Hello, Claude. I think I get your general message, and it has some merit, but maybe some points could be clarified.
“Discipline” is a strong word and has various connotations, e.g. strict obedience to rules or punishment or even the type of job one does. But I think you mean determined commitment to self-organisation. So let us follow that line.
You suggest this is a message for young adults. This is a forum for people of all ages. Most of the members and carees, I reckon, are mature adults, but there are some young carers, recognised by a special section of this forum for them.
Most of us would readily agree that sufficient sleep, healthy eating, moderation on alcohol and regular exercise are fine ways of living. Circumstances can and do sometimes make these targets difficult to achieve.
Sleep is important. The habit of some youngsters of never going to bed before midnight and having to be dragged out of bed at 10 am is not one that I would recommend. But you will read many cases in this forum of carers who are worn out largely because they are unable to get enough sleep because of their caring roles. Infirm people can make demands over night as well as by day.
It is easy for me to identify my own healthy diet, but in practice it is biased towards my caree’s wants. I do sometimes vary what I serve myself and her, but to cook two different meals is too time-consuming.
If you are teetotal, most of us would respect your choice and opinion. At the othere end of the scale, addiction to alcohol is definitely bad. Medical opinion suggests that moderate and controlled alcohol is not harmful and can even be beneficial. The danger here is that carers may use alcohol for its calming effect to mitigate the stresses of caring. Also their carees may have an alcohol problem. Control is key here.
I used to take a great deal of exercise - cycling to work each day, touring various parts of the country for several days by bike. This is now a thing of the past, not by choice but by circumstances. I reckon that my aggregate time in caring is nearly as much as when I used to work. But time at work was in discrete chunks out of the week. When I left work it was over for the day. Caring is fragmented in small chunks thougout each day of the week.
One of the things I miss about work, strangely enough, was putting aside half an hour for lunch each day. I did not believe in lunching at my desk as some do. Nowadays I rarely get through a meal without being interrupted two or three times.
Likewise, this lifestyle is not conducive to regular exercise. I still manage to get on my bike and cycle into town, and sometimes further, most weeks, but I am taking less exercise than my GP would like me to. I don’t feel good about this. I sometimes feel ashamed when I take the car to go half a mile to the local shops. Twenty years ago I would not dream of doing this except in a near emergency. The fragmented demands of caring leave a slightly depressing feeling of a constant battle to get things done.
And my caree is disabled. She used to play sports and take other form of exercise, but is sadly unable to do that now.
So, Claude, I think you make some good points, but maybe “circumstances” is a word we should examine a little more closely. I do wonder if your points would be more appropriate on another forum. But we would welcome a reply, especially if you have any practical suggestions to overcome the difficulties that many carers have in achieving the healthy lifestyle you advocate.