The new year resolutions are probably forgotten by now. If you are one of the person asking yourself how to improve your health, how to make certain behaviour a habit and make your own wellness a priority, the below tips may help you a bit. Remembering that:
your health is your most important possession, and without it you wouldn’t be able to achieve anything, it is always a good starting point!
We are living in the time where for a few decades, the wisdom of natural medicine and natural approach has been forgotten (although fortunately we are slowly coming back to the natural path), the food industry has gone into direction of complete mass production and sometimes it is even hard to call it a food any more. Additionally the strong emotional and mental pressure of success, corporate worlds taking our time over and societal changes including enormous technological development (without judging, whether it is good or bad, but definitely it changed the way we live our daily life)- all of it put lots of pressure and set us apart of connecting to ourselves. Very often with so many daily demands, our own health and wellness is either on the last point of our list of “things to do” or we may even forgotten to add it on the list.
If you find yourself struggling with keeping a balance, if you feel that your health and overall wellness, including how you feel emotionally and on the physical level,is not on the highest level and you would like to improve, the below tips may be useful for you!
- My most important tip for you is the approach of “prevention over curing” and wellness over illness. What does it mean in practice? You need to start listening to yourself and know your body in order to find the reasons behind the way you feel or why you get sick or why you may lack the energy. Behind the sickness there is always a reason of it and quite a way until you get sick. To give you example, if you are struggling with constant headache at work, maybe rather than taking yet another pain killer, ask yourself: did I sleep enough? Am I maybe drinking to many coffees a day and forgetting about hydration? Am I managing the stress well- or my own negative thoughts are running all over my head? I have been struggling with sinusitis for years. It took me lots of time, observations, falling into weeks of infections and visiting many doctors until I found that the reasons of it are some other unbalances in my body and sinusitis it’s only the last symptom. Wellness over illness means that on a daily level I would rather develop the habits which helps me to keep the balance, make me feel well, rather than running on extremes for many days and weeks, forgetting about eating well, exercising and mental protection. Although it is not yet always possible to prevent certain things, at least I am aware of some reasons and I can focus more on prevention.
- Ask yourself “why”– what I mean, know your reasons of why do you want to – be healthier? get more energy? get fitter? get younger look and more glowing skin? You need to know what is the reason behind it- this is crucial to keep you going with changing your habits, to keep you motivated. More reasons you have, more chances you will stick to it and commit to achieve your goal. Write down on the paper the question “why?”and answer as much details as possible.
- Make yourself a priority without feeling guilty about it. Yes, you understand it right, and there is nothing bad in a healthy doze of egoism. I call it “I Love me” time. You are probably running a few of important roles in your life: maybe you are a parent (mother or father, equally important), you have a role in professional life, you have a partner, family, friends, a house to take care of, maybe a plan to start the business, achieve some goals and help your beloved ones as well with achieving theirs- name it yourself. What I mean, each of us has quite a few roles to go through the day and without remembering about ourselves, about the “I love me” time and about taking care properly of ourselves, we will not be able to make good in any of those roles. Make it a habit of dedicating time to yourself. Even if it will be just 30 min. a day- make a little commitment to your “I love me” time.
- Create your wellness plan. I bet, many of you have plans. I mean plans or goals for business, travels, simply things we want to achieve. If you don’t have the habit of making one, maybe it is a good starting point. Because, let me tell you one think- your own health and well-being requires same planning as anything else. It is not less important. I would say it is the most important thing. One way or another everything else depends on your health level. Once you ask yourself a question “why” (see above) answer it on the paper, and put it into planning: you want to make yourself fit? Write down steps, what to do, to achieve it. What steps you need to take to make it happen? More energy? Glowing skin? Maybe more balance? Once your answer are written down, prepare the plan and actions.
