Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Tug of War Wellness? Enough Already!

I feel blessed to be living in the Information Age.  But....sometimes it is so crazy-making!Hundreds of different messages being thrown our way, every day!  Do some of these ring a bell?

Drink lots of water every day.  But don't drink tap water.  Drink bottled. 
No, don't do that either - there are chemicals in bottled water! Drink filtered water!

Exercise every day for at least 30  minutes.  No, three times a week for 45 minutes is perfect!
 Better yet, walk - dance - move - do something - what ever you can! 

Eat six small meals a day!  No four!  Get rid of the, eliminate the fats!!
 No more red meat...wait, fish is bad too, especially bottom-feeders! 

Coffee is, now  a little is ok.  Drink tea...but it stains my teeth!, only if it's two glasses for males, one for females!

Yikes!!  Am I experiencing Tug of War Wellness??  Enough already!!

Wanting to stay informed as to the latest health trends, I will listen to medical experts or read blogs, articles, etc. And, for the most part, I want to be proactive with the information I acquire.  However, what I usually find is that I revert back to three basic guidelines that have served me well and that free me from tug of war wellness!

Know non- negotiables.
  • First -  Know my non-negotiables. 
These are the practices that I know work for me and are good for me. For example, this could be anything from taking necessary medication or participating in various kinds of exercise or therapy; avoiding foods or plants that cause allergies or that trigger disease or relapse; or implementing a certain type of diet (vegan, gluten free); maintaining enough sleep, etc.  These are typically rituals or patterns of our daily living that we've done for so long that they come second nature to us. We know that without them, we put ourselves at risk or in harm's way. As we continue to embrace them, we feel good. It is super important that you are aware of your non-negotiables. It you haven't thought of this, do so now.  In fact,write them down.

  • Second - Respect my routine.    
    Respect Your Routine
I  know what my day looks like.  I know what it feels like to be me.  You do too!  I know what I can take in and take on. I know my limits. Do you?  So, when I think about changing something or adding something new to my routine, I must be realistic.  If I decide to add in  more exercise, where will I fit it in?  If I want to begin a new eating pattern, do I have the time and resources to make it work?  Just be honest with yourself - respect your routine and what works for you.

Let me give you an example.  Over the holidays, my husband and I took a fairly long cruise. Because I love to exercise at least every other day,  I went out to walk on the deck.  It was way too cold and windy,  so I joined the Zumba class that met every morning. It was a blast!  When we got home, I immediately went over to our YMCA where they have Zumba classes everyday. But the classes are never at the same time - morning, at night, sometimes in the afternoon. I knew this wouldn't work for me.  I exercise early in the morning. I ordered some DVD's so that I can exercise right at home!  

So, if you are considering a change or adding something new to your wellness regiment, check out your routine and your level of energy.  Move ahead with realistic expectations.   
  • Third - Maintain my mindset of  moderation.
    Mindset of  Moderation
We hear a lot about finding balance in our lives. I agree balance is super important.

At the same time, if we maintain a mindset of  moderation, we won't need to experience the tension, anxiety, and frustration of tug of war wellness, and we won't find ourselves constantly searching for the balance which keeps eluding us. 

What do I mean?  How is this done? While honoring my non-negotiables and my routine,  I usually navigate life without extremes or excesses. Whether it is time on my technology, or the size of my popcorn bag at the movies, or shopping for clothes (which I love to do!), an internal compass of moderation provides direction for my place of wellness. Over the years, it has served me very well.  Of course, there have been times where I have messed up or taken risks or pushed the envelope. And, I've learned from that too. Sometimes, painfully so. This principle may be the hardest to adopt. So, take your time and apply it to one aspect of your life at a time. In other words, do this in moderation as well!  I think you'll be surprised at how  much better you feel!     

In closing, stay informed.  Keep abreast of the latest insights, discoveries, and practices that will enhance your wellness.  At the same time, if you find yourself being pulled this direction...then that direction, stop and take in a deep breath. Or, if you start something and stop it because it doesn't work for you, it's ok. For now, let go of the rope that is pulling you back and forth. Then, take some time and follow these
Stepping Stones of Wellness.

Stepping Stones of Wellness

Know your non-negotiables.

Respect your routine.

Maintain a mindset of moderation.

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