How are you?
This is a question that most of us answer quickly (“Fine. Okay. Lousy. You?), but from time to time, you really do need to step back and think it over. How are you? How are you feeling? Are you enjoying life? Feeling any sense of accomplishment? Do you have friends? Goals? Hobbies? Is your garage a mess? Do you have trouble sleeping? Praying? Paying your bills? Seriously, how are you?
Several years ago, I developed an assessment plan designed to help me look at all facets of my life in a systematic way (as opposed to laying awake at night with my mind rolodexing through issues and concerns). I call my plan the HOME Assessment/Action Plan, with HOME being an acronym for
These four areas cover every situation and subject of our life. Your job, your daily habits, your favorite pastime, your wardrobe, your budget, your choice of vehicle, Whatever you are doing on a daily basis Obviously, these facets overlap. If your health is bad, your outlook on life may be lousy. Your environment – home, office, car – is affected by your income (money). Health problems are affected by your finances also. None of these compartments are exclusive from each other, but dividing your life into four quadrants makes it easier to assess your current state of being and take action to improve it (if necessary).
Let us look at each component of this plan, starting with H – health.
Health focuses on your physical health (which can include mental health issues). Questions to consider regarding your health include:
- Do you have pain anywhere? Can you banish it? If not, can you reduce it?
- Are you overweight? Underweight?
- Does your stomach give you trouble? Indigestion?
- Are your teeth in good shape? Clean? No cavities? When was the last time you saw a doctor?
- Do you sleep well?
- Do you have a decent amount of energy or are you often fatigued?
- How is your appetite? Do you have healthy eating habits? Do you eat a lot of sweets? Use a lot of salt? Overeat often? Starve yourself? Binge?
- Do you drink alcohol? Do you ever drink too much? If so, how often?
- Do you smoke? Have you tried to quit?
- Do you take recreational drugs? If so, are they adversely affecting your health?
- Do you have any addictions? (You might want to get another’s opinion for this question.)
- How is your eyesight? Your hearing? Can you see the horizon and hear others speaking?
- Do you suffer from depression? Mood swings? Hear voices? (This is actually more common that one might think.)
- Do you have any scratches, cuts, bumps, bruises, or burns that are not healing?
- Are you sexually active? If so, do you use birth control? Practice safe sex?
- Do you drink a lot of caffeinated drinks?
- Do you eat junk food? Drink sugary drinks?
- Do you have any rashes on your skin?
- Do you have arthritis? Is it impacting your ability to get around and get things done?
- Do you ever get short of breath? Have fainting spells? Get dizzy?
- Do you have any allergies? Suffer from hay fever?
- Do you catch colds and get the flu often?
- Do you have heartburn often?
- Do you have problems with incontinence?
- Do you feel anxious for no apparent reason? Depressed? Hyperactive?
- If you taking medication for an illness or chronic condition, is it working?
- If you wear prosthetics or orthotics, do they fit properly?
I have probably overlooked a zillion different health concerns that one might have, but I believe you get the picture. Pay attention to your body and take note of how you feel, how you move, what gives you pain, what seems out of balance. Everyone experiences fatigue and aches occasionally, but you should not be in pain or tired continually. No matter what issues you may have – from being overweight to being bedridden – assess what you can do to improve your well-being. The action(s) you might take could include:
- Losing weight
- Getting your teeth cleaned
- Having your hearing checked
- Taking a vision test
- Seeing a doctor
- Seeing a chiropractor
- Seeing a specialist
- Taking herbal remedies
- Quitting smoking
- Changing your diet
- Going into rehab for drugs or alcohol
- Beginning an exercise regimen
- Using a neti pot
- Seeing a psychiatrist
- Eating more fruits and veggies
- Eating less ice cream
- Taking a multivitamin
- Undergoing physical therapy
- Being screened for cancer
- Undergoing medical tests
- Adjusting your medication
How you handle your health issues is your prerogative, but once in a while – once a month, annually, seasonally, twice a year – it is good to focus exclusively on how well is your well-being. Once you determine your physical fitness and how you feel, you can do a bit of decluttering and/or self-improvement in that area. Quit bad habits, start new regimens, go to the dentist, get new glasses, get a second opinion.
While health is important, it is just one of the four cornerstones of the life you are building. Check back in a few days for the next installment of the HOME Assessment/Action Plan.