Embracing a holistic approach to wellness means learning to see the strengths you already possess. All of us have challenges we continue to face and yes, many of us have experienced trauma. But if we remain stuck ruminating on the ways we’ve suffered and/or have previously let ourselves down, it becomes nearly impossible to make sustainable changes. We’re emotionally triggered over and over again when grief, fear, abandonment, betrayal and abuse are allowed to dominate the narrative of our lives. True healing will gradually begin to shift thought patterns—a necessary precursor to adopting new behaviors that prioritize self-care.
Start by paying attention to how you feel physically and mentally every day. Are there particular moments when the words overwhelmed, anxious, sad or angry would best describe your temperament? What would it take for you to feel better? If your initial thoughts are linked to food, think about why. Eating won’t change the underlying source of any negative emotion. It’s a temporary balm; not a well of happiness.
But joy is rarely as far removed as we may think. Five minutes of uninterrupted, quality time with the dog is often my gratitude reminder for the life I get to live now. One in which I am safe, supported and surrounded by love. It took a long time to get here, so I protect it fiercely by listening to what my body and mind really needs. Yoga, journaling, prayer and running are all examples of daily doses of kindness to myself that keep me rooted in the present rather than trapped in the prisons of the past.
I also permit myself to take breaks from the news, social media and even pessimistic friends during those times I’m struggling to see the good. This happens far less frequently than it used to, thanks to diligently tending to my mental health just as much as achieving any external fitness benchmark.
What’s one way you could make this week more joy-filled for you and/or another fellow TOPS member? Look forward to reading any ideas you’d like to share as comments below.
Hope you woke up with a smile this Wellness Wednesday!