by guest blogger, Michelle Herbst, MPT, DPT
Often times I have wondered – “Why me?” But the continuous “why” mantra can make for a nice pity party. Wisdom granted to me by friends, peers and my own personal network of experts has taught me to focus on the “what.” “What CAN I do to address, alleviate, or eliminate the problem?” Typically the “what” I am pondering are simple things such as how to manage my and my active family’s day. Other times, the focus is more serious and turned inward. The “what” may be “what can I do to be physically stronger and healthier?”
Daily practice of “what CAN I do” has forced me to be a more proactive thinker and problem solver and less a reactive and worried individual. Daily use of proactive problem solving skills allows me to address my own limitations, barriers, and obstacles in a realistic manner. Consistent use of “what CAN I do” has ushered personal growth and acceptance that some situations simply will not change. Recognition and acceptance of static limitations, obstacles, and barriers has allowed my proactive problem solving to become creative and flexible. Examples of limitations, obstacles and barriers may be fear of the unknown or not having enough time and energy to properly attend to the problem. Focusing on “what CAN I do” helps me set priorities and have less angst when developing a plan of attack. Please see the six steps to “what CAN I do.”
Step One: Identify the problem.
Step Two: Identify resources and experts.
Step Three: Identify barriers and limitations to realistically address the problem.
Step Four: Identify the daily amount of time needed to consistently address the problem.
Step Five: Organize and schedule to put the plan into action.
Step Six: Keep track of your progress and positively reward yourself for meeting your goal.
I recently realized how powerful the Hab-It program can be when put in context with my “what CAN I do” thinking. Tasha and I recently spoke to a MOPS group – Mothers of Preschoolers. It was a wonderful experience. We jointly presented “The Key Components of a Pelvic Floor and Lumbo-Pelvic Basket Rehabilitation Program.” We felt at home among these positive and supportive women and the content of our presentation was well received. We fielded many group and individual questions. Some questions were content-specific and other questions were focused on “how can I find time to take better care of myself.” I was surprised how often I heard myself saying, “focus on what you CAN do.”
After saying our goodbyes, I rushed to complete errands and pick up my preschooler. As I allowed my mind to slow down, I thought to myself – “Wow, these women got it!” The attendees recognized and accepted their physical limitations but did not accept the status quo. They connected with informed resources and many women talking about how to address the barriers of time in achieving a healthier, stronger version of themselves.
Life is about living. Life circumstances such as prolapse, incontinence, and pelvic pain create obstacles to being a stronger, healthier, and happier you. Tackling these obstacles effectively by directly addressing your problem is what living is about. I urge you to use the Hab-It program and its resources to positively impact your pelvic floor health. And, if you already are a faithful Hab-It user – thank you and tell your girlfriend and neighbor.
I want to leave you with some practical thoughts and solutions:
1.) It is okay to ask for help. If it is difficult to exercise with your baby, toddler or older child around, ask your significant other to attend to the kiddos. Swap time with another Mom. Or, have your children exercise with you.
2.) Don’t be afraid to ask questions. No question is a stupid question. Life has taught me that typically if you have a question there are a few others wondering the same thing. Inform and educate yourself by asking a local expert or post your question to “Ask Tasha” on our website.
3.) Reward yourself positively – enjoy something simple and healthy like maybe a fruit smoothie or a chick flick.
Every day presents you with opportunities to become a healthier, stronger and happier YOU. Focus on “What You CAN Do” and live life!