Create Your Own Personal Philosophy of Wellness
Wellness has been defined as "self-directed wellbeing", in other words, each of us must set up our own system of self-care, based on individual needs. Ask yourself: "What does it take for me to feel good every day?" The answer will vary for each one of us. Personally, I need my rest (and quite a lot of it, a good eight hours a night) or my coping defenses suffer and I'm less able to negotiate the day's demands. I need to have healthy meals at regular intervals or I sink into low blood sugar and become cranky, distracted and headachy. I need a balance of both energetic activity and down time, something that varies from day to day.
Because of my work as a personal trainer, there can be days at a stretch when I'm extremely physically active; and on those days, I need to make sure to squeeze in some time to relax and re-charge. However, there are also times when I have been too sedentary and quiet, and need to make sure I get some exercise.
I prefer to get my exercise "organically" in the course of a day, meaning that I allow time to walk from appointment to appointment, stretch with my clients and do some push ups, squats and core exercises along the way. When I'm away from my practice, my exercise routine becomes special time for myself and I begin every day with a 30 minute run and, if possible, a 20 minute swim.
Whether you structure a routine into each day or keep a general "accounting" of your activity level over a period of time, be mindful of creating a well-balanced lifestyle. Every day you need to practice the fundamentals of self-care – whatever they are for you – in such a way that you can face doing it again tomorrow. This is how to create a system of healthy habits that will serve your body for life.
Next week we'll take a look at how physical activity can help build resilience to negative stress.