May 16, 2023

Karma Yoga for Family Health

 "Two topics impact everyone, whether you are interested in them or not: health and money", says Morgan Housel in the Introduction chapter of his book "The Psychology of Money".

It takes conscious, deliberate efforts to invest and grow in both these aspects.

Pursuing one and ignoring the other is no longer an option in today's times.

This applies to individuals as well as families.

Taking charge of the health of the family is a shared responsibility.

It starts with taking responsibility for one's own health first.

Once this gets rolling, other requirements start to fall in place.

  • Being a role model
  • Having a common understanding of health and wellness
  • Participating in activities that help maintain or improve overall family health - cooking, going for a walk together, planning outdoor weekend activities
  • Setting common rules and boundaries that are applicable for all - bedtime, screen time, allowed limit of junk food
  • Maintaining a consensus when it comes to health-related decisions to be taken - steps to take in case of an illness

In most households, the first step is usually taken by the mother/woman of the house. There are certainly exceptions, not denying that.

When we (women) take responsibility for our health, we put in the required efforts toward it.

When we extend the same to our family, sometimes there is resistance and misalignment.

Many times, the requirements listed above start to flounder, leading to frustration and disappointment.

The main cause of conflict is the expectation of a shared mindset and shared effort.

There are times our egos come our way and make us question, "Why should I do everything? Why should I slog in the kitchen?"

A time arrives when we end up resenting the fact that all the effort towards family health falls on our shoulders.

That is precisely the time when we need to be strong and not get tempted to make easy, convenient choices.

Instead of wallowing in self-pity, it is worth reminding ourselves about how our efforts are aligned with a larger purpose of investing in our family's good health. Proceed with your convictions, irrespective of whether others in the family pay attention, recognize, and appreciate your efforts. When we think of such efforts as our "karma yoga" towards our family health, they don't seem burdensome.

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