How are you feeling? Seriously, how are you really feeling? Have you ever taken a wellness audit? Memorial Day weekend is officially ushering in Summer. Are you ready? Do you feel ready to truly enjoy this summer, to make the most of it? Let’s make sure by auditing your overall wellness – take inventory of YOUR overall health and fitness level today. We will also look at potential solutions for any areas that can be improved.
Physical wellness basically includes a variety of health behaviors and habits such as adequate exercise, proper nutrition, self care, and avoiding harmful habits (consuming excessive alcohol, smoking or vaping, and/or drug abuse). As you read through this blog, intentionally and mindfully assess your personal health. Honestly determine where you are, and where you want to be regarding your overall health and fitness.
According to many sources, (www.theartoffitnessandlife.com, www.grcc.edu, https://www.rwu.edu) there are seven (7) areas or “pillars” of wellness:
This blog will focus more on the physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual areas. So let’s dive right into this audit! Unless you want to share your answers with someone, no one will know your answers. So, for your own best benefit, be brutally honest as you assess yourself in all of these areas!
How are you truly feeling?
- Have you had a complete physical checkup to know your numbers? We’re talking blood pressure, cholesterol, thyroid, hormone levels, etc.
- How is your ability to perform basic physical activities such as:
- Walking up and down stairs
- Getting up from seated or from sitting in the floor
- How is your energy level to perform basic activities such as cooking meals and household chores?
- Do you find that you frequently:
- Get headaches
- Notice that your clothes getting uncomfortably tight
- Feel bloated
- Suffer from digestive issues
- experience excessive water retention
- Feel lethargic, with little to no energy
- Feel more aches and pains throughout your body, specifically in your joints
How are you processing daily circumstances? Are you having more bad days or good days? Honestly evaluate the following:
- Do you feel cranky and moody often?
- Overall, do daily irritations like traffic and encountering difficult situations tend to ruin your day or roll off your back?
- How do you handle stress and stressful situations? Do you have stress management techniques or tools in place?
- When facing a problem, do you tend to give up or find solutions?
- Have you set any personal goals?
- Do you find, overall, that you tend to look for the bad or the good in each day?
- Is your mindset overwhelmingly positive or negative?
- What are the things you most look forward to?
- When you look in the mirror, are you content with who and/or what you see?
- Do you have family and/or friends who encourage and support you or drain you?
- How is the quality of your sleep?
Believe it or not, this is honestly a crucial area! Assess who is truly in your innermost circle, and who is in your “outer” circle.
- Do those closest to you energize you and bring you peace, or do you find that they drain you mentally and emotionally?
- Do you have family and/or friends who are honest with you as well as supportive, rather than critical?
- Do you have a support circle who helps you find solutions?
- Do you feel safe being honest in return with those in your circle?
While this area may not seem important enough to be in the top 5, I can assure you from my personal experience that it truly is! If you know me, you already know that I absolutely and unashamedly love Jesus. He is my Savior, my Heavenly Father, Redeemer, best friend, healer, comforter, conscience, etc. Without faith in someone bigger than myself, I would feel lost. My strength literally comes from Him. I know that He is in control, and that in order to get the very most and best out of my life, I need to be anchored in Him and in His Word. Being part of an active, Bible-believing church family feeds my heart, mind, and soul. It gives me an opportunity to be fed spiritually and an opportunity to serve others. All of these things are so very important! So, let’s assess a few spiritual health areas:
- Are you plugged into a faith-based community?
- Are you feeding your faith? This can include worship and/or prayer services, small groups, Bible studies, and Bible study groups.
- Are you serving in some capacity? Are you giving of yourself – not just money, but your talent and your time?
- Are you practicing counting your blessings as much, if not more, than your problems?
Take a few minutes to honestly assess yourself in all of these areas. I would encourage you to make notes. You know I love the idea of journaling. If you aren’t already journaling, start one today. Make any notes you have about this wellness audit. Writing these things down can help you in SO many ways! Maybe you’re finding that you’re a little better off than you originally thought! That’s a very encouraging thing to have written – to see it in print, not just thinking it. If you find that you have more areas to improve than you thought, writing them down gives you a “ground zero” to start with! Write any ideas you have to improve, then make a plan to get started.
For the physical topic, list the things that you are most concerned about. How can you improve these things? First of all, if something is a challenge to you – you need to do more of it! For example, if walking up any set of stairs is a struggle for you – then you decide today that you are going to take every set of stairs you see! Yes, it will be hard at first – you’ll definitely be out of breath, and it might take you longer to get there than taking an elevator. But after a couple of weeks, you’ll find that it’s easier! If getting up and down is difficult for you – make a plan to put exercises into practice daily that will make that easier for you. (Mix in squats, lunges, crunches, plank.) Here’s the thing – every single one of us is aging. As our bodies age, fitness abilities, flexibility, and mobility will disappear if we don’t use them. However, no matter how old you are, it’s never too late to improve! We will all need to maintain balance, flexibility, and mobility as we age to remain active and independent. You have nothing to lose (except your excuses) and everything to gain!
How do you feel about your mental and emotional audits? These are choices, my friends. The spiritual and social areas directly feed into these as well. Time with Jesus and a strong faith make you more mentally and emotionally stable and strong. A strong support group will do the same, and can certainly be found in a faith-based community like a church home or Bible study group. And of course, when you are physically active and have an exercise program and healthy nutrition, your mood and stress level are positively affected! Get out your calendar and write down times each day that you will move – get outside for a walk, take an exercise class, plug in an at-home exercise program. Write down a day that you will grocery shop, and a day that you will prepare your meals in advance. Plan your meals, then make your grocery list and DO NOT deviate from that list!
Look at what you can improve rather than focus on what needs improvement! Set new goals (small, easy to achieve and big) and make a plan for yourself to reach them. As you implement steps, you’ll find that you are more encouraged and determined to succeed which pushes you to continue. Once you reach a small goal, you’ll find that you feel much more confident and motivated to crush other goals!
A personal trainer or wellness coach can certainly help you break these things down and make a new plan that is 100% doable. I can promise you that it is more than worth the investment. I would love to help you be the very best you can be! Please feel free to contact me to talk about your wellness audit and goals!