01 February 2017

Preparation Is Better Than Cure: How to Live, Prepared

It’s a horrible subject to think about.  However the one thing we can be certain about is that life is changeable.  In the blink of an eye a very ordered and pleasant way of living can be sent into absolute chaos.  We can’t stop life from delivering unexpected disaster but we can take steps to decrease the risk and prepare ourselves financially and physically for the unthinkable moments.  Preparing better and reducing your stress will have a long lasting impact on your health.

Unfortunately every moment we exist offers up the potential for danger.  Simple tasks like driving to work can take a very unexpected turn.  In fact it’s on the road that a large majority of life changing accidents can happen.

Making yourself safer on the road is a really good place to start at protecting not only your life, but the lives of other road users.  Becoming more aware of your surroundings regardless of your personal situation.  How many of us are guilty of leaving the house late and putting our foot down a little?  Or growing frustrated with a slower driver and overtaking on a high risk part of the road?  If you are stressed there will be a direct impact on your ability to drive.  So what can you do to make sure you are safe?

Firstly, leave yourself plenty of time for your journey.  It’s not always possible to get out of the house early or on time, we understand that, so if you do stumble across one of those mornings that seems to go from bad to worse, nip that process in the bud the moment you step into your car.  Before starting the engine take 10 deep, rolling breaths.  In through the nose and out through the mouth.  If you think you are going to be late (and let’s face it-- most of us know we are running drastically behind before we leave the drive) then contact anyone whom you are meeting before you start your engine.  Even if they aren’t able to answer your call or reply to a text.  Allowing others to know you need an extra half an hour will lift a little pressure off your shoulders.  If you are late for a school drop off or a flight, breathe.  Being late, missing travel arrangements is not the end of the world.  Crashing into a family whilst driving under pressure, that is the end of the world.  

Make sure you have kept on top of your car servicing and mechanics.  Worn or damaged tires play a huge part in road accidents so get familiar with the correct pressures and top up air regularly.  This also helps a car run more economically.  

If the worst does happen, don’t panic.  Regardless of fault there are people out there who can support you.  If you have been injured in a crash that wasn’t your fault there are specialist who can help ensure you are compensated for any lasting issues.  You can learn about it from Robins Cloud LLP and you should consider all options when it comes to securing your future.  Injuries that prevent you or make it harder for you to live your life as you reasonably expect to shouldn’t be ignored.  

There are other ways to ensure your safety and that of other road users, including taking advanced driving courses.  This does require a little time investment from you but could prepare you for situations on the road that you currently aren’t aware of.  

Sudden financial disasters can also come out of the blue, changing our life with almost immediate effect.  Homelessness is a very real result of an accumulation of money disasters.  Whilst it isn’t always possible to prevent a financial crisis you can prepare for it.  
Teaching children the importance of saving money is one of the best gifts you can give them.  Teaching them that their savings aren’t for that awesome holiday of a lifetime is the next best gift you can give them.  Most of us will come across a huge expense at some point and without the knowledge that we have enough in the bank to get us out of a sticky mess, the stress and panic of a situation like this can have a profound affect on our health, mental health, and relationships.

Get independent financial advice and start planning.  A nest egg will make life a lot less stressful.  Building up regular savings then considering investments and how to make that money grow can ensure you have life support for either yourself or your children as they grow older.  Creating a legacy should be more focused on love and the impact you have on leaving this world a little better than you found it, but sometimes a financial legacy can give you peace of mind, knowing the generations after you have a better future thanks to your hard work and discipline.

Your health really matters! When we are young we believe we can live forever.  Burning the candles at both ends it’s great when you are powered by youth but as we grow older it’s vital we consider our mental and physical health.

Cancer is one of the biggest killers on the planet so start paying more attention to your body.  Make a mental note of how your skin looks and monitor any changes to its appearance.  Dark spots or new moles can be an early indicator of skin cancer.  Learn how to check your breasts or your testicles and get to know this part of your body really intimately.  Of course internal organs can be a little trickier to visually see changes in.  There are loads of signs things aren’t right.  A long lasting cough, blood in your stools, or persistent aches and pains are all worth visiting the doctor for.  Don’t feel you are wasting anyone’s time.  You are not.  Cancers, along with many other illnesses, can be completely curable if caught in time.  So don’t waste time thinking or, worse, self diagnosing.  

There are ways, however, we can help our bodies stay healthy.

Stay hydrated.  Water is vital in the health of your body.  Without it cells cannot regenerate.  A human can last a very long time without food, remove water from the diet and the body can die within a week.  Supporting your immune system by keeping it hydrated will ensure you have the best start.

Eat well.  A healthy balanced diet is the best insurance for good, long lasting health.  Avoiding refined sugars and processed foods, whilst adding plenty of organic produce will ensure you are getting more goodness and less harmful toxins.  Adding healthy oils such as omega 3 found in salmon, will help protect and boost your hearts vitality.  There are hundreds of articles highlighting cancer causing foods or miracle cures and whilst some of these ‘miracle cures’ do have merit, the very best advice is to give your body a balance of what it needs.  Green leafy vegetables, plenty of protein, and lots of water.  If you need to, add supplements to your daily routine.  Cod liver oil will help if you don’t like fish.  For vegetarians and vegans there are also plenty of vitamins in additive form.  Get some advice from a qualified dietitian before self medicating, though. Too much of certain vitamins can be really bad for you.  

Stay active.  Keeping our bodies fit and supple will improve the quality of life and help us recover from physical injury quicker.  You don’t have to be a gym bunny to keep your body in good shape.  Walking every day has a highly positive impact on your physical health.  Swimming is great low impact sport which offers support to our joints whilst keeping our heart strong.  You can mix it up by considering fun family sports such as horse riding, tennis or even get a little more extreme with climbing or surfing.  

Clear your mind.  Being mentally prepared is one of the best ways of dealing with any crisis and some would argue that willpower and determination will overcome physical strength 100 times over.  Taking up yoga will help you with clarity and also physical strength but to really improve your mental health, consider adding meditation to your daily routine.  Not only will this help take away any negative habits but it will also ensure you are are able to process and form a more logical approach to life’s disasters or curve balls.  

You cannot avoid the bad just as much as you cannot ensure the good.  So be prepared for every event and you will be better placed to recover and protect the things that really matter.  If you are struggling with making changes in your own life, then make sure you help your children live their lives with a positive mental attitude and the ability to prepare for disaster.  Teach them to enjoy a healthy diet, give them water to drink and avoid sugary soft drinks.  Teach them to get to know their bodies, to be mindful of others.  Show them how to save and whilst you’re at it, teach them to be brave.

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