Shifting Focus

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.

sunset

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.

falltime

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.

farmersmarketflowersI 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.”

Um…no.

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.

wheatfieldOur 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? 

 

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14 thoughts on “Shifting Focus

  1. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays for 1 reason – because it puts everything into perspective for me. It isnt a holiday about gifts but is instead one about uniting with others and being thankful for what you have. Too often we neglect the things we have only to focus on what we don’t have and that drives me up the wall. We are all so unbelievably blessed – I wish everyday we could be as thankful as we are on Thanksgiving.

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    1. Absolutely. I love everything you pointed out. It’s awesome that Thanksgiving is a gift-less holiday. I’ve never really thought about that before, but it’s neat how the lack of gifts makes us so much more grateful. It shifts our attention away from “stuff” and towards people and current blessings. Happy Thanksgiving, Kat 🙂

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  2. Well you said it. I also think I’ve said it before, but you are so wise beyond your years. Thanksgiving (even here in Canada) always reminds me how important family is. Nothing or no one else can give you that same feeling of internal safety and deep rooted happiness. Beautiful post and thank you for the reminder ❤

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  3. I totally agree! For me, the holidays are all about the beauty that comes with the season. Being grateful, relaxing, seeing and talking to friends and family, getting involved with everything the season has to offer. The last thing I really want to worry about is how to prevent the holidays (and whatever they bring). It’s the most wonderful time of the year, embrace it!

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  4. Very beautifully written post! I very much agree. When I take the time and shift my focus from the stressors of the holiday season and on the feelings of love and gratefulness and extra time with family, I feel brand new!

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  5. Daaawwww. I hope you have a blessed Thanksgiving, as well, Vangie. All of those “how to avoid weight gain” articles drive me nuts too. I always joke that I just eat a lot year round, so when the holiday season rolls around, it doesn’t feel like that much in comparison. 😉
    I read on Avocado a Day Nutrition that having good relationships is supposed to have a real and significant effect on people’s physical health. Isn’t that fascinating? Thanks for reminding us that there’s more to health than just food and exercise.

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    1. Right?! They drive me up the wall. I mean come on people, no one is going to balloon just because he/she ate a little extra stuffing. Psh. That is really interesting…I’d love to learn more about the brain/chemical things happening that result from healthy relationships. So cool!

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