Take Care Of Yourself
It’s really true. You have nothing if you don’t have your health.
I hate that I’ve had to be so focused on my health in recent months. My treatment for stage IV colon cancer has been tough, as I’ve been saying in recent blog posts and on Instagram, but my life is worth saving. Is yours?
As an African-American entrepreneur, husband, and father I always had a lot of situations, projects and people on my mind. I know now that I should have been one of my priorities. I rarely stopped to think that if I didn’t take good care of myself, everything else that depends on me could crumble. And I thought I was doing pretty well at keeping myself healthy!
If you’re a person of color, this is National Minority Health Month. Take this opportunity to get or schedule any regular check-ups that you’ve been putting off. If you are not a person of color, I hope this inspires you to do the same thing. If you discover a health problem, let your family and friends know. It took me a while to talk about my cancer. I think I needed that time to wrap my mind around it. The love and support I have felt since I opened up have helped me keep going.
I’ve learned that sharing what you’re going through when times get tough is a way of taking care of yourself.
In Rent-A-Cop Reboot I wrote about a few basic ways of taking care of yourself that too many security professionals often skip. Here are a few:
Sleep. You may not always be able to get a full 8 hours of sleep each night, but you will feel and function much better if you try. I know there are a lot of security guards, especially younger ones, who think getting in the extra time hanging out with friends is important. It is, but you can do that when you have the following day off.
Exercise. Many security guards have to stand and walk a lot, and think that is enough exercise. However, if you want to stay at the top of your game, add additional exercise that will round out your fitness routine. For example, if you regularly do a lot of walking add some muscle-building work with weights or resistance bands; if you sit at a desk, start with some cardiovascular exercise. Talk to your medical care provider before you begin any additional exercising.
Eat healthy meals. I remember the days of running from one security assignment to the next, chewing on a sandwich from a fast-food restaurant while driving. It happens. Don’t make it your regular way of eating. Make time for a healthy, well-balanced meal as often as you can. It may help to prepare healthy, portable meals at home and invest in a few key items that you can store and carry them in.
Take a shower or bath before your work day begins. Even if your “day” is overnight, shower or bathe before you head out. A great shower can be energizing, and you will feel and smell good in ways that contribute to your professional presence.
When you take care of yourself, you are in a much better position to take care of everything and everyone you are responsible for. When health challenges hit, you are in a much better position to hit back.