They say that a picture is worth a thousand words and my college graduation picture said happy and successful but also overweight and unhealthy. Seeing that picture started me on a wellness journey that I continue to navigate, 13 years later. The relationship I have developed with my health and wellbeing has been the longest, most challenging, and most rewarding one so far. Today I feel stronger and more alive than I’ve ever felt before. I have learned many lessons along the way, some of which include:
1) There is always time to incorporate wellness into your life.
- Start your day with a positive intention. Tape your favorite positive thought to your bathroom mirror and read it while brushing your teeth.
- Take time on Sunday afternoon to plan and prep healthy meals for the week. My breakfast smoothie is quick to make when I pre-measure and bag the frozen fruit.
- When all else fails, just breath. Pause, take 3 big breaths, and notice how you feel.
2) Focus on what you can do, not what you can’t do, yet.
- You can’t quite get the bind in a seated twist but you can use the strap to take the bind and work the hands closer together, breath by breath.
- Perhaps your goal is to run a 5k but you are still working on your first mile. You can cross the finish line by alternating walking and running intervals.
- You can’t find a whole hour to commit to exercise but you can get up from your desk and walk around the office several times a day. Or do some seated yoga at your desk!
3) Embrace the journey.
- If you get frustrated with not being at your goal take a moment to reflect on how far you have come. Use that as motivation to keep moving forward.
- Your path may have its ups and downs but remember that every step you take is a step closer to your goal.
- Set goals and work towards them but remember that today is a gift and it should be celebrated.
These lessons have helped me on the mat as well. My practice continues to grow by always taking time, even 15 min on busy days, for practice, focusing on what I can do, and knowing that on this journey it doesn’t matter that I fell down, it only matters that I got back up and tried again.