Be well. On your OWN terms.
Every Sunday, Arti Kashyap-Aynsley drops by to discuss all the many things we may be facing, feeling or going through in our day to day lives. Share your questions and / or requests for topics with Arti anonymously at firstname.lastname@example.org
In my day job I am focused on all things Wellness, from a corporate standpoint. The transition I made from my hardcore, uncertain, ambiguous Management Consulting career just over 10 months ago has been interesting, evolving and something I am constantly trying to grapple with. But I do love what I do now and I love that I am still in the same environment that has raised me professionally only now in a role that is allowing me to influence and catalyse it.
People often ask me what my day to day looks like and the truth is it mirrors my Management Consulting career quite a bit in that it never quite looks the same. This week for instance my day job had me spending quite a bit of my time doing talks for Project and Leadership Teams and the one thing that I raised in these talks is something I want to talk about in this weeks’ column that also ties to our monthly theme of “one size does not fit all.” So here we go...
There is no doubt that this idea of “Wellness” and being “Well” is important. Actually, I will take it one step beyond important and call it vital. But even I, a self-proclaimed wellness guru struggle with wondering if I am doing enough to be well even if I feel well.
Open Instagram, open a magazine, open LinkedIn, a newspaper, have a chat with someone, you name it and everyone has a suggestion for you. To be well seems as though you need to do about 29372897298732 things before 7AM because you have to wake up at 430-5AM as a start in order to grab the day by the horns, then to top it all off you have to shut your phone off by 8PM and do a million other things before you can actually shut down and sleep, and don’t forget all the other stuff you are supposed to be doing between the 9-5 to be at the forefront of managing your wellness.
It all seems a bit much and I think I would have to echo one of my ultimate Wellness hero’s Dr Rangan Chaterjee here by posing the question - How and why is being well getting so complicated?
Here is the thing, all of the suggestions (well I would say about 75-80% of them once you weed the non-healthy, celeb inspired and downright crazy ones out that is) are great. And behind all of them is something that could inspire and create such great changes in your life, your wellness and overall day to day happiness and positivity. But do you have to do all of them? And is that actually feasible?
When I think through all of things out there that we are “supposed to be doing to be well,” I can completely understand why it could scare anyone off from even trying to tackle this idea of wellness. So how can you break down what you actually need to do so you can start and / or change up and / or add to what you are already doing?
Start small. Be curious and try a bit of everything. And most importantly, make it work for you and be unapologetic about it.
1. Start small. Don’t try and attack it all at once. Wellness means so many things to so many people, but it also covers so many things. So, pick one thing and start there, e.g., your nutrition, your sleep, your habits with technology, your exercise regiment, etc. All habit change studies and books will say that when you start to change habits you need to be realistic and go back to that whole SMART/SMARTER goal setting framework, which isn’t too far off with what I am saying. By starting small, goals seem attainable and you can really focus in on the success of what you are trying to tackle. Remember it is better and more likely to stick if you focus on changing 10% at a time vs. 10 things at once. Just reflect on
the success of your news years resolutions as evidence.
2. Be curious and try a bit of everything. To address one wellness concern you can have a million different options as to how to tackle it and get the outcome you want. So, when I say be curious, I mean try many different things and see what works. You may start with one thing and recognise it isn’t the way forward, so instead of letting that discourage you, change the vocabulary and conversation with yourself – “okay so that solution wasn’t for me, but I am still committed so lets’ try another option.” Like I said there are so many options out there, you just gotta weed through them and find the things that work for you.
3. Make it work for you. This is literally the most important point if any I could make. SO often we try to address our wellness by making changes that make ABSOLUTELY NO SENCE for our daily lives. And in that we get discouraged, we give up and lose track. Know who you are, understand your life and the patterns you live by and pick things that make sense based on all of that - and know that, that picture will evolve. I know for example that in the morning I live by the train times and also currently live with my inlaw’s where quite space isn’t always something I can find. So, I meditate everyone morning, but I meditate on the train, which is contrary to how it should work – you know in a room full of candles, sitting on my meditation pillow in the most uncomfortable cross-legged position ever. The way I do it, keeps me stress-free, calm and at ease. This example just goes to show that there is no “perfect” way, there is just the way that makes sense for you.
4. Be unapologetic about your choices. This links to three. Once you find what works for you, what is supporting you, OWN IT and don’t let others criticisms, views, judgements impact you. This is your wellness, your way of taking care of yourself and no one knows that better than you.
The moral really is that out of all of the suggestions out there, the only person that really knows what will work for you and help you in your journey to being well, is you. So, let that be your guide as you walk forward into your wellness journey.
Wishing you all a week of owning your wellness in a way that is unapologetic and true to you.
With love and gratitude always,
Arti, aka The Wellness Chief xx
Have a topic you want me to address in the weekly column and / or are keen to look at the idea of coaching in general and / or coaching with me, please drop me a note at email@example.com. I offer free taster sessions and am always open to hosting exploratory calls as a starter. Remember this is your journey, and I am just here to provide the space you need.