Hegwood Law - October 2019



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HAVING CONSTANT STRESS IS NOWAY TO LIVE How Can You Maintain Emotional Wellness?

O ctober is chock-full of holidays and events. Alongside the more well- known ones like Halloween and Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we have the obscure and strange National Moldy Cheese Day (Oct. 9) and National Boston Cream Pie Day (Oct. 23). While a quick Google search will unearth hundreds of other silly holidays like these, another more significant observance this month stands out above the rest: National Emotional Wellness Month. People rarely pay attention to their emotional wellness. When they consider their own health, they might chastise themselves for not making it to the gym last week or forgetting to reschedule a missed doctor appointment. But considering your stress levels and ensuring you are taking time for self-care is just as important. Our physical, mental, and emotional states all are interconnected, and setting aside time to reduce the stress in your life betters your health all around. "With a busy work and family life, I just figured feeling stressed all the time was normal." For the vast majority of my life, I’ve prided myself on being an expert multitasker. With a busy work and family life, I just figured feeling stressed all the time was normal. I’d guess many people feel that way. In fact,

some of us might even assume if we aren’t feeling stressed, something must be wrong. But recently, I decided it was time to make a change. With the firm growing, I had more clients to meet and more employees to manage, which are both wonderful, but they added stress. Then I recently heard the tragic news that some of my high school acquaintances passed, all several years younger than me. When someone younger than you dies, it’s hard not to think about your own mortality. I decided I needed to start taking better care of myself all-around. Afterall, I want to watch all my grandkids graduate from school, get married, and have kids of their own. I thought, “If I’m going to do that, I need to start focusing on my own mental and physical health now.” In my quest, I’ve found some amazing health-focused technology to help us pay more attention to our own bodies. For example, I recently purchased the new Apple Watch 4, which connects to my phone and can track my steps and monitor my heart rate and blood pressure. It also has a breathing app, which prompts me to slow down and count my breaths periodically throughout the day. I’m also focusing on eating healthier and trying different types of food. When I had more time, I used to cook more, and I really

miss it. While I often get home too late to start dinner, I’ve made a point to look for more nutritious options. I’m also allowing myself some time to get out of my head and relax a little bit. I schedule facials and nail appointments when I can, and I spend time reading as many trashy romance novels as my workdays allow. It’s the only way I can shut my busy brain off to maintain my emotional wellness and reduce stress. Even though I’ve been able to make these positive changes, I know a group of people who never feel like they can take time for themselves: caregivers. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve talked with caregivers (some in my own family) who run themselves ragged and allow their emotional, mental, and physical health to fall to the wayside because they feel too guilty to take time off. To them and to others out there who aren’t making their own health a priority, I encourage you to find ways to do so. You can start by stealing some of my ideas! Anything is better than nothing.

-Kim Hegwood



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