074: How to Take Control of Your Wellness
Happy New Year! Welcome to 2020.
How’s the new year treating you so far? I mentioned in my Instagram stories yesterday how I already felt behind and it was only the second day of the year. Can you relate?
I went on to share, though, that I’m giving myself grace. Do you realize we have four full weeks left in January? So I’m using these first few days of the month to ease into the new year with my goals, habits, routines, and other things I want to do better this year.
So if you feel like you’re already behind, then hear me when I say, you’re not! Give yourself grace. If you don’t have a plan for 2020 it’s ok. There is nothing magical about January 1. You start when you’re ready.
I mentioned in the last episode that I’m going to be starting something new in 2020 in The Planning Woman Community Facebook group. I’m launching the Live It Out Coaching Program this month. In this program, I will be hosting a monthly Facebook Live where I will spend about 45 minutes to an hour talking about a topic related to your health, home, finances, time management, or any number of other topics. I’ll focus on a different one each month.
The topic for January is Wellness. If you’d like to view the recording of the coaching session, click here to request to join the group. Then you’ll be able to access the training.
I’m also going to be taking those topics and use them to guide the content of my podcast episodes. So, in January, we will be talking a lot about wellness.
Let’s get started today and jump into the topic of wellness. I specifically want to talk about how we can take charge of our own wellness. Let me first share the definition of wellness.
According to dictionary.com, wellness is defined as “the quality or state of being healthy in body and mind, especially as the result of deliberate effort.” I personally take wellness to mean our whole lives are well. Our physical, mental, spiritual, and social lives are all in a healthy state.
As I have been thinking about the whole topic of wellness I’ve wondered why it seems so hard to get and stay healthy. After all, it seems like everyone is trying to improve their health in some way whether it is changing their diet, getting more exercise, doing more self-care activities, or investing in personal coaches or trainers.
And more often than not, most people don’t seem to ever get to a point of being totally healthy and in maintenance mode instead of change mode. Does that make sense?
But why is that? Well, as I’ve thought about my life and conversations I’ve had with others, I’ve come to a conclusion. I think we find it hard to get healthy because we feel like changing our health is often out of our control.
Think about that for a minute. Do we really have no control over our health, or are we just using that as an excuse?
It sounds like we are just victims of our circumstances and we can’t do anything about it. Are you like me and have adopted a victim mentality and just haven’t realized it?
I have said so many times that I can’t lose weight because I can’t stay on a rigid plan. Or I don’t have the time to exercise. Or my parents struggled with their weight, so I guess I’ll struggle too.
There are many excuses we give for not getting healthy and they are usually framed in a way that makes us feel like there is nothing we can do about it. Is anyone getting what I’m saying?
Now, I realize some of you may be dealing with chronic or even terminal health issues. There is definitely a lot that is out of your control in regards to your health.
However, I feel like we all can do something to make ourselves more healthy. Even if our health issues are still not totally resolved despite our efforts.
Four Ways to Help Us Take Control of Our Wellness
We have to adopt the mindset that we can be healthy
That means getting over the victim mentality and embracing the fact we can do something.
Our mindset is so important when we’re trying to make a change. If you don’t think you can change, then you won’t. However, if you believe change is possible, no matter how big or small that change is, you will be able to change.
One way I think is super helpful in adopting the right mindset is to tell ourselves when we’re tempted to make an unhealthy choice that we really are a healthy person and healthy people would not do whatever it is you’re tempted to do.
Reaffirming on a consistent basis that you can be healthy can make all the difference in being able to change or not being able to change.
Go to the doctor
I don’t know about you, but I never really thought about how important it is to get yearly physicals. Until a few years ago, I only went to the doctor when I was sick. I never went when I was well just to figure out if I was as healthy as I thought I was.
Now, I do have to share that I have been a little frustrated by my physicals over the last couple of years. I have been experiencing some health issues and I wanted to find out the root cause of them. After routine blood work and other small tests, there was no conclusive answer to why I’ve been dealing with these issues.
So, this year, in an effort to take control of my wellness, I’m switching doctors. I have found one who does a much more thorough physical than most doctors do. And he spends at least an hour with you going over your results and helping you figure out what action you need to take.
I’m looking forward to finally having a doctor who will listen and will get to the bottom of why I have these certain health issues.
So I encourage you to start with your doctor. Get a baseline for what your wellness is right now. Then work with your doctor to see how you can improve it.
And, if you don’t feel your doctor is thorough and does not give you the time you need to discuss your health concerns, consider finding a different doctor. That may not be possible depending on your insurance and financial state. But you should try to get the best care that you can.
Eat right and exercise
Ok, I know that’s the standard answer, but it is true. But how do you know which diet and exercise is the right one to follow?
Well, let’s go back to what we talked about last. Go see your doctor. He or she should be able to direct you to the right way to eat and exercise. This is so important because if you have an underlying health issue of diabetes or heart disease, then there are certain diets that are better for you than others.
If you have no specific health problems, then just choosing whole foods over processed foods can make a big difference. One thing I’ve learned is that products that are supposed to be healthier versions of more fattening or calorie-laden foods we love really aren’t healthy. They are so processed and contain ingredients that really work against losing weight and making our bodies healthy.
I think in spite of what some diet programs claim and no matter what your eating preferences or needs are like vegan, gluten-free, low carb, whatever, eating whole foods is generally the best way to go.
Pay attention to your mental health
You may think of mental health in terms of someone who has a mental illness or something like that.
On the other hand, you may think of people who are dealing with mental health issues as being rich and are just seeing a therapist as a way to show their status. That maybe these people really don’t need a therapist.
In reality, though, we all have mental health issues at one time or another. So I think it’s important to erase the stigma of seeing a counselor to help us process things going on in our lives.
When we don’t deal with things that are taking up mental space, they can weigh heavily on us and affect our whole wellness. So figuring out how to deal with discouraging situations or thoughts is very important.
When we don’t deal with these things, we feel even less in control of our lives and our wellness. So I encourage you to seek help if there is something going on that is weighing you down. You don’t even have to do formal counseling. Sometimes talking with a trusted friend or a pastor will work. Just do something. Don’t let yourself get so weighed down that your whole life is affected.
So what do you think? Do you now think it’s possible to take control of your wellness? Or do you believe your health is so bad you can’t possibly do anything to make it better?
How will you take control of your wellness?