What does happy and healthy mean to you?
Being fit and having energy. To bound out of bed with energy rather than needing to drag myself out. Having the energy (physical and emotional) to go on adventures. Sleeping well. Being resilient. Having stamina and endurance. Not getting constantly sick. Eating well to fuel my body but not being restrictive. Having fun and being fun to be around. Being kind to my partner, being kind full stop. Feeling calm, settled and relaxed.
These are some of the responses I get when I ask my clients what happy and healthy means for them. While the responses are always different, they always cover more than one aspect of wellbeing. To feel happy and healthy isn’t about nailing just one aspect, whether it be mindset, movement or nutrition, instead it takes a balanced, holistic approach covering all three.
Have you ever sat on a wobbly stool before? Perhaps one of the legs was shorter than the others. It feels uncomfortable and precarious. Suddenly energy, focus and concentration are required to keep yourself steady and in control. One option is to carefully distribute your weight on the seat being particularly mindful not to put any weight on the shorter leg so you don’t topple. If you’ve tried this before you’ll know how quickly this can become tiresome. A second option is to place a folded piece of paper under the shorter leg to even them out. Now with the legs being of equal length feeling balanced is effortless.
Wellbeing is like a three-legged stool, with mindset, movement and nutrition each being a leg. To feel balanced, to feel happy and healthy, requires the legs to be equal length. Sometimes we prioritise one aspect of wellbeing over the others, creating legs of different length. Perhaps we train hard at the gym and we neglect our nutrition, or we nourish our bodies with a healthy diet only to say unkind things to our bodies in the mirror, or perhaps we cover our notebooks with motivating quotes but fail to move. All of these scenarios can result in the same uncomfortable and precarious feeling of the wobbly stool. Perhaps like the stool, to feel more balanced and in control, we avoid the aspect that is lacking and put all of our energy and focus into the other areas in the hope that it will balance out. Like the stool, this too quickly becomes exhausting and frustrating and we never achieve the balance we’re looking for.
What would it be like to take the second option with your wellbeing? To take a step back, identify which aspect of your wellbeing you may have been neglecting in favour of another, and look to supplement it. For many of us we prioritise our physical wellbeing over our mental wellbeing, what would it be like to nourish and train our brains the same way we do our bodies.
The start of a new year provide an opportunity to reflect on your own health and wellbeing.
What does happy and healthy mean to you? Do you feel balanced?
What aspects of wellbeing do you prioritise or neglect?
·What changes can you make to find better balance, happiness and health?
You are how you think, move and eat.
Get in touch if you would like support to help you achieve balance.
Josie Askin is a wellness coach, pilates teacher and owner of Spring Coaching, a holistic wellness coaching practice. She specialises in supporting driven and ambitious people to reach and maintain peak performance through small sustainable steps. Josie is an experienced long-distance runner, pilates teacher, facilitator and yogi with 15+ years in the corporate world before establishing Spring Coaching. She knows the challenges of finding balance in a busy life.
Connect with Josie at http://www.spring-coaching.com