Home. Most often referred to as a place where we reside. There are those who however, define home with regards to certain people or memories made during a certain period.
No matter how we choose to define it, most of us would agree that mentioning home provides a certain warm and fuzzy feeling that brings a sense of hope and happiness for some.
We go to lengths to protect our homes; we insure, clean and secure it, to ensure it remains that safe place we can always recline or return to.
Well, as beautiful as this sounds, the fundamental truth that is so easily ignored is this – YOU ARE YOUR FIRST HOME.
Yes, you first live inside you before anywhere else. You are the one person you always take everywhere and can never get away from. You are the safest place to hide things no one else knows nor would ever know about.
Yes, those times you think about something awful or plan a surprise, you are the first and most secure home for those thoughts or secrets.
A close friend of mine usually says this when she wants to avoid getting upset over something she heard, ‘I just go to my happy place’. She reverts inside herself and disconnects from the world around her to avoid potential hurt.
When we talk about wellbeing, the general consensus revolves around our physical and/or mental health at best. If we are honest with ourselves, there is a whole lot more to our beings than what we can physically see. We don’t see anger, fear or anxiety but we can definitely agree they exist!
If we can see ourselves as ‘the first home we experience’, we would be more inclined to treat this home as a priority and with a similar gusto, compared to the other places we identify as home.
So, what would this mean for our wellbeing? How can we holistically take care of ourselves, our first and most important home? Let’s look at a few suggestions.
1. Have a renewed perspective on how you see yourself. You are your first home. If you want the ultimate comfort, prioritize securing and taking care of this home by judiciously evaluating the main areas of your life.
2. Your Body. Obviously, this goes without saying. Your physical health will determine to a large extent the quality of life you will have. Focus on eating healthily and exercising regularly for optimal health.
3. Your Mind. The mind is like a Pandora box on its own. It is so powerful that research has shown it can actually affect your physical body as seen in studies that relate mental health with physical health. Take care of your mind by improving your mental strength and stamina, to be able to withstand stress and to be disciplined enough to avoid distractions and mind wandering.
4. Your Emotions. The most exciting and delicate parts of you will be expressed through your emotions. Learning to achieve a balanced state of emotions will go a long way in helping you avoid ‘highs and lows’ states, that can easily wear you out.
5. Your Relationships. Let’s face it. Relationships can either make or break a person. You can love or hate them but it doesn’t change the fact that we are built as relational beings. The challenge we face in relationships mostly come from unequal balance in giving and receiving.
To combat this, find and invest quality time to maintain relationships with people you love, who also love you for you and are not just tolerating you.
That way, you can enjoy the time you spend together without pretence and leave them with a refreshed and full love tank, of course, experienced by both sides. In essence, to improve our wellbeing, we need to aim to thrive successfully in inter-dependent relationships.
6. Your Career. Granted, we spend a significant amount of our lives pursuing a career so our work will have an impact on our wellbeing. Whether that impact ends up being positive and uplifting or the opposite, depends on the ‘WHY’ behind the career choice. Doing what you both love and are good at, motivates you to get out of bed because you are living a purposeful live.
7. Your Finances. Your financial health begins with the relationship you have with money. An unhealthy relationship will lead you down a road of irresponsible spending and poor financial judgement. In extreme cases, this has led to homelessness for some people. In another example, statistics has also identified financial problems as one of the main causes of divorce.
The take home message is simple. You are, and should be in control of your money. When the reverse happens, you are more likely to have an unhealthy financial life which will affect your wellbeing.
8. Your Faith. The key here is to be able to balance your spiritual life and beliefs with how your body wants to respond to societal orientation. For instance, there are people who have more productive days and a sense of inner peace because they start their day with a simple prayer.
Interestingly, research has also shown that people who are more religious have better mental health and adapt more quickly to health problems compared to those who are less religious.
It was also noted that these possible benefits to mental health and well-being have physiological consequences that impact physical health, affect the risk of disease, and influence response to treatment.
At some point in our lives, we can no longer blame our past or upbringing for our present challenges. If you want to see results and improve your wellbeing as a whole, you need to put in the effort needed to bring about a change.
What you allow and tolerate in your life, will happily stay. You usually end up with what you decided to put up with.
So, instead of focusing valuable energy on complaining about your problems, DO SOMETHING NOW, no matter how little, to confront them and work your way up from there.
Life can be enjoyed if we are willing to first take care of ourselves (the first home we experience), so we can be in a healthy state to serve and help others.