I had an interesting chat with a patient at work, about what a quality of life is. There are so many people out there these days fighting off infections, dealing with disease and generally trying to look on the bright side. But, how do we ever prevent this from happening? How much can we really prevent, and how do we know the best prevention?
They say we should eat well, exercise and prevent stress. That seems so easy at first glance, but life doesn’t always present a stress-free environment, a lot of people don’t get the nutrition they need due to convenience these days, we don’t all exercise as much as we should and lets face it, we don’t get enough sleep either. But, I’ve been thinking about the lifestyle our parents and our grandparents had. I know for mine there might have been a lot more stress, my Dad worked a lot but mainly because he had a family to support, a mortgage to pay and my Mum wanted to stay home and be a Mum. Much the same as my Dad’s parents, my Grandfather went to work while my Grandmother was a housewife and homemaker, same as my Mum’s parents. And, I get it, it was a simpler time, they knew what was important and it was similar as today, only now we are aiming higher, which means working harder and longer – but where is the family time? The dream was to support family and own their own home to set themselves up for retirement, but I remember always having time with my family, and as a family.
I guess these goals haven’t changed by much, except the basics. We seem to spend less time with family for whatever reasons, the distance or work commitments. We often eat out of convenience, take away on the way home due to work hours or something from the freezer, and I must say I do this, but I try to make sure I have something healthy and home-cooked in the freezer. Then there’s sleep, I know I don’t get that much sleep these days, mostly because I have trouble adjusting from early mornings to late nights at work, makes it hard for my body to know when it’s time for sleep. There there’s exercise… What can I say, now we have an obesity epidemic, plus lots of health related issues. Again it comes back to work commitments, and we just don’t make the time for the things we should. I know I make excuses, especially at the moment because I’m exhausted, but why am I exhausted? Because lately I work over time, I haven’t been eating as well as I should lately and I can’t sleep the necessary hours on a regular basis.
It’s interesting to talk to people with very debilitating health problems and the thing they value now is just to “feel well”. Yet, those of us who have just this take it all for granted. Sometimes I think we need to be reminded that our choices now are going to affect us later, and the importance to looking after the only body we have. It has an expiration date, all of us have differing expiration dates on our organs and we should take the time out to enjoy a sunrise, a sunset, generally experience the free beauties and take care of ourselves.
At the end of the day our lifestyles are different, that’s the main change. We work more because we want more, which sounds materialistic, but for some reason we seem to feel the need to have more than our parents had. However I think it’s important to remember what is important, we have all the time in the world for material possessions and can always make more money, but we should really appreciate each other more, make the most of the time we have with family and friends in these busy times.