Many of us have seen Tik Tok videos and Instagram posts related to wellness and self care. How would you describe wellness and self care? According to Webster’s dictionary, wellness is the quality of being in good health, especially as an active goal. Wellness is subjective, so it is imperative that people define wellness on their own terms. There are many different categories of wellness.
In this blog, I will focus on the following wellness categories: mental/ emotional, spiritual, physical, and social. Some helpful reflective questions include: What does wellness mean to you? What areas do you want to improve? How do you know when you are improving in this area(s)? How frequently do you want to engage in a particular wellness practice? I will discuss ways to set mental/emotional, spiritual, physical, and social wellness goals. It can be incredibly challenging to balance wellness goals with a busy schedule, so I will discuss ways to maintain these self care goals.
Mental and emotional wellness
If you have a pattern of feeling overwhelmed, stressed, anxious, or depressed, it may be time to set mental/emotional wellness goals. There are creative ways to prioritize your mental/emotional wellness on a daily basis. This can include taking three conscious breaths while in the shower or taking some time for yourself right before walking into your home at the end of a workday. For example, sit in the car for an extra ten minutes or walk around the block a few times before walking into your home. This can be especially helpful if you’re a parent/ caregiver.
Another example of mental/emotional wellness is expressing gratitude. This can look like naming two things you are grateful for while commuting to work or during your lunch break. You can also make a plan to journal for at least 15 minutes per week. Other examples include going to the park, beach, looking up at the sky, or surrounding yourself with nature weekly. If going out into nature isn’t accessible, try visualizing one of your favorite places in nature for five minutes during your lunch break or before bed. Additionally, using a sick day/ vacation day when you need a mental reset or making the decision to start therapy (if you have the means) are examples of mental/ emotional wellness goals.
As mentioned previously self care goals are subjective and can be customized based on your values, desires, or interests. It could be helpful to ask yourself if you feel connected to your spirit. If you have a desire to feel more spiritually connected, the following suggestions might be helpful. A spiritual wellness goal can be to meditate for at least 5 minutes per day. This can look like listening to a quick guided meditation audio before and/or after work. This may also look like engaging in daily prayer, reading, or listening to a daily devotional on your commute to work. Depending on your spiritual beliefs, a five minute ancestral meditation can be helpful. For example, try reflecting on the courage and wisdom of your ancestors and/or lighting a candle for your ancestors as a way to feel spiritually grounded after work.
Have you been feeling tight in your body or have you experienced low energy? This might be the best time to explore physical wellness goals. For example, engage in intentional movement once per week. This can look like taking a 30 minute walk, working out, dancing, jogging, jumping rope, or stepping away from the computer for five minutes to stretch your body daily. Physical wellness also includes improving your sleep habits. Perhaps it could be helpful to incorporate a daily bedtime routine. The following are some tips for developing a healthy bedtime ritual:
Drink chamomile tea before bed
Go to sleep around the same time every night
Download a sleep app to keep track of your quality of sleep
Engage in bedtime yoga or stretching to get your body ready for sleep
Physical wellness also includes improving your diet, like adding more fruits, vegetables or drinking more water. When was the last time you had a check up with your doctor? It might be time for a check up; it could be helpful to check iron or vitamin d levels as that can contribute to low energy. A physical wellness goal can be checking these levels every 6 months. Another example of physical wellness is consistently taking vitamin(s) and prescribed medication(s). Maybe it could be helpful to set a daily alarm on your phone to remind you take your medication(s) or vitamin(s).
We are social beings and have an innate desire for human connections. Is there an opportunity to be more intentional about spending time with loved ones? When we are in a busy season it can be more challenging to connect with the humans we love and enjoy. However, we need those human connections to remain balanced. Initiating contact with loved ones is an example of social wellness. For example, scheduling weekly or monthly phone conversations with a friend. If you cannot see a loved one in person, try a monthly virtual movie night or virtual dance party. Perhaps you want to expand your social network or support system and do not know how to prioritize this wellness goal. See if you can commit to joining one meetup group bi-weekly or monthly (meetup groups can be based on your interests or hobbies).
The power of accountability when setting wellness goals
Accountability is a needed tool to maintain goals, and this includes self care goals. How will you hold yourself accountable? Will you have a reminder on your phone, put a note on your fridge, ask a loved one to be an accountability partner, or ask your therapist to hold you accountable (if you have one)? It could be helpful to measure and track your progress. Tracking your progress also helps to stay motivated. For example, it can be useful to review your self care goals and actionable steps taken weekly/ bi-weekly, keeping a journal of your progress, or using a calendar to track your progress. Please make sure you celebrate your progress and the seemingly small wins!
Compassion and affirmations
The busier your schedule, the more challenging it will be to set and maintain wellness goals. However, our busiest seasons are when we need balance the most. Being intentional about prioritizing self-care is not easy. The objective is to integrate some of these mental/emotional, spiritual, physical, and social wellness goals into your busy schedule. Affirm and encourage yourself to continue prioritizing your wellness goals. For example, you can write an affirmation on your mirror, fridge, or work station, such as, “I am worthy of a balanced life. I know it is hard, and I will keep doing my best to prioritize my self care goals.” Provide yourself with compassion and grace. If you fall off the metaphorical horse, it is okay to get back on without being harsh or cruel to yourself. Keep in mind that compassion is not void of accountability.
Are you looking for support in developing your own wellness goals? Reach out to myTherapyNYC to find out which of our therapists would be a good fit for you!
How do you integrate wellness goals into your busy schedule? Join the conversation in the comments below!
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