How to Start a Simple Wellness Journey
It's not often we have the opportunity to feature another blogger on our site. This post is in line with our beliefs on wellness and filled with great information for you, no matter where you are on your wellness journey.
The voice behind Little Voice, Big Matter: Carly is a wife, mom, and former fashion industry executive turned blogger, who is on a journey to live life as the best version of herself. Through her website, littlevoicebigmatter.com, she shares practical advice and heartfelt insights to inspire and support women in motherhood, relationships, wellness, and life.
How to Start a Simple Wellness Journey
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Everyone is on a “wellness journey” lately, or so it seems. We’ve heard all about the different pillars of wellness that encourage us to exercise, meditate, eat healthy foods, get adequate sleep, practice proper hygiene, and much more.
I’m a big proponent of self-care and wellness and often write about it, but if you’re reading these words and your mind is immediately going to all the things you’re not doing because, frankly, you’ve been feeling like self-care is just another task to add to your endless to-do list, know that you are NOT alone.
Many of us have even been feeling totally burned out lately, functioning on auto-pilot or robot mode. We know we need to “fill our cup”, but have found that our normal self-care practices aren’t helping as much as they used to.
However, that doesn’t mean we should completely abandon them.
Starting a wellness journey in a way that is simple and manageable could be just what you need to help your feelings of burnout and overwhelm.
We all want to feel better, to be happier and healthier, right?
So let’s understand what wellness is in simple terms and how to start your journey in a way that actually feels good for you.
What is a wellness journey?
Most of us understand that wellness and being healthy is much more than avoiding sickness.
The Global Wellness Institute defines wellness as the “active pursuit of activities, choices and lifestyles that lead to a state of holistic health.”
It’s important to understand that wellness is not a goal that you achieve and then you can sit back and relax in your state of wellness, sipping on your green juice. Rather, it is an ongoing process of actively pursuing optimal health and well-being through the habits and choices you make everyday.
Thus wellness is a lifelong journey, albeit one that is different for everyone. It is also a journey you should do at your own pace, in a way that feels right to you.
Another important point to understand about wellness is that it extends way beyond your physical health. It is the pursuit of optimal holistic health, which takes into account the whole person.
It is a balanced approach to health that considers multiple aspects of wellness, encompassing the mind, body, and soul.
Most models of wellness include at least 6 dimensions or pillars (sometimes more). These 6 pillars of wellness are physical, mental, emotional, social, spiritual, and environmental.
You can use these pillars of wellness to assess what you want to focus on in your personal wellness journey.
4 Tips for Starting Your Personal Wellness Journey
1.) Set your intentions
You might ask yourself the following questions –
- What things are you already doing that make you feel good?
- What habits do you have in your life that make you feel unhealthy?
With this information, you can better identify what you want or need to improve upon for your wellness journey. Once your intentions are clear, you can proceed with setting some goals for your wellness journey.
2.) Make it manageable
A wellness journey does not have to feel daunting. Don’t try to overhaul your life in one day by making big changes all at once.
I suggest you pick one or two pillars of wellness to start with and once you have built up consistent habits and routines in those areas that make you feel good and are sustainable, then you can build upon that and start focusing on additional areas.
Baby steps are where it’s at…
3.) Reflect on your progress
When you start anything new in life, it’s very easy to lose sight of your progress and how far you’ve come.
I highly recommend journaling to track your progress and reflect on how you’re feeling about your wellness journey along the way. This can help you stay motivated and make sure you’re being true to your intentions.
If you want further accountability, try my mental glow-up checklist. It’s a great way to track your healthy habits on a weekly basis.
4.) Be flexible and enjoy the journey
A wellness journey is a lifelong pursuit, so keep in mind that your goals and routines for maintaining a healthy lifestyle will change over time and that’s perfectly fine.
Your journey is all about establishing habits and routines that make you feel good inside and out. It should not feel like something you have to do, rather it should be something you want to do.
If it doesn’t feel this way for you, then scrap it and start over in a way that feels right.
