The last time I actually fulfilled a New Years resolution was my final year of high school. I resolved to be invited to a formal other than my own. Lucky for me I caught the bus everyday with the boys from our local Boys College. I was excited to be asked by a close male friend. More than 15 years later, we still communicate.
Since then, like many of you I am sure, I have made the usual resolutions and failed to successfully accomplish them. It seems to me that many resolutions are negative from the very beginning; they have little to no respect for who you are as a person. At least for me, they have always been competitive and more concerned with outward appearances than my own development and wellbeing. With this in mind, I am making the conscious decision to create realistic, positive goals to improve my physical and mental health, career and relationships.
So what are they? I don’t have a list exactly, rather the motivation to not have another seizure for at least 12 months. In Australia there are laws regarding epilepsy and driving. I am currently unable to drive until at least the 23rd January when I will have an EEG and follow-up consultation with my specialist. Hopefully nothing has changed, and the suggested cause of my recent seizures is substantiated. If I have a seizure within this year, I will have my drivers’ license suspended for 12 months. I intend to do everything within my power to ensure this does not happen.
It is interesting how people just don’t understand the importance of having a drivers’ license. For me, it is simply the independence driving affords. I can meet friends anywhere I choose, I can get to work earlier or leave later and I can go grocery shopping without worrying if there are too many bags to carry home. Ultimately my independent and stubborn soul finds the need to rely on others difficult to handle.
In the interest of my own wellbeing, independence and health goals I am taking stock. I am sure the cause of my most recent seizures was stress. Actually now that I think about it, all of the seizures I have had in the last 10 years were stress related. I need to remember that you work to live, not live to work. Despite what we think, everyone is replaceable. So if I want to reduce stress in my life, I need to consider how stress affects health and discover ways to overcome it.
So what is stress and how does it affect your body? Researching the answers to these questions lead me to the Stress Management Society. See their web page at:
On this web page I found a stress test. Well no surprises there. However some of the suggestions are extremely valid and will form part of my plan for action:
- Work off stress with physical activity
- Release adrenaline and increase endorphins, the happy hormone.
- Say “No”
- When necessary, say “no” and don’t attempt to fulfill unrealistic expectations.
- Time Management
- Do one thing at a time. Be organized and factor in time for unexpected issues. Write a list of work that needs to be accomplished. Prioritize an order of importance and decide what jobs can be delegated to others. Finally, consider if there are any jobs that are not important and can be deleted from your list.
I will begin now with physical activity that encourages endorphins. Whilst I have always preferred to play a musical instrument or sing for hours than exercise I will begin by finding activity that is enjoyable. Earlier this year I bought a treadmill. I actually quite enjoy a brisk walk on the treadmill with a great play list on my iPod. Similarly I enjoyed my associations with Planet Inline, an inline skating school in the heart of Brisbane City. For obvious reasons, skating is not a safe activity at the moment however there is nothing stopping me resuming regular treadmill activity with an updated play list to keep things interesting!
There is so much yet to say. I am finding this exploration into the aspects of my life therapeutic and informative. Whilst I keep you informed of my progress, please continue to leave suggestions and feedback.
“Those who gave thee a body, furnished it with weakness; but He who gave thee Soul, armed thee with resolution. Employ it, and thou art wise; be wise and thou art happy.”
– Akhenaton, ancient Egyptian ruler