One of my goals for this space is to promote holistic wellness. What does that mean? It means looking at the big picture, recognizing that living healthfully is more than eating veggies and exercising. Holistic wellness takes into consideration your mental, spiritual, social, and physical health. It encompasses the whole person, not just one aspect of the person, which makes sense because humans are pretty complicated.
As much as I try to promote it, I still struggle to practice it. Life is messy. Relationships are messy. Nothing about day to day life can be calculated and portioned. That’s where the holistic aspect comes into play. It lets us back up, think…the obnoxious sound that UPS trucks make when they back up (BEEP BEEP BEEEEEP), and put things into perspective and look at the big picture.
That big picture, is all the interconnecting pieces that make up who you are. The thoughts you think, perspective, relationships, spiritual life, pleasures, the food you eat, passions, your job, family, your past, aspirations, accomplishments, pain, and so many other things comprise your self, who you are. It’s what makes you unique. I think it’s pretty darn awesome.
My point in saying all of this, is to remind my fellow health nerds and Type A’s that wellness is way more than eating x, y, and z. It’s way more than exercising for ___ amount of minutes for ___ number of days per week. Wellness is finding ways to cope with hurt, broken relationships, cloudy days and sunshiny days, but it’s also taking pleasure in happy things like reading an awesome book or waking up to watch the sun come up.
I end up feeling overwhelmed when the holiday season rolls around. There are so many articles, radio talk shows, blog posts, conversations, and magazine articles about how to “avoid that pesky holiday weight gain” and “prepare for the hectic holiday season.”
Focus on relationships, connections, activities, rest. This is a really beautiful time of year. It’s a time when the social and mental (much needed breaks from work and school!) aspects of wellness are in action. Food is wonderful too. Baking and cooking with my mom and sisters for big family dinners is a blessing, but guilt about indulging has no place. Guilt about taking time to rest, really deeply rest, has no place. Take these special days and treasure them up.
Our lives are broken and imperfect and messy, but today especially, my heart is filled up with gratitude for each life that makes up my circle of family and friends. So to answer the famously cliched question that mom insists we answer each year, “what are you thankful for?” I’m thankful for you. Have a blessed Thanksgiving.
So tell me…
What are your plans for Thanksgiving?
How are you going prioritize social and mental health this holiday season?