Start Your Journey Using the 6 Pillars of Wellness
When setting your intentions for your wellness journey, you will likely find that certain areas will require more of your attention than others.
As I said above, start with just 1 or 2 areas to focus on at first and gradually add different pillars to your journey as you go.
When we think of our physical health, usually we think of exercise and nutrition. Although both exercise and nutrition are a huge component of physical health, they are not the only part!
Adequate sleep, good hydration, and proper hygiene also come into play here. Evaluate your physical health and set your wellness goals by taking stock of the following:
How often do you exercise?
Aim for 20-30 minutes of physical activity at least 3-5 days per week.
Also, it’s important to find an exercise routine that fits your personality and lifestyle. Are you a gym person or do you prefer to workout outside or at home?
What about your nutrition?
Are you eating plenty of colorful fruits and veggies, lean proteins, and healthy fat foods like nuts and avocados? Do you make smart snack choices that include adequate fiber and whole grains?
Snacking on foods that are high in fiber like hummus, granola, pears, or a fiber-rich snack bar can help balance your digestive health.
Are you drinking enough water each day?
You’ve probably heard the advice to drink eight glasses of water a day and that’s a good rule of thumb.
Kick up your water a notch with an electrolyte powder with essential minerals to support hydration.
Do you usually get 7-9 hours of sleep per night?
Try turning off your electronic devices at least 30 minutes to 1 hour before bedtime.
Have you established good habits when it comes to your skincare and personal hygiene?
Do you have a skincare routine? As someone who loved a nice sun-kissed glow in her younger years (still do), I’ve learned from experience that adequate sun protection is key to healthy skin and I regularly apply sunblock as part of my skincare regimen each morning.
Are you practicing healthy oral hygiene? An oral probiotic can work to balance microflora in your mouth and promote healthy teeth and gums.
Do your haircare and body care products meet your needs?
Mental or intellectual wellness involves engaging with the world through learning, problem-solving, and creativity. It is continuously working to strengthen the mind.
Start by assessing what you are currently doing to learn new skills, enhance your curiosity, and stimulate your brain.
Do you regularly engage in activities that help you to acquire new knowledge?
- You could try reading books that teach you about the world, inspire you and/or encourage your personal growth.
Are you finding ways to stay abreast of current events and hot topics?
- Watching or listening to the news or to podcasts that challenge my opinions or teach me new ideas is something I like to do when I’m seeking to expand my mind.
How often do you surround yourself with interesting people?
- Joining community groups where you can engage in conversations about various topics that interest you is a good way to stimulate your mind and challenge you to consider new and different ideas.
Do you seek out ways to help strengthen your brain’s ability to focus?
- Doing puzzles or brain challenges like Wordle can be good for this.
- If you’re seeking additional ways to support your cognitive function, you might consider adding an Omega-3 (fish oil supplement) to your daily regimen. The omega-3 fatty acids are important for memory and learning. If you’re vegan or your diet is lacking in fish, then a fish oil supplement is especially important for you.
Emotional WellnessUnderstanding and navigating your emotions or feelings is what constitutes your emotional wellness. This includes being able to identify, assess, and effectively communicate your feelings with others as well. When thinking about the status of your emotional wellness, it’s important to consider the following:
Do you have an emotional support structure in your life?
- This might include friends and family, but also a therapist or coach.
Are you engaging in self-reflection to better connect with yourself and understand your emotions?
- Journaling is an easy way to identify and process your feelings.
- Some people find meditation helpful.
- You may like taking a nature walk where you can take time to connect with yourself and your inner workings.
What are you doing to relieve stress in life?
- Finding ways to reduce your anxiety and stress levels, as well as getting good sleep helps to build emotional stamina.
- Using essential oils for relaxation before bed or drinking a calming beverage that contains magnesium can help with muscle tension and calm nerves during rest and recovery.
- I’ve found that the scent of my favorite essential oil balm works wonders to relax me and help ease me into sleep.
