Committing Yourself To Wellness In 2018
“Commitment” is often a word that frightens us. When we're committed to something, we become responsible for it. We're committed to our jobs, relationships, and the promises that we make.
When it comes to wellness, since it's a commitment to ourselves, it can easily be something that we back out of on the last minute.
Maybe we wanted to go to the gym, but we slept through our alarm. We planned to eat healthy, but couldn't make it to the store because we had a long day at work. We want to be less stressed yet we can't pull ourselves away from our desk at work for just 10 minutes.
But what if we can commit ourselves to creating daily habits that will help us unlock our wellness?
The secret is to focus on making one habit change at a time to find wellness in a busy world.
Mindfulness can come in many different forms. For some people it's meditation, but others might need more physical activity like going for a walk or taking the time to write in a gratitude journal. Listen to the WFR podcast with Gretchen Rubin to start implementing mindfulness in your life for the new year.
If you're having a difficult time keeping your mind clear during meditation, apps such as Headspace can help. I've been using it now for about a week and when you start, each session is just for 10 minutes. It might not seem like a lot of time, but for me it's the perfect amount to get into the zone without breaking my attention and the thought popping into my head, “When is this going to end?”
To really track your meditation progress from beginner to regular mediator, products like the MUSE headband will give you measured data that you can see via their app. Listen to the WFR podcast with Heart Math Coach Rebecca Hazelton “Pleasure Meditation”
Keep a Daily Journal
These days there are all sorts of different ways that we can journal. Gratitude journals, bullet journals, or just a regular journal to keep on hand when you feel compelled to write about something to get your emotions out and clear your mind.
If you can't sit still for a moment during a meditation session even if you use an app, then journaling could be your ticket to being more mindful each day.
Take a Hike
No, I'm not telling you to stop reading and get as far away as possible from achieving inner wellness. I'm telling you that you should get out there and enjoy some natural fresh air and sunshine. If it's raining, take a moment to be mindful of the sound that each drop makes or the pattern of streaks they make on your window.
Get the Oxygen Flowing
If you can begin your day with a walk to work or go around the block a couple of times before you head off to work, you can begin the day with a clear head.
If you get to the point during your day where you really having a tough time focusing, get outside and go for a walk. You'll be amazed by what a 10 minute walk can do for the mind and body. Listen to the WFR podcast with Dr. Jade Teta about our metabolism and the health impact of walking.
Maybe you might feel selfish about taking the time during your work hour to go for a quick walk, but let's face it. It's much better to take the ten minutes you need to regain your concentration and work productively on your task than to sit at your desk for another hour frustrated and stressed out.
While we're on the topic of walking, let's continue on with fitness. Growing up, it was so easy for me to fit in daily fitness as an adolescent and teenager. I loved physical activity and had all the time in the world to participate in sports, mostly swimming.
But once I was in university, I realized I had less and less time to attend 2-hour swim team practices let alone the energy for a morning workout. I originally thought I had too many commitments so swimming had to go. However, I now realize that I didn't have my commitments to school, clubs, work, and swimming structured and organized.
For various reasons, I'm still glad I dropped swim team to focus on other areas of my life. I just had to learn how to commit my time to unlock wellness in my own busy world. No gym access? Listen to the WFR podcast with Darryl Edwards to learn how to make the world your gym.
HIIT and LISS
We have careers, families, and other duties to make large commitments too, but if we take 10-30 minutes out of day to commit to fitness, we can unlock wellness.
When I was young, I used to think that I'd always have time to do full 2 hour workout a day like I did when on swim team. It was a part of my life and I didn't think anything could change it.
Long amounts of time to commit to exercise is impossible, but HITT and LISS make it possible.
You probably have heard about HIIT, but LISS is a fairly new term in healthy cardio.
LISS stands for Low-Intensity Sustained State and each workout is typically 30-60 minutes. Yes, I know I just wrote it's hard to commit to long amounts of fitness, but if you're not a fan of HIIT workouts, LISS could be what your looking for in fitness plan.
If you can commit yourself to a 15 minute walk in the morning and another after work, you can unlock wellness.
