Wellness wasn’t always a way of life for me. Like most people, I found it hard to incorporate food, exercise, mindfulness with a demanding career and an active social life – until a change in perspective turned things around. Wellness has now become an attitude to how I live my life which manifests in a range of daily actions, behaviours and beliefs that nourish and support my mind and body.
The most significant influence for me was an introduction to yoga, not just the physical practice but embracing all aspects of yoga including meditation, mindfulness and philosophy. I have practiced yoga on and off for many years, but recognise now I was really just turning up and going through the motions, completing the physical practice without paying attention.
1. Finding the right outlet
Yoga provides me with the balance and awareness to invest in self care. It provides the yin in my demanding (yang) work day, and while being tuned into my mind and body, I can tell immediately when I’m not balanced. The practice has allowed me to build strategies to reflect and take the appropriate action to get back on track, even if it’s something as simple as a few deep breaths after an intense meeting.
While I recognise that not everyone will be open to yoga instantly, the key is to find an activity that allows you an outlet – one that you build a passion for and don’t feel like it’s a chore to participate.
2. Attitude adjustment
The key to making a change on how you view your wellness starts with the right attitude. I found that rather than approaching a long list of things or chores I should be doing for my wellbeing, it was important to reflect on my responsibility to my wellbeing. Wasn’t it a part of my responsibility to take care of the mind and body I had? Predictably, my tendency for thorough planning produced a long list of things I should be doing. This brought me full circle to the thought process of managing my wellbeing to be a chore – how was I supposed to fit everything in?
3. A slow and steady approach
After becoming thoroughly overwhelmed, I decided to list the core things that were important to me and incorporate just a few at a time. Once they became habit it was time to introduce more. This way it was less of a chore and, importantly, enjoyable and sustainable!
Many of us find ourselves overwhelmed in daily situations, be it life or career. The key to navigating these situations is to be resilient and tackle a few things at a time and most importantly, not forgetting that wellness is a way of life…. not just a to do list.