We live in a quick fix society. One of instant gratification; getting what we want when we want it. If we have a problem, most of us reach for the remedy that is easy and effortless. We like to get out of pain as quick and simply as we can, which is fair enough.
Why sit in it longer than we have to?
The thing is, many of the quick fix remedies, only alleviate the problem we have for the time being. As Dr Seuss might put it if he was still around- just because a quick fix fixes you quick, doesn’t mean it is the best fix.
Quick fixes are all well and good for acute problems, like stitches to your wound, but not long term ones. And that’s what we need to be careful of. In regards to our health, many of us are wanting quick fixes for individual issues that have often taken years to develop, and even longer for us to maintain. The Band-Aid approach only works for certain problems, both physical and psychological.
For many health conditions, particularly the chronic types we are predominantly experiencing these days, it would benefit us to look to alternative pathways to the quick fix. Otherwise we are going to need hefty lifetime supply of Band-Aids.
Short-term relief doesn’t always lead to the best thing for us in the long term. Let’s face it, we are highly medicated bunch of people, and many of us needn’t be.
Change takes time, particularly change that is going to stick around for a while. And I think that is what we ultimately want. None of us want to be back and forth in the health care system. We’ve got better things to do surely. But sometimes wellbeing needs to come from us doing a bit more, and looking at our lives in a deeper way.
It might mean a little more of our time. It might mean we have to get brave. It might mean us being vulnerable. It might mean challenging the way we think about the world and ourselves. It might mean learning to give up some unhelpful behaviour we have relied on. It might mean getting out of our comfort zone. It might mean going without. It might mean delaying our gratification.
We can’t rush these things.
Although I have a Dr. in front of my name, I can’t write prescriptions because I am not a medical doctor. But if I had the chance to write a script for many people I work with it would rarely be a script for medication. For many people, the script they really need is one that states that a change needs to be made in their life. And that requires a bit of effort, and perseverance.
Maybe our script needs to say get outdoors more, stop working so hard, spend more time with our kids or eat healthier food. Maybe it says we should talk to our partner more, leave that job, stop playing video games until 3am, take a sea change or start playing golf again on a Saturday. Or maybe yours should say get out of that relationship because it is doing you harm.
Being compliant with this type of script may take a bit more work at the start, but your health changes would likely be more sustainable. Meaning the change will stick around for longer – and you wouldn’t need much quick fixing after that (unless you fell over of course – there are Band-Aids for that).
Some may say I am trivialising some health conditions, but for the most part I’m not. There is a genuine need for treatment for many physical and psychological conditions, but with a health system inundated with people with chronic condition and approximately half of the population experiencing mental health problems, we can’t keep relying on the quick fixes to do all the fixing.
Putting Band-Aids on ourselves won’t facilitate wellness.
Wellness starts with us writing a different script for our life.
What should be on yours?