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Tips, Wellness

Wellness – starting small

It doesn’t take much to begin to increase your wellness. By starting small you can engage in good habits and one small step at a time improve your wellness to a level where it just takes easy maintenance.

It’s important to start small. To focus on only a couple of things at a time so it doesn’t become overwhelming and you can keep your motivation up. Taking on too many things at once will only leave you stressed and not allow you to fully engage in the things you’re starting. It’s well to keep in mind that it can take a couple of months to build new habits and have them so settled they are on auto-pilot.

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We all have individual needs and things we need to change, so it’s hard to give a general plan on how to improve your wellness. In the following list, pick out the things which apply to you and start with those. Every month, evaluate your status and once a habit is well established, add another step to your wellness program.

  • Focus on healthy food:
    • Eat fruit and vegetables every day, minimum 6 a day is the ideal, but start small and begin by eating a piece of fruit after each meal as dessert.
    • Eat 5-6 small meals a day instead of 2-3 big meals. Getting a snack between the main meals will help you keep your energy constant during the day and make you less prone to snack on unhealthy foods. Good snacks are things like fruit, raw veggies, whole meat bread with a slice of cheese, non-sweet biscuits etc.
    • Drink water. Make it a habit to drink water instead of juice, soda, coffee, tea and other things. Save the rest for special situations.
    • Eat varied. It’s never healthy to eat too much of one thing. Make sure you get some of everything. Meat, fish, vegetables, potatoes, rice, bread and so on. For dinner make it one third meat, one third rice/potato/pasta and one third vegetables.
    • Eat fish every week. Fish is good and healthy.

  • Get some exercise:
    • Go for a walk. We need an hours exercise every day, but it doesn’t need to be the gym. Walking and gardening are great forms of exercise as well.
    • Getting a personal trainer to help you create a schedule will help you to commit and motivate you to keep it up.
    • Play with your children outdoors. Play ball, climb trees, build cages, play hide and seek or catch, anything you can imagine. Kids have amazing energy and they too need to be motivated to exercise more.
    • Go to the pool once a week. Swimming is a great way to exercise and allows you to use your entire body. With kids it can become a great family experience and a game instead of boring workout.

  • Relaxation:
    • Go out and get fresh air every day.
    • Go to bed earlier so you get enough sleep. Most people need between 7 and 8 hours uninterrupted sleep every night. Many can do with less, but it increases stress and risks your health.
    • Catch a nap during the day if possible and needed. Powernaps lasting 20 minutes can be a good way to make up for a bad sleep.
    • Meditation and yoga are good ways to relax.
    • Get a massage once a month. Massage is a great way to maintain your health and deal with stress. Don’t let the pleasant feeling make you feel guilty and stop you from getting a massage.

  • Emotional and mental:
    • Surround yourself with beautiful things, flowers, music, art and so on. Spend time to appreciate the beauty every day.
    • Laugh every day. Laughter is a great stress release and teaching yourself to see the fun in stressing situations will allow you to cope with them much easier.
    • Focus on the positive. Positive thinking can change everything. Negative thinking is one of our greatest dangers.
    • Be social. Make sure you hang out with friends and family every week. Our social networks influence our wellness a lot, and recent studies even show that our friends are more important to our health than our family.
    • Take one step at a time. All tasks can be overcome, all challenges conquered if you take one step at a time and focus on that.
    • Focus on the now. Much worry and stress can be released if you focus on the now. We can’t change the past, and the future might not happen. The only thing we can truly do something about is the now. Keeping that in mind can make life much easier to deal with.

There are many more things you can do, and they can be as complicated or simple as you make it. The above is meant to give you some ideas of where you can start, small easy things that doesn’t take much effort to focus on. Just pick a couple of things and focus on that. If you have more energy, then pick one thing from each category and do that for a couple of months before considering adding more.

Don’t pick several things from one category as it can easily become too overwhelming. By focusing on different areas you make it easier for yourself. For example; eat fruit for dessert every day, go for a half hour walk after dinner and start to appreciate the beautiful things around you. It’s three steps, each small and something everybody can manage. Taking three things from the exercise category would quickly wear you out and make the habits very hard to build.

Most importantly of all. Allow yourself to relax and have fun. This shouldn’t be a chore or something you have to do grudgingly every single day. Allow yourself a day where you indulge in chocolate and don’t exercise. Relax and take things easy. Building and maintaining your wellness shouldn’t become another stress factor in your life, but something that’s enjoyable to do. Wellness is not just physical health, but also your emotional and mental health. If you’re unhappy while eating healthy and exercising, then you’re only building your health and not your wellness.

And finally, reward yourself for what you achieve. Rewards can be a good motivator, and it’s a good way to relax and let go for a bit before you head back to the task of building your wellness.

Getting a monthly massage can be a very good and motivating reward for keeping a healthy diet and exercising every day.

Related post: A few wellness tricks

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About Pia Poulsen

Pia Poulsen is educated as a wellness massage therapist at Institut FIGARI in Paris, from where she passed her certification exam in January 2008. Since then she has expanded her skills to become the first Advanced LaStone® practitioner in France as well as a certified LaStone® instructor.


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