we have wondered how much do people believe they can be healthy and not feel so depleted?

From the Health Belief Model (HBM), the questions that are raised are, “Are we really that depleted and even if we are, what are the consequences of it, or is this just normal?” While on one hand these comments may seem foolish, they are understandable based on the reality of the advances of modern medicine and the creative reality of some pharmaceutical commercials. The HBM is one of the first theories used for assessing health behaviors and remains widely used today. It was developed in the 1950’s by a team of US Public Health Service social psychologists. Their purpose was to better understand why so few individuals participated in programs to prevent and detect diseases. While feeling a sense of depletion in our mind, body and spirit may not be classified as a disease, this depletion can certainly lead to disease. If we know this to be true, then it begs the question of why we aren’t practicing a higher level of self-care.

Let’s look at an example of self-care that we aren’t utilizing as well as we could. According to the CDC, “Each year in the United States, about 255,000 cases of breast cancer are diagnosed in women and about 2,300 in men. About 42,000 women and 500 men in the U.S. die each year from breast cancer.” Even though most women and men can get free screening for breast cancer, here are some of the reasons many choose for not going.

  • They are too busy

  • It is too painful

  • They feel healthy and therefore not at risk of developing breast cancer

  • They fear the diagnosis

  • They may have had a false positive and don’t want to go through it again

These same reasons can be applicable to the broader question of why more people are not engaged in a higher level of self-care.

Here is the Health Belief Model and studying it may help us to better understand our own ambivalence as well as those we care about.

As you spend more time with this model, you may want to work on a specific strategy for self-care and use the insights that you have gained to move your progress forward. We have found that the information and insights that can be gained from working with this model, can move you beyond the excuses and self-inflicted obstacles that may be holding you back.


Key Takeaways

  • Self-imposed obstacles can sink our motivation to move forward.

  • Now is the time to practice self-care.

  • The Health Belief Model can offer many insights as to personal motivation

Best Practices

  • Examine your beliefs from every angle possible.

  • Don’t put your head in the sand when it comes to your health.

  • Don’t put off until tomorrow what needs to be done today

Things to Limit

  • Procrastination.

  • Listening to only what makes you feel comfortable.

  • Denying what your gut is telling you.


Quote of the Week

“If you feel “burnout” setting in, if you feel demoralized and exhausted, it is best, for the sake of everyone, to withdraw and restore yourself.”

~Dalai Lama


In summary, Spring is the ideal time to refresh, renew and reward ourselves. Deciding to be more responsible for our total health will allow us to focus on growing our expectations and enjoyment of a purposeful healthy life

Be well,

The paraDocs

Photo credits Girl with red hat on unsplash

Check our Welcome Greeting on YouTube

The paraDocs are Dr. Francis L. Battisti, PhD, Psychotherapist, Distinguished Psychology Professor and former Executive V.P and Chief Academic Officer and Dr. Helen E. Battisti PhD, RDN, CDN, Chief Nutrition Officer, at SpNOD, Health Promotion Specialist, Research and Clinical Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and former Assistant Professor.

We have developed "The ZONE", because that is exactly where you want to be during this pandemic. A place of focused attention to doing exactly what needs to be done to get you to where you need to be. The purpose of The Zone is to provide a nationally distributed weekly mental-health and nutrition tip-sheet during times of change.

If you would like to get copies of The ZONE that you may have missed or if you know someone that would like to start receiving The ZONE, please signup today... It's free and you can unsubscribe anytime.

Permission is given to share with others.

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