Updated: Sep 13, 2022
Taking a holistic approach to health and wellness.
Many of us get stuck on physical fitness. Am I exercising enough? Have I done enough steps? If I do three workouts a week, then I’ll be healthy right? What about our emotional, mental and spiritual health? What’s your approach to balance your health and wellbeing?
Our physical health is only one aspect of our wellness. Whilst, it important to ensure that we are activating our physical body by getting enough exercise and oxygen so that our body can operate optimally, it’s also about balance.
If we spend three to five hours a week on physical workouts, we may be strengthening and building our muscles for a lean body, but are we eating and sleeping well?
A body that is well, also needs enough rest and nourishment through the foods and beverages we consume. I used to work out on and off up to five times a week and it got to a point where it became stressful, because I was putting pressure on myself. I was trying to squeeze in yoga classes for my own practice at lunch, I was teaching yoga in the mornings and evenings four times a week, working full time and after a while, I lost the joy and pleasure in my working out for my Self and teaching. Instead of releasing the tension, it was creating tension in my body.
Emotional regulation and wellness
I started to pay more attention to my Self and what I needed. So, I reduced that number of classes I went to and used the time to either meditate, or spent time reflecting or journaling. This change allowed me to observe and express my state of play. Instead of releasing my stresses through physical exercise, which definitely works – when I was feeling stressed out because I was putting too much pressure on my Self – I had to figure out another way to bring balance back, so I could enjoy my Self when I chose to workout.
Being flexible with my Self and listening to my needs made me feel like I was taking care of my Self.
I used to read the newspaper twice a day; mornings and evenings on my commute to and from work. What I realised was that it was making me feel low. I made a conscious choice to stop reading the papers. It was more of an experiment for my Self and instead used that time to read, listen to a podcast or a meditation.
I felt better for it too. I was using the time constructively to nourish my mental wellness. Reading has always been a pleasure of mine – it’s creative and lets me exercise my imagination. I also love learning new things or understanding perspectives, so listening to podcasts on topics that I’m interested in stimulates my mind or I can listen to a guided meditation to unwind and re-centre my Self after work.
The spirit to me – is the Soul. It’s that thing that lights a flame in your heart and is the essence of who you are, or who you choose to be. Paying more attention to Self, through awareness and meeting our needs in a balanced way, allows us to start listening to who we are and taking actions that align with our Soul.
When the thing you’re doing to look after your Self becomes ineffective – look at the other areas of your wellness to bring your Self back to balance. Starting with awareness of Self is the key to knowing what you need.
When we start listening to what feels right to us, our Soul will guide us to balance. We need to pay attention to what it’s saying.
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