Letters to Me at 16: Take Care of Your Physical Health

Dear You,

Hey. It’s me from the future- and let me just say… listen up, Buttercup. You may think that the world revolves solely around you- but if you disappeared from this planet, the world would keep spinning as if nothing happened. But I’m not here to tell you that you don’t matter. In fact, I am writing solely for the purpose that you DO in fact matter, you ARE worth so much more than you think you are, and you DO have the ability to change the way that you’re living so you might be more happy, healthy, and so that you feel content instead of this restlessness that you complain about all of the time.

Take care of your physical health.

Love, this means inside and out.

  • Wash your face twice a day, regardless of how tired you think you are or how great your face looks because it’s all about preventative care- don’t wait until trouble comes (in the disgusting form of blackheads, whiteheads, and who knows what else).
  • Get at least 8 hours of sleep per night. This means that if you have to get someone to change your Netflix password, then so be it. The sleep that you skip now has the immediate effects that you experience now, but it also doesn’t allow your body to repair and improve itself which leaves it completely stressed out (and, stress negatively impacts your body’s functions).
  • Exercise everyday. Challenge yourself with yourself whether it be cardio, weights, yoga, or a mix of everything. Invite friends with, do it alone, but whatever you have to do, the healthy exercise you do now will only help you form healthy habits and a healthy body.
  • Eat well and drink water. Eat nutritiously and find ways to do so! Don’t skimp out on meals because you think you’re “fat” and don’t over indulge on fats and sweets to substitute for a healthy diet. Your body uses the food you eat to build itself: remember that what you put in, you get out.
  • Take a multivitamin. The Triumph by Legion Athletics multivitamin is the most effective, transparent, and healthy multivitamin that takes care to portion out appropriate doses of so many necessary vitamins and minerals. By taking these regularly, you’ll even start feeling the immediate effects of watching out for yourself and feeling nutritiously well-rounded.

But why physical health? Isn’t that shallow and superficial to prioritize?

My answer is definitely no, but I know why you’re thinking it. At church, at school, in empowerment we all try to convey the message that looks don’t define a person and I stand by this message. However, looks are just a secondary factor to how your body is on the inside. When you’re taking time to sleep, to take care of yourself, and be conscious of what you’re putting into your body, you give yourself the highest likelihood to stay immune from sickness and disease, to feel energized and stay productive, to be at optimal levels of emotional health, and to have the best self-esteem. Don’t all of those benefits sound amazing? What you do for your physical health carries over into your emotional and mental capacity, which effects your view of the world and its views of you. In America, we try so hard to conceal our body’s signs that we’re tired or overwhelmed, let alone malnourished. If we break out we head straight for the salicylic acid treatment cream and heavy concealer instead of analyzing our water intake, diet, and sleep. If we feel tired we head to Starbucks instead of bed. But why? It’s because that’s what we do- and in the process, we forget how important the basics are.

I wish I took these “recommendations” seriously when I was 16. I wish I would have realized how important taking care of my body truly is, but now I hope that you realize the things that at one time I didn’t.

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