Doctor’s Orders: Take 30 Minutes For Happiness

Doctor’s Orders: Take 30 Minutes for Happiness

Written by Dr. Larry

Rx: Do something for yourself for 30 minutes every day.


I can think of the 30-something mother of two young kids.  She was in Room 5 and came in with chest pain.  Chest pain can certainly be life-threatening — a clot in your lungs or heart attack.  But in this particular working mother, she was just overwhelmed.  Panic attack, anxiety attack, nervous breakdown — whatever you want to call it, she had reached her limit, and had ended up in my E.R. because of how she was living her life.  I often wonder — what is the true underlying problem?

Like most patients I care for, she’s a good, honest person who’s a giver.  She loves her family, her husband and kids, and would do anything for them — including sacrifice her own wellbeing on a daily basis.  Over time, this takes a toll, and sometimes givers end up in the E.R. because they don’t take care of themselves.

What do you think happens to her blood pressure?  Or the kind of food she eats?  How does her body react to no exercise, not enough sleep, no time to herself?

Some of my prescriptions, people don’t want to take.  But every time I recommend taking care of yourself, making your health more of a priority, giving yourself 30 minutes a day to yourself — where you do something all about you, for you, that you want — it’s one pill everyone wants to swallow.

There is often relief.  You deserve this.  Now, I’m not saying you need to go to Cabo twice a week for a 7 hour massage.  Might be a bit much and hard on the wallet for the non-billionaires reading this blog.  We’re talking 30 minutes, once a day.

How does that sound to you right now?  Do you feel more relaxed thinking about it?  Does something inside you say, “Yes,” to that idea?  Do you feel some resistance?  Or stress, maybe like you don’t know where you are going to find the time in your busy day?  Your reaction is likely a clue to something deeper.

Notice I said something for you.  I did not say exercise.  I may get a little controversial here.  But I would even say (gasp) in moderation that doing something like watching TV or eating a cookie (not 12 cookies) might fulfill this need to treat yourself well.  It would be ideal (and in alignment with long term health) to do something like walk on the beach that is treating yourself well, and has health benefits.  Are there things for you that might work for both?  That is, something that gives you the feeling you are treating yourself (and your body) well, that helps you live longer?

Underneath this prescription are the following beliefs: you deserve to be happy.  You, your health, the state of your body — are important and should be taken care of.  You deserve to enjoy your life on a daily basis.

How do you react to that?  Again, does it resonate as true or do you feel resistance within at the suggestion of the above?  Might be worth exploring.  Where does that come from?  Something in your past, or childhood?  Perhaps watching a parent or spouse treat themselves the same?

I want to talk more about this in a later blog: how to align with the intent to take care of yourself and how to let go of the beliefs that counter that. “I’m invincible, I can do it all, I don’t need sleep, etc.”

But for now — how are you going to spend your 30 minutes of time for you?

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