You may have noticed at your initial appointment or yearly check in, that there are a few questions I ask routinely. I have chosen these topics because over time I have seen them to be extremely important to overall health, or whole health. I ask about:
- STRESS MANAGEMENT
Whole health topics
There are no correct or incorrect answers, just great talking points based on an individual’s health goals. And, they are not in order of importance. They are all very important.
Checking in with yourself
Checking in with ourselves is the beginning to understanding our health and how we make decisions about our health. Sometimes we are not making conscious decisions, sometimes we are just following our routine. Routine can be very helpful, but sometimes gets us in trouble. It is important to occasionally re-evaluate our routine to see if our routine lines up with our goals and intentions.
Mindfulness is a big buzzword lately, and for good reason. When life gets busy, we often go into automatic mode. But, automatic mode does not promote growth. Taking a few minutes each day to ponder what is most important to us and to set our intentions for the day is key to our health and key to reaching our whole health goals.
Setting goals that align with your intention
There are some general health recommendations in the medical community based on large trials, and these I will continue to share. For example, for the majority of people 150 min of moderate intensity exercise or 75 minutes of high intensity exercise per week is recommended. And, 7-9 hrs of sleep pr night is recommended. And, for the majority of people, a whole foods plant based diet full of brightly colored fruits and vegetables is ideal. Etcetera.
But, health is so very individualized. This is why it is so important to remember to set goals based on your stage of life and goals that align with your intentions in this stage.
If you have felt lonely lately, you may want to put some more intentional effort into creating and sustaining healthy relationships.
If you have been getting to bed late and waking up tired, you may want to turn your efforts toward restorative sleep.
If you were recently diagnosed with osteopenia, you may want to add in some weight training.
If you have realized that you have lost all interest in exercise, you may want to take several days off before your next workout and change it to something more interesting to you.
If you have been more mindful about prevention of disease, you may want to more regularly exercise and make healthier food choices.
Your goals with continue to change with time.
Sometimes it is important to push ourselves out of our comfort zone. And sometimes it is important to let ourselves rest and recover.
Just make sure your goals align with your intentions, are set by you, and will lead you down the correct health path.
It is also totally normal for our goals and intentions to change as the seasons of life change.
Allow your goals to change
We all have had periods of our life when our goals have changed. What is important to us often changes as we grow. With mindfulness and reflection time, we may then choose to change our goals and change our routine.
Maybe you decide to introduce new foods because you see the effect of a limited diet on your microbiome.
Maybe you decide to quit smoking because you recognize the risks to your health.
Maybe you decide to incorporate relaxation time such as listening to music because it releases endorphins, activates your parasympathetic nervous system and makes you feel happy.
Maybe you decide to address an unhealthy relationship because you see how it is affecting your physical health.
Maybe you decide to spend less time on social media because you feel see how much time accumulates.
Maybe you decide to spend more time outdoors because you recognize that is to calming to your nervous system.
Maybe you decide to stop drinking alcohol because you have found heathier ways to relax and have fun.
Maybe you decide to start volunteering because you have a strong desire to help others and it brings you joy.
These choices require self refection and the willingness to change and grow. Make those choices mindfully with your whole health in mind.
Celebrate your successes
And, recognize that change and finding balance is very difficult. Change takes time and energy and focus. Celebrate your successes!!!