Being well for when we really need it:
What is wellness? We could think of it as the opposite of illness. It is really the act of practicing healthy habits on a daily basis to attain better physical and mental health outcomes, so that instead of just surviving, you’re thriving. We want to be well, but the reality is we need to be well, for that time when we are really going to need it, if a major stress hits or we get an injury it is the being well that will help us to cope/recover and get through it easier. The body is an amazing adaptable, resourceful, self-healing organism given the right environment, but when it’s not looked after properly, of course it won’t be able to keep up. And then we are into a straw on the camel’s back scenario because there’s only so much a body can take. So really wellness is about resilience & strength too.
Often people only take a real interest in their wellness after some sort of illness or trauma, but why wait? There are simple daily things that can leave us feeling so good, healthy & vibrant without much effort. We do a lot of distracting ourselves & ‘running away’ to activities to busy ourselves, where sometimes the most beneficial practice can be sitting doing nothing, just having a cuppa or listening to the birds, just being alone with ourselves, Covid has actually been great for this as it gave us so much time, but that was quite new & uncomfortable for a lot of us in the beginning.
I’ve had my own experiences of what happens when you don’t prioritise your wellness over the years, it’s interesting because the body will always find a way to let you know something has got to give and there has been great learning in all of it. The body is always communicating with us, we just have to listen. I love the quote ‘if you listen to the body when it whispers then you won’t have to hear it scream.
After my Dad passing away 12 years ago I was heartbroken but thought I was doing fine for the first year, busy with 2 small kids & another on the way, putting myself to the bottom of the pile & never really sitting with the grief I guess. After a year of that I started to get severe panic attacks, a horrible experience, very difficult for anyone to truly understand if they haven’t been through it themselves, a very scary, lonely place. What I see now is it was simply my bodies way of saying ‘enough is enough time to look after you!’. So I took some time, kept myself quiet, feeding myself well, going to counselling, journaling, reducing my exercise levels to just walking for a while and day by day I felt better. Anxiety would be a weak spot of mine if I overdo it but it doesn’t bother me these days anymore through good nutrition, good sleep, exercise, meditation, tuning in to myself & my needs.
In another instance in the years following this I really got into exercise and was doing fairly intense training with marathons, triathlons etc. I loved it! But at the time I guess I underestimated the stress it was on my body. So when another big stress was added on with marriage breakdown & divorce, this was the straw on the camels back & my body literally overnight decided it had no energy & running/exercise was not an option. My adrenals were obviously so overrun they decided we’re taking a break for a while. So with a couple of years of taking it easy, listening to my body, much lighter exercise & stress relief, as well as good nutrition & some supplements, I built myself back up. But now I really watch my stress levels, I see nothing is really worth getting stressed about, and my exercise is very much led by how I am feeling on a particular day.
I see now, we might think we are doing something ‘healthy’ but its all about the balance, time for healthy eating & exercise but right up there too is time for connection, fun, purpose, nature, stillness, they all have their place and I certainly find now on a given day chilling out & sitting down or having a laugh with friends is just as important as going for a run or a workout depending on the day.
Adding in little daily routines like some of the following doesn’t take long & can have such cumulative benefits over time.
-walk in nature
-mindful activities; colouring, listening to birds, eating, washing up, shower, anything
– whatever makes you laugh or smile
-short workouts (@colman_power_organic_fitness)
So keep yourself well & feel free to get in touch. Anyone looking for help with anxiety or adrenal fatigue I’d be only delighted to help in any way that I can.