I want to take what’s left of our month on wellness and get through what each dimension of wellness is and means. I’m going to take one on a day with you, share a little about how I make sure it stays in my plans/perspective for the week ahead, and some top ways you can include this dimension into others so you are not facing burn out trying to do them all individually.
Today is about physical wellness. Physical wellness is all about treating your body right. Your eating habits, sleep, and proper exercise or activity daily are the most common ways to engage this dimension. It’s being hyper aware of how we are treating our bodies.
One of the most simple ways I’ve been able to work on my awareness to what my eating habits are, is tracking both what I put in and weighing myself each day right out of bed in the morning. Tracking what I eat through a simple app or writing it in a log along with weighing myself helps me be conscious about what I am eating more. Very simply on days where I notice my weight spike, I check into the log and see what I’ve eaten for the day. It sounds like a hassle, but once you create the habit you will thank yourself for it. You literally will start to remind yourself what you ate the previous day the next morning you weigh in and make better decisions with how you eat going into your new day. At the very least it’s helped me maintain a steady weight even during times where I didn’t necessarily change what I ate, just got better at how much I was eating.
When it comes to proper exercise I recommend any kind of personal device that you can wear. The market is saturated with activity trackers for just about any part of your body from wrist, to necklace, and even a ring you can where that tracks movement as well as heart rate. Again, the tracker in of itself doesn’t make you thinner or better it just makes you more aware of how inactive you might be. We need visual queues to jog us out of bad habits. A nice visual reminder to stay in motion is the best way to start on a path to being on the move more and burning more calories. Your body is in its best position to metabolize things when it’s in some state of movement. Now myself, five years ago, got into running. A habit that I’ve had for over 5 years that has helped me shed over 40 lbs. Once you start down the path of being more active you will find yourself coming into contact with more exposure to other activities. Find what’s best for you and don’t over do it. Burning out increases your chance of never picking it back up again and regressing right back to inactive bad habits.
For sleep one of the best things I find I can do is read a book and put all technology or distractions away by a certain time. I’ve set a alarm on my phone and set do not disturb on all my tech around the time I should be calming my mind down to get a sound nights sleep. They say 7+ hours of sleep is the best thing you can give your body. However, I think it’s different for everyone and only you know what kind of sleep you need in total. If you can find some way to pick up a power nap on lunch for 20-30 minutes in the middle of the day you will find a huge boost to your late afternoon energy reserve needs. It’s hard for me because most of my writing and reading happens late at night, so I typically get about 5-6 hours of sleep per day and sleep in longer on my days off. It works for me. Find your limits by logging how you feel through out the day after tracking your nightly sleep activity.
I’ve found I can mix other wellness work into the physical really easily. Here’s some examples you can try:
- Listen to your favorite podcast or audio book while you logging a outdoor walk. This is a great way to engage the physical and mental wellness areas at the same time.
- As you finally put all the stuff away and prepare for sleep, take yourself through guided meditation to calm your mind down. This engages your physical needs to calm the body from a engaging day so you can get to sleep faster. The meditation adds reflection or mindfulness spin on, which serves the spiritual wellness needs of your mind.
- Find a active group to join in your community. I connected with a run group of friends in the town I live in. Having someone you can share the experience of physical activity is motivational. In this instance you’re engaging your physical and social wellness needs.
- Take the time before bed to log in a journal your experiences of physical work. This helps you understand what you may or may not need for physical wellness improvements. But, it also engages an opportunity to improve your intellectual wellness as you problem solve things by writing them out or thinking through them in a journal.
Next up, we will tackle social wellness and some ways we can blend that wellness work with others.
Thanks for reading and have a great start to your new week.