Hello again friends,
During these two weeks of summer holidays, I got the chance to live some of the most precious family moments and work on my wellness. I left work aside and focused solely on doing things that I enjoy like swimming, spending time with my children, eating out, making sand castles. I feel revived and although, good times pass by fast I feel an inner satisfaction that there’s so much more to come. I also got the chance, while gazing at the stars every night from the little balcony of my sister’s summer house in Syros, to think some things through. It’s a very important process to do whenever I get the chance in order to examine everything that concerns me with a new perspective. The aim is to define a new more consciously balanced situation towards wellness! Ah, huh, now that’s a word we have all be reading and hearing on every media and every other conversation. Wellness is a rather difficult word to define for everyone gives it one’s owns attributions. Everyone’s wellness relies a lot on our personal comfort zones. However, everyone can surely agree that it is about a state of well being of our bodies and minds.
A state of well being is a rather vague notion if we consider that it is totally dependent upon every day’s given conditions and personal needs. It is therefore, an evolving process of our attitude towards living based on our lifestyle choices. It describes our need to feel good about our life in every possible way – in every dimension. Naturally, we want to make choices that will lead to a better quality of life, for there is always room for improvement, that will bring about an inner satisfaction and content feeling about our physical, emotional, spiritual, social, intellectual and occupational dimensions of our lives.
Unfortunately, many times we might find ourselves caught in a spider’s web with infinite worries, stressful problem solving tasks and unfulfilling jobs. They are our “mood killers.” The nasty thing about these mood killers is that they kind of sneak up on us quietly at first while we feed ourselves a bunch of excuses ‘tomorrow will be better’ or ‘this is just temporary.’ Usually though, they’re never temporary if we don’t act on them promptly and so eventually they take over our lives in a most “toxic” way where bad temper, social isolation and a state of constant aggravation become our new partners – residing within us. Insomnia, depression and comfort eating are the symptoms of a vicious cycle that must be broken at any cost if we really want to live a happy fulfilling life. I’ve been there and it’s been rough. However, it’s never hopeless. As a matter of fact, every time I happen to take that road I keep on reminding myself that changing my perspective always worked wonders for me. It’s the first step to getting my life back on track to wellness. The next step is to set new achievable goals.
Ancient Greeks had a philosophy (among many others) that ‘A healthy mind resides in a healthy body.’ Over the passing years, this philosophy has become more current than ever. But, I think that newer Greeks have also a very interesting mantra that describes their Zorba style approach to life.
Work for a living. Don’t live to work.
Despite the number and size of problems or even how hard the economic recession has hit a small country like Greece, people here continue on and try to make the most out of everything so that they can live their lives to the fullest. They make it a point to spend time on activities they enjoy like going to a coffee house with friends or going to the beach in the summertime. They set goals for their work, but more importantly they set goals for sheer pleasure, because a life without any pleasures isn’t worth living.
Surely, we all get caught up in our daily ‘rush-rush’ routines. Sometimes we even get “lost” and end up making quick decisions that are not based on a healthy living. That’s why it is even more important to set goals about how we want to spent our lives with a long term vision in mind in order to maintain/achieve an overall heath. However, there is no point in setting goals that aren’t really achievable and attainable. Take me for example. I’ve never been into hard core physical activities. As a matter of fact, my last PE class was in 10th grade and I haven’t been attending on a regular basis any gym or following any workout routine ever since. In other words, I’m definitely not your physical guru to psyche you up for a full-time workout drill! So, it is totally unrealistic for me now to start training for the Marathon… because simply I’m not into that! Instead, I’m a firm believer that our goals have to be small enough to set a steady pace that will keep us motivated and therefore, on track. They need to call for an action that will make us feel good about ourselves and fill us with joy and pride. So, during my summer holidays, I set a goal to swim a good ten minutes. Every day I managed to swim a bit faster, and for a longer distance. That pleased me and although, it doesn’t qualify for a fitness spree it definitely improved my overall wellness. During the rest of the year, I plan to develop a workout regime like walking for 30-40 minutes that will keep me content and release some of the built-up tension. Similarly, there are many more goals that call for action that can help improve our state of wellness in every dimension.
