Wellness is a term that seems to get thrown around a lot these days – not in a bad way, but in a “general” way. It means different things to different people. Even in the course of my own life, my definition of wellness has changed.
To preface a bit, my wellness journey – even though I had no idea it would become that – started when I was just 14. I broke into full-body hives and had them every single day for years. I was on all kinds of nasty medication, like prednisone, just to keep them under control so life was bearable. To keep a long story short, my mom (who also has chronic hives) found us a naturopath/medical doctor who worked with us. My hives eventually went away for a few years, but that was the beginning of battling autoimmune issues. I don’t say that to complain, but to give background as to why I do what I do now to promote wellness in my life.
Let’s get back to the main point: wellness. It’s a “big picture” thing for me that encompasses lots of different areas of my life. Because I truly believe that you need to be “all in” in order to do the best for your body (I don’t mean perfection – more on that later). What I mean is that if I exercise consistently like I should, but eat food loaded with all kinds of things I can’t pronounce, that’s not doing my best. If I switch to less toxic makeup products, but still pop Advil constantly, that’s not good. Those are just examples, but I think it does convey the importance of all areas being important!
I have a list – not comprehensive at all – below of different areas of my life and what I’ve personally chosen to do in order to give my body its best shot at wellness. I’m not an expert, and I’m always learning. And I’m certainly not perfect in these areas. I do not do these things 100% of the time, but do my best. My best is what has made a difference in the way that I feel the last couple of years!
I’m try eating real food/clean food. I know those are also terms which are heard a lot, too, but I interpret them to mean that you’re eating things that are minimally processed AND you can read/identify all of the ingredients. I personally don’t eat a lot of gluten or dairy because I just feel better when I leave them out of my diet.
We are big on meal prep at our house, so we do a ton a cooking at home. Having healthy food that is ready to eat has been so helpful to eating better! I don’t worry about counting calories or anything because we’re eating a variety of quality foods. Besides, starving yourself isn’t going to do you any good.
Meal prepping has really been a positive thing for us! We write out a list of what we want to eat for the week – all meals plus snacks – then do all of our grocery shopping at once. We set aside a few hours on the weekend to cook and prepare everything, and then we are set for the week! We love having all that extra time free during the week!
This is the area in which I struggle the most. I don’t like working out, but I’m always happy when I do. It makes me feel good, gives me a nice energy boost, and I really do enjoy being in shape! I’m learning that I need to set aside time to exercise and put it on my schedule just like anything else. I always do workouts at home (Beachbody or The Firm usually) that are around 30 minutes. If it’s anything longer than that, I know that I probably won’t do it.
The other important aspect of exercise is variety. I’m always seeing the push for cardio for weight loss, and while that’s great, putting some muscle on is going to serve you a lot better for your goals in the long run! Muscle is your friend because it is what burns calories for you all the time! Needless to stay, I do my best to do a mix of weights and cardio. Strength is your friend just as much as a healthy heart!
Sleep is SO IMPORTANT! So important that we wrote a whole BLOG POST on it, actually. There are so many benefits of getting the amount of sleep your body needs. For me, that’s about 8-9 hours. For my husband, it’s around 7.
We’ve been working hard at making our routine consistent – getting up and going to bed at the same time. Keeping my body in that rhythm really makes a positive difference. We tend to do best during the week, but weekends are a bit of a struggle! We all have areas for improvement, don’t we?
Sure, I love a nice and tidy home, but what I’m talking about here is a home without toxic products, chemicals, etc. Wow, what a journey this has been! It’s been a year-long process of slowly swapping almost everything we used to use – shampoo, cleaner, laundry soap, makeup, etc. – for cleaner options.
I’ve relied heavily on the THINK DIRTY app to learn about different brands, why they’re good (or not good) options, and then making changes accordingly. I can’t encourage you enough to download the app and take a look yourself! If you take a look around on this site, you’ll see some of the things that we’ve swapped out to: OMIANA MAKEUP, THIEVES HOUSEHOLD CLEANER, THIEVES LAUNDRY SOAP, and lots of other things.
A word of advice: don’t let this overwhelm you! If you decide that you want to start swapping things out, just take baby steps! Learn a little bit, make a few changes, try some new things, and then repeat. You’ll get there!
So this is one of the last, and most important pieces to the puzzle. Essential oils. Maybe you’ve heard of them? They’ve been getting more and more popular over the last few years. I ignored them for a long time, thinking it was all a bunch of hype. Then I went to a class, heard a lady’s story, bought a kit, and never looked back! My only wish is that I would have started sooner.
Essential oils are incredibly powerful; I really had no idea. They can do so many things – cleaning, emotional support, happy skin, lend support to all of the various systems in our body, and more. Cliche as it sounds, I use them for everything all of the time and I feel better, which makes me so grateful! Having pure, nontoxic, natural resources to support my body is a game changer. Even my husband is hooked!
You can read through our ESSENTIAL OILS 101 post for information on what they are, how they work, etc. We also have THIS POST which details some of the most popular oils and all of their uses! Of course there’s all of our other oily posts. You’re welcome 😉
I’m not totally sure this category fits with this post, but, why not! I have an extremely strong Type A personality. I’ve been a perfectionist for as long as I can remember. I like to go, go, go and get things done. Always planning. Always thinking. My mind really doesn’t get a break.
Sure, part of that is just the way I’m wired. And a lot of those things are good! They work to my advantage. But it’s also good to slow down, rest, and just enjoy life! I have to put effort into making those things happen, but it’s so worth it. My body and my mind thank me for giving them a rest!
One thing that I’ve started doing, but need to be more consistent about, is journaling. Getting all of the thoughts, plans, ideas, to-do lists, and anything else racing through my head onto paper has incredibly helpful – especially before bed!
Kudos to you if you’ve made it through this whole post! It’s the longest one yet. I have so much more to say, but I’ll save that for a few more posts. hehe. I truly hope that you may have found something helpful or inspiring along the way!
Wellness is achievable. Sure, it looks a little different for each one of us, but it can be done! Learn a little bit each day. Take baby steps. Make small changes. And soon enough, you’ll be well on your way to reaching your wellness goals, too!