Are you spending too much time wondering about your self-care?
Last week’s discussion of the Health Belief Model sparked several comments and discussions. The themes drawn from these interactions centered around the need to better understand one’s personal health and the real risks that are present.
Trying to decipher our risk factors can take time and may be somewhat unsettling. Some of our beliefs about our risks may be based on realities from our childhood. For example, Helen, living in the Midwest, was accustomed to having tornado drills in school. Sitting in the hallway, with knees pulled to one’s chest, head down and arms over your head. This drill was practiced routinely because she and her classmates were at risk for getting hit by a tornado. Francis, on the other hand, growing-up in New York, never practiced for tornadoes because they generally didn’t hit the Northeast. To ask Francis and his friends to prepare for tornadoes would not make much sense.
To further explore our risk factors, we may want to assess our present situation of living. This would include our home, community, and work environment along with our health status. For example: blood pressure, disease states, weight, exercise level, and lab results.
To explore this idea further, draw a simple family tree and go back several generations and outline their respective illnesses and causes of death. This exercise could help us begin to better understand our various risk factors. Then the question is, do I want to change behaviors to enhance my health and diminish my risk factors?
We all have a finite amount of energy and time to direct toward our self-care. It is not in our best interest for success to try and implement every suggestion for improved health. Going back to our example of tornado training it is imperative that children living in tornado prone areas know how to keep themselves safe. On the other hand, it would be a waste of time and energy to prepare children in the Northeast to prepare for tornadoes.
We have a finite amount of time and energy to dedicate to self-care.
A realistic assessment of risk factors is essential for self-care.
Our childhood experiences around risk factors may need to be addressed.
Face your risk factors without flinching.
Identify community risk factors that may impact where we decide to live and work.
Continue to assess risk factors that impact our health and practice of self-care.
Things to Limit
Minimizing known risk factors.
Thinking that old dogs can’t learn new tricks.
Using Google as your healthcare provider.
Quote of the Week
“Our bodies are our gardens, to which our wills are gardeners”
In summary, the first step in the Health Belief Model is to assess whether you believe that you are at risk for a particular disease or injury. When you are ready, reflect on the areas of focus that have been outlined in this issue of The ZONE and create your own health risk profile and decide where you might want to take your next step for self-care.
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.
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