So what does Wellness Look like?
I came across this article that I wrote 11 years ago for the local Newspaper and the information is still very relevant today. I thought I would share it again as we begin our New Year. My Goal for you is that when you look back at 2019 you are able to say that you feel better in all areas of your life than you did at the start of the year. Get a journal or a planner and rate each area from 1-7. Start with small changes in each of the areas that need attention and support, then review each week to see how you are doing. If you want to be healthier, then Let’s make it happen in 2019!
Well.ness ( well’ness) n.
The pursuit of a healthy and balanced lifestyle.
The degree to which an individual experiences health and vitality in any
dimension of their life. Overall Wellness would be described as the sum of all life’s dimensions.
What are the Dimensions to Wellness.
We can not sit all day and all night and expect that we will move well and have flexibility and strength throughout our life. Get moving and don’t stop. Consistency is the key.
We should aim for Nutrient Dense Food which is grown in rich soil and not spayed with chemicals and does not have a shelf life of weeks and weeks. Find what works for you over the long term; For me it is mostly Plants, Good Fats, Wild fish, and not too much,
This is the most challenging part of wellbeing as we as humans tend to focus towards the negative. Start the day thinking about what you are grateful for, How can you be present with everyone, How you can be your best self today etc etc… have compassion for yourself and for others
Choose work you enjoy and are passionate about and it that is a challenge in the moment then choose to view the work you do differently. People that feel most Joy at work are those that feel like their work matters.
Another challenge for a lot of people. If your relationships are not in a good place then it is very challenging to keep the other areas of wellness in balance. We all want to be loved and fell love. Decide to love yourself and to love others.
This category is as diverse for people as Diets. Find your practice and be committed to it. My practice is meditation and I do it everyday. I also participate with a group once a month which brings me immense joy and perspective.
The research is clear that your body must rest and repair to be able to function at a high level. It is more important than ever before to get a good night’s rest.
One must make some effort in each of the dimensions every day to stay in balance. Easy? No way! But it is doable with a little effort. The key is consistency.
Think of your body and mind like a Bank Account.
You have to make greater deposits into your body’s bank account than withdrawals other wise you will eventually go bankrupt. Translation “a chronic lifestyle disease “. What are good deposits? They are the tings we talk about above.
What are withdrawals? Withdrawals are energy, in the form of Physical Energy, Metabolic Energy, Cellular Respiration, Digestion, Liver Function, and Stress Responses etc. Physical energy is energy needed everyday to complete tasks without fatigue or stress on the system. Can you run after your toddler without having to catch your breath? Can you walk up that flight of stairs without having to pause at the top to recover? Can you come from work and take a brisk 45-minute walk without flopping down on the couch from fatigue?
Metabolic energy is the energy needed to run your metabolism. These are things like heart rate, breathing etc. the body has to work even when it is at rest. Digestion and Liver Function are often heavily taxed by our modern day lifestyle. We are an overfed undernourished nation. Our diets often contain many processed and chemical laden foods and therefore our digestive systems and our Liver has to work overtime to rid the body of these toxins. So not only are we not providing the body the nutrients it’s needs we are adding a toxin tax (a large withdrawal) to the process.
Stress can have many forms but the stress we most recognize is the Fight or Flight response. This is the increase in heart rate, shallow breathing, sweaty palms, dry mouth etc. The stress response for many of us is a big withdrawal from the Body’s Bank Account.
So you can see that you must make GOOD deposits in order to have a healthy Bank Account. You can’t put in 99 cents and expect to take out a Dollar. An example would be the choice between a donut versus and apple. Not hard to see which one is a good deposit and will provide energy and nutrients and which one will take more out than it will put in to your account. So you have to ask yourself is this a deposit or a withdrawal?
Will my action or thought take away more than it will help? The next question you have to ask yourself is do I have enough in reserve if an unexpected stressor comes into my life? Can the System (Bank Account) handle a big withdrawal or will I have to go into bankruptcy? If you Eat Well, Move Well, Think Well, Work Well, Love Well, Sleep well, etc, your body can usually handle the unexpected without going into crisis mode. So if you have a surprise work deadline, or a child that gets into trouble at school or a husband that comes home with a bad cold, or you have a day with low self esteem… You get the picture; you will have enough in reserve to handle the payment.
Everyday ask yourself is this good deposit? If you make good choices the Body’s response is health, if not then you will put a strain on the system and eventually end up with symptoms and chronic problems.
Let’s make 2019 the best year ever