Taking Precautions And Adapting To Change With Our Wellbeing
So I recently got myself some glasses. I’d been needing them for a long time, but had been putting off the opticians since I’d had a bad experience with them as a kid. The other thing is that I suppose I feel a little self-concious about wearing them. It’s not about how they make me look – I think glasses can really suit people – but just because of how short sighted I actually am. I often pretend that I can see something at a distance when I can’t. I know it’s silly and that being short sighted isn’t unusual. I think the reason I feel this way is that there is a little bit of self-blame involved. Whenever I’m not well it’s often put down to not sleeping enough or spending too much time on the computer (yes, even with Flu.) I feel ashamed if something affects my well-being that could potentially be my fault for not taking better care of myself. I use computers a lot and read regularly, two activities that I’ve heard can aggravate short-sightedness – although I do take precautions such as using eye-saver mode on my monitor, taking regular breaks, using eye drops and making sure I blink frequently.
I’m not sure how using a computer affects your eyes exactly, but it’s a concern that I’ve heard from many people in regards to our increased use of technology. Many of us have no choice but to spend hours in the office, which can cause strain if we’re not careful. I’m not sure if this is anything particularly new though, it’s just that the nature of the strain has changed. My uncle has told me stories about when he worked in a factory, and how over long periods of time this could affect your joints. I also recall being told during archery that it’s possible to tell if somebody was an archer because their bodies have bent spines, caused by picking up arrows. Archery puts a lot of strain on the shoulders too. The fact is, the more we do something the more our bodies change and adapt and we risk picking up a few niggles along the way too. Most of us find ourselves having to specialise over our lifetimes as a part of our jobs or because we want to be really good at something. I frequently berate myself for not taking better care of myself, but the alternative would have been to cut back on the things I get fulfilment from.
Most of us hide behind a mask and so it can seem like you’re the only person struggling with a particular ailment, but I imagine that most of us have some niggles that we’ve had to find a way to cope with. The book series Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini describes my feelings towards the human body really well. One of the characters sustains an injury to his shoulder and contemplates how it can never be fixed. We’re given the one body and I guess it feels sort of precious to me to the point that the thought of damaging it permanently unsettles me. Although, I do also think that we’re probably far more adaptable than we realize. I continue to be inspired by people that have gone through hardship and have yet endured and continued to live happy lives. According to the article ‘The Impact Bias‘ by James Clear, we often miscalculate how happy we’d be after the impact of major change, and those that have been through it consider themselves to be just as happy as they were before. Our bodies might not be perfect, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still live fulfilling lives.
Most of us know that prevention is probably better than dealing with the cure – if there even is one -, but we also struggle to always take our well-being into consideration. From moment to moment it’s easy to forget or to consider our decisions over long term, even though we are well aware of the warnings. Many of us also have emotional reasons behind why we behave a certain way; For example, food and games can become a go-to for stress, or we avoid things due to negative association (such as my case with the opticians.) The way our bodies change is also a normal part of getting older. While I’m not suggesting that we don’t take care with our physical well being, our niggles, wrinkles and scars tell a story about us and how we’ve lived. I think there is a certain beauty to that and through acceptance we can help to make it easier on ourselves to adapt.