“Optimal Wellness—Be a Master of Self-Care” (encouraging a repertoire of healthy habits that positively affect whole well-being)
May 5th, 2011 | By Alice Burron | Category: Wellness
The topic of weight loss is everywhere and the message is the same—if you lose weight, you will gain happiness and all will be well with you. But we all know that losing weight isn’t the key to happiness or being well, and neither is getting in shape; the key to health and happiness is in self-care. It has been said the mastery of wellness can be considered the mastery of self-care.
Practicing self-care does not come easily to many women because they give of themselves to care for everyone else. It can feel almost selfish to put yourself first and care for your own needs when so many others demand your time, energy, and attention.
Nurturing your body, your environment, your relationships, and your spirit is a vital part of maintaining good health, a vibrant life, and overall sense of being well. It is also gives you fuel to continue to give your best self to others.
Build up a repertoire of habits that positively affect your well-being. Add these activities to your schedule, just like any other important appointment, and think twice before cancelling. These healthful habits don’t have to be costly or take a lot of time. Often the small things make the biggest difference.
Here are ways to assess your current state of wellness, and some suggestions and practical ways to practice self-care. Modify them to fit your own needs, or use them to inspire you to create your own ways.
• Ponder where you spend most of your time, and ask yourself if time spent is in line with your highest priorities. Make adjustments if needed.
• Observe your physical environment throughout the day and ask yourself if it brings peace or turmoil to your soul. Change the look and feel of the environments you are able to change to promote good feelings.
• Find or reconnect with relationships that support your best self.
• Set your standards high and create boundaries to protect you, your time or your loved ones.
• Take time to listen to your body and assess if it needs attention. Regular checkups with your physician are a great way to voice concerns and get answers.
• Honor you body’s need to move and be fed well. Find physical activities that make your body and soul happy. Eat foods (and in quantities) that don’t produce guilt or ill feelings.
• Continue to learn and challenge yourself, but without creating an undo amount of stress.
• Take regular breaks and schedule set times for yourself, your friends, your faith and your family.
• Know yourself—be aware of signs and symptoms of stress and develop strategies to counter stressful situations.
Although self-care is a continuous lifelong journey, it is well worth the effort to continually develop your living skills in such a way that incorporates behaviors that enable you to maintain personal health and balance, replenish energy and motivation, and grow as a person, which will then result in optimal wellness. And, don’t forget to enjoy the journey!
Alice Burron earned a master’s in physical education with an emphasis in exercise physiology from the University of Wyoming. She is an affiliate spokesperson for the American Council on Exercise (ACE) and is an ACE certified personal trainer and certified Lifestyle and Weight Management Consultant. Her first book, Four Weeks to Fabulous, is aimed at helping the busy person lose weight using sound nutrition, weight control and exercise principles that are proven successful. Visit her on her website at http://www.2bfit.net/.