HIIT can help you get in that quick 10 minute workout, but LISS workouts like walking, biking, and swimming can help you to be more mindful of your surroundings and are very relaxing. Try this free 8 week training program from Josh Trent, NASM CPT, CES, BCS.
Working out with a partner won't only keep you motivated, but will hold you accountable for your commitment to wellness too. We'll talk more about this subject when we get to the Relationship section. Join the Wellness Force Community Facebook page to find people like you.
We're constantly on the go. For work, family responsibilities or events, the gym, social gatherings with friends, and then there's shopping.
Because we're so committed to other people or to our jobs, we might not even have a second to think about what we're going to eat and just have what's available to us in that moment.
What Does Your Nutrition Look Like Now?
Stop and pause.
Get out a pen and paper to take a moment and down your daily intake of fruits, vegetables, proteins, and carbs. What does it look like? Do you have a good balance or does on sector take over?
Meal Prep and Batch Cooking
Maybe you don't have time to cook Monday through Thursday, but what about Friday, Saturday, or Sunday? Committing yourself to unlocking wellness can take some preparation. To help you out along with easing your weekly stress intake, spend some time to batch cook several meals. Listen to the WFR podcast with Robb Dionne on how to stay healthy while you travel.
When you cook and meal prep at home, not only are you unlocking wellness during your busy week, but you can avoid processed ingredients and sugar that is pre-made meals and snacks.
Sleep is the secret sauce to energizing our minds and bodies. Without it, we simply can't perform to the best of our abilities.
To unlock wellness and get the rest you know you deserve, start creating habits that will help you wind down and relax way before your head hits the pillow.
- Stay away from screens: phones, tablets, computers, TVs etc.
- Read a book or journal about your day.
- Meditate on your own, with an app, or device.
- Do some light stretching or yoga poses.
- Drinking calming tea.
- Make sure to have a glass of water so you stay hydrated during the night.
Listen to the WFR podcast with Dr. Kirk Parsley for the actionable and everyday steps for you to sleep better this year.
When was the last time that you really spent some quality one on one time with your significant other, a close friend, or family member?
Our tribe is here to help us survive and when we bond, we create meaningful relationships for life.
If you remember from the Fitness section, exercising with another person can help hold yourself accountable to staying on track with your wellness goals. It can also be part of your routine to take some time out of your daily schedule to connect with that person.
Put the Phone Down
In this age and day of social media, we're looking for instant gratification. What ever happened to feeling gratified talking to a real, live human being. I think more people have become aware of the effect that our cellphones have on our real life social interactions, but it's always a good reminder that we should try to stay in the present.
Keep your phone away at dinner, keep it on silent during that walk with your friend, and really relish the moment that you have with the people that you care about the most. Listen to the WFR podcast with Nir Eyal on how to break bad habits when it comes to technology and addiction.
About The Author, Lauren Bryant, Podcast Production
Lauren Bryant is the Podcasting Assistant and Show Notes Writer for Wellness Force Radio. She has a BBA in both Marketing and Spanish for Business as well as certificates in Advanced Business Communications and International Business from the University of Wisconsin- Eau Claire.
Lauren’s wellness journey began at a young age when she joined her local YMCA swim team, The Wave, of La Crosse, WI. One of the most profound views on wellness that anyone has said to her was when she was an assistant swim coach for that same YMCA swim team.
One day during a practice, former head swim coach, Jon Brenner, shared with her that the most important thing about coaching the swimmers was that “It doesn’t matter if they become the best athletes in the world. What’s important is that we give them the tools and guidance they need to live a healthy, active lifestyle for the rest of their lives.”
Since hearing those words, she has taken it to heart to not only focus on continuously living her own healthy lifestyle, but to help others pursue their wellness goals as well.
Lauren’s not only an avid swimmer, but a fan of running, yoga, cooking, and doing any activity outside that involves being surrounded by nature. In the Fall of 2014, she completed a long-awaited goal of walking the Camino de Santiago in Spain.
According to Lauren, wellness is about finding gratitude and joy in doing any type of physical or self-care activity that we love. Wellness means providing ourselves with self-love, good nutrition, and the inner peace that our individual minds and bodies need.