Life has many highs and lows and as individuals we all go through different seasons in life. For many, health and wellness begins as a new year’s resolution. It is a time when people reflect on how far they have strayed from truly taking care of themselves. Searching for the quickest way back to health, many try to find solutions in “fad diets,” exercise crazes, or even go as far as using external intervention such as diet pills and surgery. Studies have shown that out of the 12% increase in gym memberships every January, 80% stop coming by the second week of February. Why do most people stop exercising or doing healthy things for themselves?
No one needs someone to tell them that exercise and eating healthy are good for them… they know this. If you’re not doing what you know you should be doing, it’s not because you’re lazy, selfish, or weak. It’s not because you don’t have enough willpower. It’s because you have to think about it. And if you have to think about it, you can only do it for so long before something comes up. You forget, you’re too busy, too stressed out. The real problem is that it’s not a habit. When something is a habit, you don’t have to think about it, you just do it. You don’t talk yourself out of brushing your teeth. You don’t forget to have your morning cup of coffee. Becoming a healthy person happens when you decide that it is a lifestyle and not just a season in life. To make health and wellness a habit, it is important to understand that your physical health can directly impact your mental health and vice versa. Everyone’s journey to health begins and ends with understanding that not only do you need to take care of yourself physically, but also emotionally and spiritually as well.
Physical health comes when you can get your body on a set schedule of working out, eating, and sleeping around the same times each day so that your body can better respond. Running, biking, swimming and weight lifting are all great ways to work out the body but other methods such as yoga and Pilates are great low impact workout regimes. Time is sometimes an issue with exercise but 15 minutes of intense exercise, getting your heart rate up and sweating is all you need daily. Eating healthy is sometimes challenging due to habits and expenses. The best thing you can do for your body is to fuel it with easily digestible nutrient rich foods such as lean meats and vegetables. Things to avoid are sugars and dairy due to the inflammatory processes found in each. Sleep is an aspect that is often overlooked in physical health because there is only so much time in each day. However, sleep is when the body recovers and heals, so if adequate sleep (8 hours) is not achieved, your body is never able to truly recover for what life throws at it.
Your mind is also extremely important when looking at your overall health. The starting point for any journey begins in the mind when you decide and commit to living out each day to better yourself. When you care for your mental and emotional health you will feel less stress, more peacefulness, and experience greater focus.
I believe that the true definition of spiritual wellness is when you’re able to connect with yourself and others in meaningful ways. Ultimately as a Christian man, my connection with Jesus is what truly defines me and offers the greatest relief from the stresses of life. Spiritual wellness is what truly allows you to be still and feel release. Humility is something I have struggled with over and over; however, I believe when we can truly humble ourselves and understand that there is something out there greater than ourselves, we can find peace in that. I make mistakes in my faith daily and in the same sense, with our health and wellness we make mistakes, we lose sight of what is important.
Each day we make choices that effect our health and wellness. Mistakes and lack of focus should not be discouraging. It is more important that we use the power of choice, to implement healthy habits each day, to live the life we desire.