Social wellness is about cultivating and maintaining positive relationships with others. It also includes the ability to resolve any conflict that might arise in a healthy and respectful manner.
When the demands of life increase or difficult circumstances come about, healthy friendships and relationships create a strong support system for you to lean on.
Also, as humans, we need connection with others to thrive. You can assess the social pillar of wellness by thinking about the relationships in your life.
Do you regularly connect with others in a social setting?
Consider making an effort to meet new people through social networks or volunteer opportunities.
How often do you chat with or spend time with your friends?
You might want to schedule monthly dinners with girlfriends or phone catch-ups with those friends you don’t get to see regularly.
Are you part of any community groups?
There are numerous groups to be found on sites like Meetup.com that would provide an opportunity to connect with people in your community who have similar interests.
Online communities like Facebook groups or other virtual communities of like-minded people can help you feel more connected with others as well.
The spiritual pillar of wellness helps to give a sense of purpose and meaning to life. Similar to social wellness, spiritual wellness is an important component that provides guidance through tough times and helps us develop resiliency when we face hardships.
Spirituality is something that is unique to each person and their beliefs. It will have varied importance in each person’s life depending on how one defines and practices it – either through an organized religion, or through meditation, prayer, or any way that helps them to feel a connection with a higher power.
If you are seeking to strengthen your spiritual wellness, ask yourself the following questions:
Do you regularly spend time alone free of distractions?
- Dedicate a small space of time each day to be with yourself.
- This time can be used to relax, reflect, meditate, or pray.
What methods do you use to self-reflect and tap into your intuition?
- Try keeping a journal. Engaging in writing regularly can help you find clarity, connect with your intuition, and keep you accountable to the goals you’ve set.
Are you clear on your values?
- Values are the core beliefs most important to you that guide your life in a broader sense.
- Choose your top three values in life and write them down; reflect on them often.
- This will help guide your decision-making and will make it easier to identify the things that matter to you, and set appropriate boundaries for those things that don’t align with your values.
Environmental wellness encompasses both your immediate surroundings and the greater community where you live and work. It is a reciprocal relationship.
If you take care of your environments (both natural and built), then your environment is better able to support your daily life.
In evaluating the environmental pillar of wellness, think about what you are doing to support your environment so it can support you.
Do you do all you can to be green or environmentally conscious?
- Are you recycling whenever possible?
- Perhaps you can cut back on your car emissions by walking or biking to close destinations?
How does your personal space make you feel?
- A cluttered space leads to a cluttered mind. It may be time for a spring cleaning around the house or a decluttering of your office space.
- Also, once you get your personal space in order, you can better organize your mental head space and this improves your productivity and overall feelings of well-being.
What are your goals for your wellness journey?
I hope you’ve found this post explaining how to start your simple wellness journey using the pillars of wellness to be helpful.
Often getting started is the hardest part, but once you identify a couple of areas to start with, you will find that making some small changes is easier to incorporate into your life than you thought.
It will get easier and easier to build from there and continue on your journey to optimal health and well-being.
My personal wellness journey is about making more time for myself to do things that bring me clarity and peace, nourishing my body with healthy food and regular exercise, and finding ways to relieve stress and anxiety in my life.
Further Support for Your Wellness Journey
True wellness is a result of taking care of your body, inside and out and is based on intentional daily actions and consistent habits.
That is why I recently made the decision to further support my wellness with products from USANA Health Sciences and to promote their health, wellness, and nutritional products.
USANA’s extensive product line is backed by years of scientific research and is focused on their approach to holistic health.
Check out my personal list of USANA Self-Care products that are supporting me in my own wellness journey.
You can also visit the NEW Health & Wellness shop on my website to see my favorite products OR go directly to my personal USANA website.If you take an extra minute to create an account and sign up as a Preferred Customer, you always save 10% off the retail price, too!
All product recommendations are based solely on my personal opinion and should not be used in place of medical advice.
Visit https://littlevoicebigmatter.com/ for more blog posts by Carly.