Putting it all together: Wellness that works for you
I know throughout these last few months, going through the different types of wellness, I have given you a lot of information to process. It is important to do what you can, and accept what you cannot. A huge part of wellness is accepting what you do, and being kind to yourself for what you can’t get to; beating yourself up for not being able to incorporate Wellness suggestion #357 in your (or your family’s) day is not accomplishing the goal here. Remember that every little thing you do, every little positive action you make, is one thing more than you did yesterday and that is a good thing.
A few last thoughts finish off the month of Wellness suggestions:
1. Don't make changes to be more well because someone told you to, or because you think it's best for you. Make changes to be more well because you WANT to. The changes won't stick unless you are committed.
2. Don't look at someone else and think that they are doing it right or better than you. Wellness looks different for and on every person; Wellness is very very individual. Make wellness look and fit best for you and for your family.
3. Know this: your nutrition efforts are not all or nothing; your diet is an AVERAGE of all that you are eating. Translation: it is okay to eat all foods; just keep the amounts of the foods that are less nutritionally great smaller. Portion control is half the battle. Same thing if you miss a workout. Missing a workout doesn’t mean it is time to throw in the towel; acknowledge how you feel about missing, acknowledge your intention to commit to wellness, and you'll do better tomorrow.
4. Stop over-thinking things. Do the best you can. That is the most you can do. Guilt, feeling sorry for yourself, moping, jealousy … none of these will result in an effective frame of mind. None of them contribute to good mental and emotional wellness.
5. Think positive things, focus on the positive. About other people, about other things, about life in general. If you are in a negative thought spiral, stop, and deliberately think two positive thoughts. They can be totally random or about a specific person or thing. This will help you get out of that negative spiral. And no, all of this positive thinking will NOT turn you into Pollyanna. You will definitely still be genuine.
6. Write it down. Your goals. Your thoughts. Your positive moments. Your venting. Writing it down helps you to spot your thought patterns or trends and can also help you keep on a positive track. Writing things down also puts you in a more mindful frame of mind, increasing your self-intuition, your (hopefully) improving your spiritual wellness. Writing it down in a place you can come back to when you are in a positive mental place will also serve as a reminder when you are in a different frame of mind – say, having a grumpy day – and help you to refocus on a period where things were going as you like, and help you get back to that feeling of positivity.
7. Go outside. With proper sunscreen applied, of course, but getting outside - to eat a meal, to go for a walk, for your workout, to just sit and be for a few minutes - is amazing for your piece of mind. More and more studies are showing that actual sunlight (and the vitamin D your body creates from it) is essential for your good health.
8. Don't think of yourself as weak. So many of us were taught that the worst thing you can be is weak. And then on top of that, we learned that showing emotions, needing help, admitting you are wrong or forgiving someone is 'weakness.' Weakness isn't any of these things nor is it a constant for any one person. We all have "weak" moments and it means nothing about us when we do besides the fact that we're just human. We all have emotions. We all need help sometimes. None of us is or can be correct 100% of the time. And we'd all be a lot more clear-minded and less-burdened with a hefty dose of forgiveness for those who have hurt us in the past.
9. Do the workout that burns the most calories. And by that I mean do the workout that A) you like, B) you will do, and C) you will commit to... even better if you can commit to it with a friend or a partner. Doesn't matter if it burns a billion calories if you don't enjoy it or don't want to keep doing it. There isn't any amount of exercise so small it is not 'worth it'; every bit of movement is good for your health, your mental functions, and your peace of mind.
10. Get enough sleep. Yes, I've said it before. It is so important for every aspect of your health. When you get enough sleep: your body can repair everything that needs attention; your brain can recharge for the next day; you are a nicer person; emotions aren't as huge and overwhelming; you won't be as stressed; you can tune in and stay tuned it; you will be more attentive to details; you will be more effective and efficient; you will eat better; you have a much higher likelihood of not getting ill; you will literally look better because your skin also renews and recharges while you sleep; and you will enjoy your day more. I can't tell you exactly how much sleep you need, as that is very individual and changes throughout one's life, but on average, adults need 6 - 9 hours per night. You’ll know when you’ve hit that magic amount when you go to sleep easily, and wake without an alarm.
11. Cook at home. Eat with family and friends. Enjoy what you are eating and with whom you are eating it.
12. Just get up and do that thing you’ve been wanting to do. Don’t let the ‘what if’s’ get in your head. There is no time like the present.
13. There is no opinion that matters except your own. Don’t think about what other people think about you because it doesn’t matter. Be true to your heart, to your mind and to your opinions.
14. Generosity of mind and spirit and kindness to others are important skill sets that will do you well to embrace.
15. Do things you like: find a hobby you enjoy; find enjoyment in your job; find a like-minded group of people with whom you enjoy spending time; start a garden; spend time with your kids, … just find a way to spend more of your waking hours doing things you enjoy. In fact, if I may be so bold, try to spend a greater amount of your time doing things you enjoy rather than doing things you have to do.
For further reading: