Do you meditate? Go to Yoga? Drink green juice? Journal? Do deep Breathing? Have you tried a raw diet? Added in fermented foods? You’re probably gluten intolerant. Maybe you should try keto? Or paleo? How are your stress levels?
There are a million and one health practices that we are bombarded with daily. The pressure to keep up with the latest trends is at times, overwhelming. Add to this the picture of perfect health that we are confronted with online. It’s easy to feel as much pressure to be healthy as it is to be thin, or have perfect skin.
Finding your own personal brand of health is a long, often confusing journey and one that can be massively challenging, both mentally and physically. But this is actually what matters, finding what works for YOU and makes you feel YOUR own version of health.
I compiled a few basic rules to help you get away from the noise and focus in on what is important for you for overall wellness. No hard and fast rules, no pressure and most of all, no noise.
1. Learn to listen to your body
This is a catch phrase, we’ve all heard it but hear me out. The idea of listening to your body isn’t about whether to go do a hard core workout or vegetate on the couch. It’s far simpler than that. Your body is constantly giving you clues about your diet, mental health and physical well-being and with all the noise that constantly surrounds us, we often tune it out. Try picking up on your body’s natural rhythms, are you a morning person or a night owl, do you feel better after a walk outside or after sitting for a while. Does your stomach ache at the thought of seeing certain people, or completing certain tasks. Do you feel strong and vital after a hard core work out or shattered. All of these subtle clues tell us what is beneficial for us, and what is detrimental. And it will be different for everybody, we are all so unique.
2. Moving doesn’t have to mean going to the gym
Yes, we’ve all done the new years resolution. And, we’ve all been there where we drag ourselves to the gym only to hate every second and then avoid going again for the rest of the week. The thing is, the media would have us believe that a gym membership is a must for health, it’s not. Our bodies are designed to move, whether this is through walking, dancing, stretching, playing with your kids, if it brings you joy and gets you moving, it’s good for you.
3. Relationships are food too.
“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with, choose wisely.” Jim Rohn. Relationships have a massive impact on your health and well being. And it’s not just the overtly toxic ones that you have to watch out for. Setting healthy boundaries in relationships and communicating openly when a relationship no longer serves you is incredibly difficult but necessary for your health. Having people around you who drain your energy or who bring negativity or insecurities into your space, does not serve you and should not be allowed into your space.
4. Create space for yourself, in a new way.
Over the past few years there has been a myth perpetuated that self care must equal yoga, or face masks, or spa get aways or some prescribed image of what looking after yourself should be. It’s often shallow and vapid and offers very little long term effect. Creating space for yourself is, in my opinion, more important. Creating space for yourself is a challenge because it requires you to slow down and focus on what you really need in that moment. It requires you to work on your self awareness, acknowledge your weaknesses and challenge yourself to set new boundaries. This could be as simple as turning off your phone at six at night to avoid your workaholic tendencies, or it could be speaking up in that meeting and making yourself heard. It could be saying ‘no’ to a draining friend or prioritising time in your garden that allows you to breathe and clear your head. Creating space for yourself feels selfish because it is, in the very best way. It’s vital to our health that we allow ourselves to explore the uncomfortable and take time for the things that truly give us space to breathe.
5. You don’t have to listen to the noise.
Here’s the thing, no one but you is going to be able to tell what makes you feel at your healthiest. You have to find what fits your lifestyle and your body. Each person will have a different idea of wellness and requires a different balance. Finding this takes trial and error and contrary to the narrative, there’s no time limit on it. Feeling pressure to be healthy is exactly the opposite of what you’re trying to achieve, so don’t listen to it. Find your own path and trust yourself.