An ongoing wellness plan can make all the difference to your long-term lifestyle. And statistics show that wellness is increasingly becoming a more important priority to us. In 2015, $3.72 trillion was spent on wellness programs, treatments, and products. But health was always vital to the growth of humans—why now? The truth is, the world is becoming much more polluted, and every day we will our bodies with toxic substances and our minds with cluttered noise. A great wellness plan can help take back control of your life in three key areas: mental and spiritual health, physical health, and nutritional health.
It’s best to seek the advice of a women’s health doctor who can give you personalized recommendations based on thorough evaluations across each of these areas. After all, wellness programs should be specific to the individual in question: everyone is different, and while there are dozens of nutritional fads and fitness trends, they don’t apply to everyone. A healthy combination of effective practices geared towards your own specific lifestyle and preferences is necessary. To start, here’s how you can learn more about building a rough outline for a health program before (or after) you see a professional.
Create an Outline
As previously mentioned, everyone has different goals. Create an outline for your health wellness program that includes key areas you want to focus on—think of these like chapters. For example, mental health, nutritional health, spiritual health, and physical health might be important to you. Others might include “Financial Wellness,” “Having Fun,” or “Self Care.”
What’s most important is that you use the SMART to break these goals down into management chunks. The SMART acronym stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. One of the biggest reasons that individuals fail their wellness programs is because they are unrealistic about their goals. They start big, and then expect results. But if you’ve been living the same lifestyle for 25 years, chances are you aren’t going to undo it in three months.
It takes to adjust to a new way of thinking and a new way of life. Start by analyzing your current schedule, and journal your experiences. Measure everything to start: your weight, your diet, your exercise habits, and much more. This allows you to revisit where you started and gain deeper insight into your improvements.
Addressing Physical Health
As humans, we enjoy instant gratification, and this isn’t possible to achieve when you’re utilizing a healthy approach to your fitness plan. Start by writing down your fitness goals and target weight. It might help to work with a personal trainer to determine what steps you need to take to achieve those fitness goals. For instance, losing 20 pounds in a month isn’t a realistic or healthy goal, and would require too much pull on the body and physical part of your plan. A wellness plan should be balanced, and isn’t strictly about physical health.
Today’s grocery stores are chock full of unhealthy and processed foods. What you eat plays a major role in your exercise habits, as diet and physical wellness are closely interlinked. And what you might notice is that the more you exercise, the less likely you are to want the sort of foods that keep you from achieving your wellness goals.
Reviving Mental Health
Mental health goals are tough because it’s deeply personal and change happens slowly. The way you feel about the world around you is a constant trigger for how you perceive every other aspect of your wellness plan. Your instant emotions turn into reactions, and those reactions morph into behaviors. Having control of your thoughts and taking a moment to react takes a great level of control, and you’ll start to feel a difference in your inner self as you build mental health practices into your daily lifestyle. Meditation, yoga, and journaling are all great and proven ways to help build your mental health for a happier, fuller life.
There are many people who might be confused by the phrase “spiritual wellness” and falsely associate the term with religion. But the truth is, spiritual wellness is less about religion and more about abiding by the beliefs and values that give you a sense of purpose in the world. Consider this: what gives you comfort on a daily basis? What makes you feel fulfilled?
Studies have shown that immersing yourself in nature—perhaps through a hike in the mountains, a walk along a forested trail, or even gardening—releases endorphins in our body, providing us with a deeper connection to our Earth and ourselves. And of course, practices like yoga and meditation also help here. Carving out alone time for introspection is also important.