Justin Nichols, BSN, RN
Health Services Coordinator
Kansas City Indian Center
Ask yourself, “What do I need to do to live my healthiest life?”
As men, we tend to wait until something goes wrong to seek out help with our health. Three of the main parts to being healthy are physical health, emotional health, and spiritual health. What does being healthy in these areas look like to you? This year, for Men’s Health Month in June, rather than wait for a problem to surface, I challenge each reader to look for something they can do to take better care of themselves.
It is important to take the initiative to get checked out and have a physical done yearly, because finding a problem early means it is easier to treat. The same is true for emotional and spiritual difficulties. If something is bothering you, reach out to a spiritual leader or health professional, even if it doesn’t seem like a big deal right now.
Often, we feel as though asking for help or getting checked out is a sign of weakness. I ask you to turn this mindset around and recognize that it takes strength to take care of ourselves; it takes courage to ask for help. Rather than waiting for something to bring you to a halt, help yourself so you can continue to play an active part in helping and strengthening your community.
Balance and the right attitude
For me, being healthy means seeking balance. Taking care of my body means exercising with a positive attitude. I do this by doing activities that I love but also being kind to my body. It is important to know when something is too much. Nobody is going to be perfect at self-care, especially at first. It is a process of learning and growing that we all can take part in.
Justin Nichols is a Registered Nurse with the Kansas City Indian Center, a social services organization in midtown Kansas City, Mo. He has been a nurse for 10 years and has worked in both urban and rural settings, serving American Indian populations.