3 Sides to Self: Pt 2 Physical Self

As the sun sets on another day ask yourself, is my physical self and surroundings on my priority list?

Welcome back to our usual topic. Last week I took a side trip to address what is now a global concern (Covid19 pandemic) in hope of helping people cope with the inevitable change we are going through. This week, I will be continuing on the topic of prioritising you and looking a little more into our 3 sides to self. We have already discussed my view on our Spiritual Self, and now we move in to looking a bit closer at our physical Self.

As with all my writing, this is simply my view on things. I hope it helps someone find clarity and direction and the inspiration to begin putting yourself first in order to be of service to others.

To begin, lets look at what I see as the elements of our physical Self. The first thing that usually comes to mind is being fit and eating healthy and yes, that is a large part of it but I will take it a step further. I also think that when we are looking at prioritising our physical Self, we need to also include our physical environment. The spaces where we live, work and play.

Once again, the recurring theme of balance is what I see as being most important. I have to confess (and I don’t want to mislead anyone), I am not the fittest, strongest person on the planet. I also don’t live off chicken and steamed vegetables. I do have some bad habits (as most of us do) however I do try and live a balanced life. I can’t stress enough, the importance of maintaining a balance in all things we do.

Now that I have set the scene, and you are not waiting for me to tell you to throw out the junk food and join a gym, let’s get into it.

Physical fitness is important. Studies of one of the worlds longest living communities (Okinawa, Japan) show that in order to maintain overall health and wellbeing, we need to be physically active. For some people, going to the gym is their thing, and I am not saying it is a bad thing at all, I just think it is important to understand the key factor in physical fitness is regular movement not simply pushing ourselves to the brink of exhaustion daily. Regular movement needs to be maintainable for it to stay regular, so when you start to set yourself physical goals, make it something you enjoy. Walking, gardening and recreational sports are all perfectly fine ways to keep yourself active. Just remember that key word “Balance”, if your diet is not quite as fresh and wholesome then you may need to increase the physical movement to compensate.

And that brings me to my next point, our diets. There is so much information out there about what we should be eating, how much and when. A lot of this advice can also be contradictory too. So how do we know what is good for us and what we should avoid. Well my opinion is, if we want to make lasting change to unhealthy lifestyles, it needs to be maintainable. We eat to obtain the fuel our body needs but that is not the only reason. We also eat as a cultural activity (celebrations of almost all kinds are accompanied by food the world over). We can sometimes also eat as a way of dealing with emotions or even out of boredom. So what do we do. If you struggle with eating in anyway, I suggest talking to a health care professional. There is help out there if you need it. If you don’t struggle with food in those ways but rather, simply don’t know what advice to take, I suggest trying as best as possible to stick to the key word Balance.

I know that ideally we should be eating whole foods including fresh vegetables (and depending on your personal preference, protein and fats from animals). I do try to include these things as much as possible and it is a personal goal of mine to be able to move towards being self sufficient in the production of my own food however, I still live in a modern world with all the modern conveniences around me. I have children and a job and some days it is just easier to reach for the packaged products or call for fast food. It happens.

I do also know though that our food intake greatly influences our mental process and sense of happiness. The old saying, “you are what you eat” has some truth to it. If we regularly eat crap we feel crap, either physically, mentally or both.

The ultimate goal may be to have a diet without processed foods, but it is important to move towards this goal with realistic expectations. Some people may have already achieved this and to those, I salute you. For the rest of us though, I think rather than trying to make sweeping changes all in one go, it is better and more maintainable to strive for balance as you move towards whatever health goal you set for yourself.

While diet and exercise are the most common talking points when discussing our physical health, I think it is important to also explore the idea of how our environment also impacts our physical Self. Remember my aim here is to help you prioritise your Self. I have introduced the idea of Self as being comprised of 3 areas; spiritual, physical and social. All three of these areas are affected by our immediate environment however I have chosen to talk about it here as I see it as being our physical spaces. Our home, our work, the places we go.

As part of prioritising You, don’t forget that you always have some degree of control over your physical environment. It may be your home in need of a clean out, declutter or revamp. It may be the places you choose to visit. This is possibly one of the easiest areas to create change. If you are renting or living with others, your control of that space may be limited however it is only you who can choose where you spend your free time (obviously this current time of mass quarantine is a hurdle but it won’t be like this forever). Or it may be your job that needs some attention.

Ok Dan, how the hell do you expect me to change the environment of my workplace? I can hear what your saying. The workplace is the physical space and yes it’s true, it’s unlikely you can just go in and move things around. What you can do though is change how you interact with the people within that space. If you are not happy with your job chances are, others there are also feeling similar. Make it your mission to bring joy to the people within that space and I guarantee that while the physical space stays the same, the energy it contains will change.

Positive thoughts have such a profound influence on your body and mind. If you change the way think, you change the way you live.

So there you go, Dan’s view on some aspects of our physical Self that we can look at to prioritise You and bring more happiness, wellbeing and contentment to your life.

As usual, I would love to hear your thoughts. Comment below or send me an email at


Thank you for reading. Stay safe. Stay active. Stay positive


Published by Dan O'Keeffe

I am a Personal Growth and Mindset Coach. I help people find their purpose and move forward, creating the life they really want to live.

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