Bringing Wellness HomeBy Colleen Langenfeld, Copyright (c) 2004
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Is wellness for your family a luxury or a necessity? Find out in this article why it is a necessity and how to easily build it into your family.
Do you think that wellness is fundamentally important? If you're reading this article, you probably do.
I've noticed that some people think of wellness as a luxury item. If they have enough time, then they'll exercise. If they have enough money, then they'll take vitamins. And to tell the truth, that's how I thought of wellness for many years.
But not any more.
Now, I see wellness as part of my family's foundation. For example:
- I want my kids to be able to do well in school, so I pay attention to the nutrition and rest they receive.
- I want to be able enjoy my life as long as possible. So I take an active role in caring for myself using tools like good-quality supplements, stress management, and pursuit of high-quality relationships.
Today's incredibly busy lifestyles leave little 'spare' time. Indeed, the pace we expect to maintain demands that we take premium care of ourselves; body, mind and spirit. Just as we understand we need to care for our expensive automobiles to keep them working properly, so we need to realize we are using billion dollar bodies which cannot be replaced.
Adding one more thing to our already overworked schedules is simply too daunting, though. So forget about 'adding' wellness. Instead, what if we look at what we are already doing in our everyday lives and tweak a few things here and there to our advantage.
Make it your aim to gently increase the level of wellness within your home in measurable ways. Scrutinize the activities you're currently doing and focus on improving results. For example, you are already eating, right? Decide to replace one meal a week with a low-fat version. You could simply switch to low-fat ingredients or opt for a scrumptious new recipe. Keep this simple! Do a low-fat recipe search online and choose recipes that are tasty and fast. Or go to a place like http://www.paintedgold.com/Pages/Recipes.html where you can see a variety of nutritious recipes every day ready to print out and use.
Slow but steady.
Think you have to do a major overhaul to see an improvement in the wellness level in your family? It's just not so. If you commit yourself to one change a week (like the recipe idea) you'll see the power that small, steady change can create in your life. Subscribe to a health and wellness publication that you can read for 2 minutes while you're brushing your teeth. Sign up for one of the many online 'quotes' ezines that will deliver an uplifting tidbit each day to your inbox, then print it out and share with the family at dinnertime. Feed on these simple changes and odds are great you'll be glad to stick with them over the long haul.
What's the point?
Ever heard any of these statements?
'Does it really matter if I walk tonight? I only have 20 minutes and I'm so tired from work.'
'Why drink a glass of water before I eat? It's only water, after all. I need taste!'
'I know I never spend much time with my son, but he's got to understand that I'm working so hard for him, after all.'
The impact of a life of wellness cannot be overstated. It's the cumulative effect of what we do or don't do that adds up and makes us who and what we are. Just like brushing your teeth everyday adds up in your favor, NOT brushing your teeth adds up, too. When wellness is treated like breathing, wonderful things can start to happen over time, without any added cost or stress.
Keep it simple.
Lots of ideas appeal to us. We study them, chat about them, put posters on our walls about them. But rarely do we take action on an idea that appeals to us. Part of the reason why is our own internal inertia. For example, which is easier: staying with a product because we've 'always' used it or taking an hour or two to educate ourselves about safer, better alternatives. We can give up our nightly TV time just once, do a little searching, find a company we like and switch stores. Done.
Not easier. Just better.
Let it go.
Got an old unhealthy habit that is deeply entrenched? Whether it's giving up smoking or stopping that nasty nag habit with our spouse, we all have these stubborn areas. Some people can hit them head-on with success, but for most of us it's just not that easy. I'm a believer in adding healthy pleasures until the old (unhealthy) habits just fade away (or at least have less hold on us). Focus on a new positive until you no longer are so interested in the old negative. Everyday let a smart habit win one more time than yesterday. Remember, work towards lasting results, not overnight miracles.
Teaching our children.
I'm convinced part of the reason God uses parents to raise kids is to help the parents grow up. Once we commit to parenting with integrity, we get humble very quickly. Role modeling takes work. Deciding to be the best parent we can be automatically raises our desire of making things better for those we love. Every day. A little at a time.
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Ask yourself with each choice you make today, "Would I want this announced in the newspapers?" Staying in integrity means thinking and behaving in ways you are proud of. Be vigilant about your integrity - it will move you into the light.
By Dr. Margaret Paul