Promote a better self
Accepting the fact that we all have different needs over time helps us recognize that our ‘wellness’ state depends upon our lifestyle choices. Hence, a positive attitude for our lifestyle choices ultimately can and will promote a better and happier version of us. So, the next question is: how? Undoubtedly, the pursuit of physical activities, especially outdoor ones can really contribute in that direction, i.e. walking, jogging, hiking, or cycling. It can really help with any insomnia issues. Moreover, the pursuit of hobbies definitely helps the inspiration and creative juices flow again i.e. painting, DIY crafts, sculpting, sewing. Reading and listening to music can significantly help smooth over and even heal agonies, anxieties and lower significantly stress levels. But there are also things that we can do to break our social isolation (a major mood killer) like traveling. Personally, I’ve noted that acting out a spontaneous idea because of a “possibility” like going on a day excursion can work miracles. “Breaks” from routines change our moods instantly. Grabbing the opportunity on acting out a wish is such a fulfilling feeling. Afterall, we believe in carpe diem (‘seize the day’). Furthermore, I’m quite certain that our wellness depends also upon the need for being more social whether that means socializing more with friends and/or spending more quality time with our families.
Making the commitment
It takes a commitment to make the necessary lifestyle choices that will bring about a new state of balance and well being. Most times, it is the kind of commitment that’s easier said than done. But I promise you, that once you do make this commitment and start making those changes you will never regret it. We can all benefit from a workout routine, but sometimes it works equally beautifully to make some spontaneous choices about a social outing with friends that will break daily routine but will fill that void in our lives. Similarly, keeping up with a nutritious, well balanced diet with superfoods might sound like a drag if we don’t add a little “butter” every now and then.
Funny I said that, because it reminds me a of movie I’ve watched a couple of times years ago called ‘Last Holiday’ that fits into all this. Queen Latifah and Gerard Departieu had the lead roles in this comedy, where Departieu is this French chef and Queen Latifah, who’s a big fan of his cuisine, gets to meet him in person during her last holiday. Well, at some point Departieu complains to her that people don’t know how to enjoy their food anymore with all that guilt over butter. That kind of stayed on me with me, because it is true. Isn’t it? Do we really enjoy our food as much as we should? Perhaps, not. Therefore, when we decide to go all natural including following a healthier and a more balanced diet, we should always at first leave a margin for some slack, for little additions on the side that want cause us more anxiety but instead please us. That slack can make things smoother for us in the effort of committing to a new lifestyle. Although, making the commitment might be hard at first, it gets so much easier in the long run that we’re bound to forget any hardships. Being happy and staying so is our drive.
Spending our energy on activities that make us happy contributes to our overall wellness. Getting rid of the mood killers is vital in achieving a happier and more balanced life, so changing our perspectives from a half-empty to a half-full glass is a great starting point. A good night’s rest, a healthier diet, physical activities especially outdoors, pursuit of hobbies, music, and socializing with family and friends promote a happier life. If we’re happy with the lives we’re leading then consequently, our production levels will increase significantly. If there’s one thing that I can testify about this one year of blogging is that my production levels decreased considerably when I found myself struggling to keep writing posts while simultaneously designing and tweaking my blogspot in an effort to make it more appealing. I spent countless hours reading about blogs and hacks for blogger, but I almost lost it altogether. That’s why I decided that when I was ready to switch over to WordPress, I would pause my post writing and concentrate solely on my blog’s makeover. I realized yet again, that loosing the balance in our lives ain’t worth it. We have needs including the need for breaks. We also need to be happy, for happiness is the best motive for an overall state of wellness. So, let’s be more spontaneous and grab any opportunity that can bring a smile on our face. That’s surely a good start in improving our wellness.
Perhaps, you have already come up with a motive that really works for you. So, if you do happen to have any hacks, tips, routines, bits of wisdom please share them with us…