Hello my friends. Welcome to Ep 77 of Whole Body Upgrade. How are you this week? I’m good- I’m still recovering a little with some fatigue from when I was sick in January, but I’m finding the right minerals and foods to nourish my body and increase my energy, and of course, resting as much as I can.
And that’s sort of what I want to talk about with you today. I’ve found that living in a western environment, it’s easy for me to forget about how to be well. I think many of us really don’t have a picture of what wellness IS in our own lives. I think we have a commercialized view of wellness and really the organized home with perfect meals and a pretty dessert. The reality of modern society is that we have unrealistic expectations and quite frankly wrong ideas of what wellness is.
We’ve forgotten what it is because we don’t have institutional support or models of what wellness really is. Companies, universities, and even entrepreneurs aren’t always set up for wellness. Of course there are some exceptions, and I would LOVE to hear what you know. What I’ve seen is that even some academic institutions that are way closer to wellness, still have a long way to go. What we (or even companies) are striving for – the bar that we want to reach- is often incomplete and closer to wellness than we currently are, and yet falls short. So we are aiming for a model that still doesn’t reach wellness.
Part of this is that we as individuals have lost sight of what wellness is. We haven’t really experienced it in this lifetime. Most of our parents haven’t experienced it either. So we haven’t had very many models of this, and it certainly isn’t portrayed in the media.
Here we are, without support and without models of what it could be, so we go through life not well. Striving for something that is less horrible, and STILL not really well. Very few people that I know or meet are thriving. Now granted, I work in an American university setting and I recognize that there are countries that DO understand wellness. There are even pockets here in the US wellness is a priority and a basis for life.
What I desire is that this becomes the baseline for ALL of the US. That we have a culture of wellness that is the foundation for the government, educational system, companies, and individuals.
What I hear from many of my clients, fitness, co-workers and people in general is how the way we live is perceived as normal.
You wake up tired, vowing each day that you’ll get more sleep. Drinking large amounts of coffee and/or sugar to get us started on the day. Maybe grabbing some food to take with us- something packaged or stopping at the coffee shop for the mocha latte grade and a muffin. Thinking about exercise, but simultaneously thinking “I’m too busy, and I’ll get to it tomorrow.” Getting the kids dropped off just in time, and sliding into work at the last minute, frantically prepping for the meeting that will happen in 5 minutes. Maybe there is food and coffee in the meeting- danish, donuts or bagels, or maybe a granola bar. There is a huge evaluation coming up and you’ve been asked to lead the committee. You want to be considered for a raise this year and feel like you really don’t have a choice, so you agree (even though your list is a mile long). When there is a few minutes after the meeting you look at your to-do list and feel overwhelmed with the amount of tasks to do, thinking again how there isn’t enough time, and also feeling pressure that you can’t say no. You might spend way more time than you anticipated procrastinating, or obsessing on a project, report, manuscript, email over and over again, sending it and quickly wishing we could sink into a hole. You constantly think that you don’t measure up to those around you and compair yourself to the neighbors, coworkers, or the other mom’s you know. If you happen to have enough time to grab a frozen meal from the fridge, you might bring that, or you eat fast food at your desk (or in the car on the way back to work). You power through the afternoon with more caffeine- maybe a diet coke, or the hershey’s kisses that your officemate brought in from valentines day. After hours of struggling to feel like anything was being accomplished, you race out of the office to get to your doctor’s appointment for the pesky migraines that keep happening, slide in a few minutes late to pick up the kids, realize you have no idea what dinner will look like tonight. You are exhausted and decide to have delivery, again. While simultaneously helping the kids work on their homework and tend to emails from the office, you try to have a half hearted conversation with your partner. When the kids get tucked into bed, you notice your heart racing and unwind by drinking a few glasses of wine, and scroll on facebook or instagram while watching Netflix. You just want a little “me time” before you finally go to bed at midnight, tossing and turning as your to-do list runs through your head, and only get 5 hours sleep before the day begins again.
This may be normal. But it is not wellness.
I think the first step is to talk about what wellness CAN look like IF we were supported on a bigger scale just so we can begin seeing what is possible. This is not a how to…this is about re-imagining wellness.
Wellness is a multi-modal activity. The wellness that I see possible includes physical, emotional, mental, energetic, and spiritual wellness. The scenario above can be shifted without quitting your job. It takes creating your own definition of success, prioritizing what is important to you, and making space for that first.
The scenario from before might shift to waking up rested after getting 7.5 hours of sleep last night, and sitting up in bed for 5 minutes of meditation, check in with your guides, followed by 15 minutes of yoga or a short workout before starting the day. Having taken time over the weekend to plan meals and grocery shop, you have everything you need to make a smoothie with nuts, seeds, veggies and fruits. If you still need energy, you might have a green tea for a more sustained energy. You pack a quick lunch with you for work- leftovers from the meal you cooked last night. Before walking in the office, you decide to ground and center to help manage your energy for the day and head into the first meeting, staying present in the moment. You know that you already have a lot on your plate, so when that new project comes up at the meeting, you check in with your body, it’s a no, so you respectfully decline. When feelings of overwhelm arise, you use mindfulness and coaching tools to manage the thoughts and emotions that arise. You plan in small breaks to move your body and drink plenty of water to keep you mind and body hydrated. You take your lunch outside to eat with a coworker to connect outside of meetings. As you head up the stairs back to your office, you notice that you aren’t achy and that you are feeling so much better since you started eating fewer inflammatory foods. When the afternoon comes, you aren’t crashing either! You are still taking short breaks and have brought a snack to refuel you. You notice that at the end of the day, you aren’t feeling behind, no matter what the to-do list has on it, and you find you aren’t yelling at the kids as often as you used to. Instead of squeezing in more work emails at night, you take a walk around the neighborhood and feel the air on your cheeks, come home and prepare dinner for tonight, with enough leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch. There is connection around the dinner table and maybe even a few laughs. At the end of the day, you decide to read a book and journal to wind down for bed, feeling grateful for the support from the guides from the day, and the connection and compassion for yourself.
This is just one way that wellness can look. It’s definitely a different pace and take conscious awareness to create. It’s one where we have to decide what we want, what we prioritize. Maybe it’s not reading at night, but having an evening with friends, or joining a band. This is where wellness gets to be whatever you want to create- the things that nourish you.
Ok dear ones. If you are interested in creating your own vision of wellness I’d love to invite you to my free destuckification call. It’s a short 20 min and we can start to create your wellness right now- let it be simple and easy- and did I mention it’s a free call? We’ll just hop on zoom or a phone and come up with some ideas for you. Okay dear ones, please take good care of yourselves. I’ll talk to you next time.