In my mind, self-care doesn’t revolve around treating yourself or making yourself feel better as most proponents today tend to agree. Self-care is really a mindset and a way of life with the single purpose of living the best and most fulfilling life possible, or in other words, becoming the best possible version of yourself.
However, we only have a limited time on this planet to make our mark and maximize our possibilities. It is something that I think about often, and I recently came across an article from Wait But Why that gave me a totally new perspective on our lifespans.
When we quantify and actually create a visual representation of how long we could possibly live which is broken down into weeks, a startling realization occurs. We aren’t going to be around as long as we think we will.
Take a look at the calendar below, and think about it for a minute.
4,680 Weeks to Live
If you look at life expectancy on a global scale, men live to around 70 years, and women live to around 72 years. Depending on what country you live in, the age will vary somewhat, but you can assume to live to somewhere into the 70s.
Now the calendar above shows your weeks to live if you make it to 90. At 90, you will have lived 4,680 weeks. It doesn’t seem like a lot does it? Not many of us will live to be 90 years old, so what if we live to a pretty good estimate of 75 years old. At 75, we would have lived 3,900 weeks.
4,680 weeks in the grand scheme of things doesn’t sound like a lot, and 3,900 weeks sounds even worse. A lot of us will have to shrink that graph down even smaller.
I am not saying all this to discourage you but to inspire you and light a fire under you to get things done.
Men Die Earlier than Women
Statistically, women live longer lives than men for multiple reasons. One of the biggest reasons though are the choices that men make earlier in their life about their health and how they take care of themselves. Too many times, men reach middle age and try to course correct after significant damage has already been done to their bodies.
My father is a classic example and a tragic reminder to me of this trend. My father died at the age of 48. He always put his family first at the cost of his own health. His job required him to sit all day, and he never got any physical activity or ate well enough to sustain his health.
After developing a mysterious pain in his back that crippled him and which no doctor could find a cure, he was unable to even go to work. He continued to gain weight while stuck at home and eventually died of a heart attack. It pains me to this day to think about my father’s fate and wishing I could turn back time and save him.
He may have developed that pain regardless of his earlier life choices, but I think he would have been more equipped to handle it regardless if he had taken better care of himself.
Self-care is the Answer
Men can live longer if they own take their health into their own hands. Self-care is the answer. Self-care doesn’t mean being selfish and only thinking about yourself. It does refer to thinking about yourself however.
Pay attention to your body and learn to listen to its signs. Our body tells us when something isn’t quite right. A lot of times, we just tell ourselves that it will go away on its on, and we can just push through the pain. Maybe sometimes we can, but we have to learn when its time to slow it down and take some precautionary measures.
Also, don’t be afraid of going to the doctor. That’s right, afraid. I know deep down there are a lot of guys that secretly fear going to the doctor. We you combine self-care with regular doctor visits, you dramatically change your outlook and potential for a healthy future.
Own Your Calendar
That 90-year calendar can be yours. You have to own your calendar and make it happen. I started out saying how it puts things in perspective because of how short it seems, but when you realize that this represents the near pinnacle of what’s possible then it is a goal not a deterrent.
Print out a copy of the calendar and graph out your goals at each point on the graph. You can break it down into increments of 5 years or maybe 10, all the way up to 90. Post it somewhere that you can see it on a regular basis and make changes if necessary. This will be a powerful tool in training your mind to focus on what’s important. The only way you will make it to 90 is by taking care of yourself.
Live Longer and Make an Impact
Just like every other challenge that humanity faces, early death can be overcome. We all deserve to live to 90 years old or maybe even longer. There is so much potential in each and every one of us, and we can do so much while we are here.
I think of my father every single day, all his hopes and dreams that were never realized. He didn’t have the knowledge he needed on how to better take care of himself. I am his living legacy, and I have made it my mission to spread the word about self-care. There are many tools available in this fight, and the 90-year calendar will be a powerful ally.
I wish everyone the best of health, and I welcome everyone to this community. Let’s support each other and keep pushing forward. Please leave any comments or questions below on your thoughts on this article or any self-care tips of your own. Take care.