A Prescription for Wellness
"Wellness is ease, illness is dis-ease."
A prescription for wellness can be basic and simple: eat, sleep, move, recover, and community. What exactly do each of these really mean in terms of wellness and why are they important?
Food isn't just fuel for your goals and your day to day, it's information. To keep this simple, grocery shop with the mantra "If it comes straight from the earth, eat it." This will keep food items as natural and whole as possible. If you do snag processed, boxed, or bagged items, keep the ingredient list as small as possible. I also tell my clients, if you can't pronounce it, don't eat it.
Sleep is where the magic happens. It's the time when our bodies solely focus on rebuilding, repairing and restoring. I always sigh when I hear people say "I'll sleep when I'm dead." This false idea has been ingrained in our culture. No, you'll more than likely pre-maturely die because you didn't sleep enough. I like to suggest to clients to view their bodies and minds as a phone battery. Throughout our day, we wear down this battery. Sleep is the "battery charger." If we aren't giving our bodies enough time to sleep and recharge, then we slowly begin this vicious cycle have going through life half-charged. I don't know about you, but I like to give my all with what I do. Sleep is a priority.
When working with someone, I tend to use the word movement as opposed to exercise. When we hear "exercise," we tend to automatically think of a gym with weight machines or heavy barbells with sweat pouring off of us. Exercise IS that, but it's also raking the yard for 30 minutes, rollerblading in a park, paddle boarding on a lake, taking your pups for a long walk, swimming, cleaning the house and taking 5 minute dance breaks. Continuous movement! Yes, weightlifting of any kind is extremely important, especially as we age, BUT it is not the end all be all of exercise. How about filling two needs with one deed? Take your pups to a state park you've never been to and give your best friend a phone call - Now you're exploring, moving, and showing love to your "community" all in one shot!
Speaking of community...this category can go by many names - support team, friends, social network, relationships, bonds - whichever. I personally like the word community more because of my CrossFit background. Regardless of what you call it, find it! Two years ago I went through a DARK time, and I, without a doubt in my mind, would have never reached the point of where I am today without my community. Humans are meant to be social creatures. We’re learning that your sense of belonging can have a profound impact on your health and well-being. (another blog to come on that later!)
On the opposite end of the spectrum, while time with friends and family is important, so is alone time, and time to recover from our day to day! Mind-body activities like meditation, yoga, and journaling reduce stress, which has been linked to everything from heart disease to the common cold. Studies also show that by engaging in a mind-body practice regularly, we improve our emotional regulation, and our sense of resilience and optimism!
There you have it! A simple starting point to live a life of ease rather than dis-ease! Rename each category to your preference if need be, but start planning your weeks and days to focus on all five of these essentials!
I want to hear how it goes! Reach out, respond, comment, post and tag me (@green_nutrition_wellness on Instagram) letting me know how you start living with wellness as your focus!