- Put yourself into “celebration of life” mode. What does it mean? Change approach and work on your mindset! Stop stressing about denying yourself the things you like, or doing more of things you don’t like. You love to eat out with friends- continue it. But start choosing places where you can get healthy, fresh food. Celebrate you health with family and friends by cooking healthy food and spending quality time together. Choosing healthy & wellness lifestyle does not mean it will be boring and not tasty- quite an opposite. At this moment as wellness and health awareness is growing, in every city you have more and more cool bars serving amazing healthy cocktails, those places are usually with great design, you have many new restaurants opening which are run in sustainable way, they may be vegan or organic. You have many local initiatives like local food sold on the markets, breakfast markets in the cities, sport events, organized by Nike or some sport celebrities, marathons, yoga events, etc. Lately there are even new initiatives with happy hours, after work gathering but focused not on booze but rather some other mindful activities: art, mindfulness meditation, yoga places having nice cafes. Such lifestyle is actually cool, colourful, and with place for fun, without forgetting about health and wellness.
- Distance yourself from negative (habits, people, situations, you name it). If you try to achieve certain things, implement changes, realizing your dreams, get healthier habits, or be well and do well- you need to clean your environment from the negative. If people cut your wings every time you speak about your plans, commenting in a negative way, trying to put their own fears over you, just be aware you have the right to cut it out. But similarly, it works with your own negative habits. If you try to improve your health, be more fit, etc. and still you don’t see much positive results, think if there may be still negative habits which are in conflict with the whole process? For example, you want to get healthy and make your body stable, but you continue night eating, or you are snacking with complete sugar bombs or processed food- than you have the answer. This may stop your body from doing better. It is not about stressing out yourself, but about seeing the whole picture and the end goal. Make a list of things that you are able to tolerate in your life, things you know you shouldn’t do/have, which are still present. Slowly, step by step,cut it down, one after another and get rid of it.
- Wellness is a lifestyle, not short term commitment or diet – so make it that way! I already wrote a post on why I don’t believe in diets, counting calories, but I do believe in healthy lifestyle. You can read it here. Overall wellness, besides the physical health includes also focusing on your mental and spiritual development. See it in a holistic way. After answering your questions above, writing down the answer and making your wellness plan, commit yourself to changes. Forget about short term actions. Always remember your goal and motivation behind it. If you want to see yourself healthy in 5 or 10 years, be there for your family and friends, remember about this motivation while implementing your wellness plan. Include little changes every day, week after week, slowly, until some of them are becoming your healthy habits. Include new change, only after other things are already easy for you.
- Three crucial things you should just not forget: nutrition- eat well (make it a priority to choose nutritional food over processed and junk food, no matter what) fitness-move a lot (sport,yoga and all type of activities which makes you move. Again it is important to include it into your daily/weekly/monthly wellness plan), mental exercising/self development-include it in your plan (training your brain is equally important. Making yourself aware of what you feel, how you think, know your thoughts and emotions will help you to understand your own behaviour and habits you develop).
- Write your own wellness journal. Such a personal wellness journal will help you to really see your habits, what you eat, how much time you dedicate to yourself- write down the food you eat. You may realize that you are overeating, even when not hungry. Write down your emotions, or thoughts- again you may realize, you have certain negative habits on how you think about food or yourself.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help – when needed. I am not afraid or ashamed to say, that there were/are moments in my life when I needed to ask for help to a specialist. There are people who are prepared to help us when we face certain difficulties in our life, psychologists, coaches or dietitians- all depends on your need. When I lost my mum and after experiencing the trauma not only of the lost itself, but also of long term sickness like cancer, I lost also completely my balance. I faced depression. It was extremely difficult but with help of therapist/psychologist I managed to rebuild my balance again. It was a long, difficult road, but completely worth it. I learnt a lot about myself, maybe for the first time I actually started to know myself. It was not easy, as I faced also some truth, which was not easy, but this was the moment when all the changes came. Once you start the journey of self development, you gonna follow it probably for the rest of your life. And again, after some time when my past was balanced, but I needed to move forward with my life, when I didn’t know what are the goals or path I want to take, when I felt I want to learn how to see clearly my professional path- this time I asked for help the coach who helped me in this process. I am extremely happy to work with and learn from one of the best Polish coaches, Kamila Rowińska (you can check her facebook fanpage here or Rowinska Business Coaching website). Maybe you also see that with your health or wellness you are not able to manage by yourself? Than, ask those who are prepared to help you in this process. Being vulnerable, asking for help – it is a sign OF COURAGE, a sign of being BRAVE, not something to be ashamed of.