The Pillars of Wellness
As a wellness expert and working mom, I’m often asked how I find time to maintain a healthful routine. First, focus on what that means. For me, wellness combines three lifestyle pillars—a healthy diet, taking vitamins and supplements to fill nutrition gaps, and being physically active. Getting plenty of sleep is essential, as is balancing other areas of my life, like stress and caffeine intake. But I also know it’s important to be realistic. You’ll fail if you choose unrealistic personal goals. It’s only when you know where you are that you can make a plan to get to where you want to be.
Educate, Evaluate & Execute Your Wellness Plan
How to educate, evaluate, and execute? I suggest starting with a wellness assessment—there’s a good one from Simon Frasier University called The 7 Dimensions of Wellness. It's meant for students, but it’s fun, fast, and free. Take a few minutes to find out where you rank on a wellness continuum based on current habits. Areas include physical, social, spiritual, and environmental. Your answers—which remain private—will tell you where you stand.
When you take your wellness assessment, don’t be discouraged if you have a ways to go. Think of gaps as opportunities for improvement. Consider discussing your results with your healthcare practitioner, dietitian, or personal trainer to start the dialogue about how you can best practice wellness.
Small Changes Make Big Wellness Improvements
We often get discouraged when we bite off more than we can chew. So don’t revamp your entire life at once. Small, proactive changes add up to big improvements. For example, if you’re eating too much saturated fat, start by using just one pat of butter on your morning toast instead of your regular two. If, realistically, you can’t get to the gym every day, take the stairs or incorporate more walking into your schedule. If you occasionally forget your daily supplements, try taking them at the same time every day so they become an automatic part of your routine. You don’t have to settle for being an OhWELL; there’s an AlphaWELL in all of us.