The big picture as a cut knee
This past weekend my toddler was toddling and fell on the sidewalk. Now this is bound to happen time and again, especially as he is just learning to jump and really enjoys the activity. That learning and jumping contributed directly to the fall. So, he fell. What couldn’t be anticipated was that he would land directly on the remains of a broken bottle. That means instead of a nasty scrape he had a nasty cut on his knee with embedded gravel and other nasty debris. My wife got him home and we cleaned him up. He was really good until it came time to really clean the wound and the stuff out.
But this isn’t a story about a “poor baby” or “what an ordeal.” This is a story about wholistic (not holistic) wellness. “Wellness” is used widely in so many professions these days and is great industry buzzword to soften the idea of self-care, working out, keeping in touch with your medical check-ups and dental exams. We’re opening senior wellness centers, scheduling wellness check-ups, engaging wellness professionals, but what do we really think about wellness. Is it an idea? Is it tangible? Can we measure wellness? The answer to all of these is yes, to some degree, but what underlies the question is really “what KIND of wellness are we talking about?”
My son was improving his cognitive wellness, fell and did harm to his physical wellness, which impacted his (and our) emotional wellness, all as a result of dysfunction in his environmental wellness. In the end he gained a number of new life experiences that will shape him for at least a few days. This might seem like a good example of chaos theory but it is also a great example of how every bit our lives are interconnected and dependent on another. If my son’s environmental wellness had been better he would have just banged himself up but if he hadn’t been tired from playing he might not have stumbled. If you go about to improve only one element of your wholistic wellness it is akin to strengthening one muscle group and ignoring all the others. What good is are strong biceps if you have weak shoulders?
I’m not suggesting that you need to work on every aspect of your life at the same time but you need to be AWARE of your state of wellness. If you feel like you need to lose weight then you also need to address your feelings and emotional wellness. You can’t really do that unless you take proper stock of what else affects that; sleep, stress, food (types of energy and how they affect you), muscular tension, family dynamics… the list goes on and on. Once you start to note this annotate (tag) this picture of your life you begin to quantify you current situation and give yourself an appropriate roadmap for change.
So I am encouraging you to begin, or broaden, your wellness journey by sitting down and answering the following 15 questions (consider this a wellness MadLibs™):
- What emotion best describes how I’ve been feeling, emotionally, this past week? How do I want to feel?
- What word describes how I feel in my body? How do I want to feel?
- My job is ?
- My home is usually (adjective statement) ________________________________________?
- On average I sleep ______ hours a night and my sleep is usually (restful)(good enough)(fitful).
- I (do)(don’t) smoke.
- I have an average _______ alcoholic drinks per week.
- I have ____ dependents. They make me feel _________________?
- I last saw the doctor ___/___/___ for a physical and bloodwork.
- I last saw the dentist ___/___/___ for an exam/cleaning.
- My diet is pretty (adjective) ______________________.
- I exercise to elevate my heartrate ____ times per week for more than 10 continuous minutes.
- I ____________________________ about money/finances.
- I (have)(don’t have) emergency contact information on me at all times.
- Life is really ________________________________?
- I watch an average of___ hours of tv/streaming video/movies/video games per day.
- I (know)(don’t know) about how many calories I should be eating every day.
- I (know)(don’t know) my average blood pressure within the past 6 months.
- I (know)(don’t know) at least five of my neighbors by first name.
- I (have)(don’t have) a five year “plan?”
Write these statements down on a separate sheet, fill in your answers as quickly as they come to you (first things first). Then sit down with them, share them with your partner/spouse/parents/children/physician/other healthcare practitioner and start to really see the big picture of your life.
Wholistic wellness is within your reach. Call me to expand your reach.