The last few years have been quite the doozy for most, if not all, of us. We’ve navigated a global pandemic, foreign wars abroad, political chaos, airline nightmares, and more. The silver lining to all of these challenges is that pillars of wellness and well-being have been pushed quite aggressively to the forefront because, it turns out, the way we care for ourselves is, in fact, everything.
We are no good to the world or our loved ones if we are not resting, recharging, and practicing healthy habits. This article will explore the four pillars of wellness, how they all connect, and, most importantly, how we at Advanced Behavioral Health can serve you in your wellness journey.
Here are the 4 Pillars of Wellness
Exercise: We know, we know – you’ve heard this one countless times before. But there is no way around it; a body in motion stays in motion, and a body that stays in motion is a happier body. But here is a critical thing to remember: exercise doesn’t have to be torture. So you know what we’re gonna do? We’ll retire the word exercise as it has so many negative connotations, and we’ll relabel it as movement. Because at its core, that’s what makes exercise so very crucial when practicing wellness – moving.
What are the different ways you can MOVE your body?
- Dancing: If you were taught to believe that working out must always be intense, we’re here to tell you that it can actually be enjoyable and, dare I say, FUN. Put in your AirPods, turn on your favorite music, turn off the lights, and have a good time. Within 60 seconds, your energy will be elevated, endorphins will be flowing, and you’ll be letting your body move your soul. We 10/10 recommend trying this.
- Walking: Another low intense workout option is walking! Try going for a walk around your neighborhood or a local park for 20-30 minutes. Bring your headphones and listen to a podcast if movement scares you a little. The key is to make it enjoyable, and having the distraction of an exciting or uplifting podcast can do just that!
- Hiking: Ask a friend to join you this weekend for a hike. Being out in nature is one of the fastest ways to disconnect from the world’s noise and reconnect with nature.
- Restorative or gentle yoga: An excellent option for movement! It stretches the body, helps build long, lean muscles, and calms the nervous system. And you can find tons of free videos of yoga workouts on YouTube and practice right there in your own home! No hefty price tag.
- HIIT: High-Intensity Interval Training can be a great way to move if you are looking for intense movement. You build up a sweat, push your body past its limits, and get those endorphins moving! It’s amazing how happy you feel afterward.
- Climbing: Going to a climbing gym or learning to climb outside is another unique way to try movement. You don’t realize how great a workout it is until you go! Check out your local climbing gyms or Groupon for special deals. The critical thing to remember is that movement doesn’t have to be torture. You’re much more likely to stick to a new habit of moving if you enjoy it; trust us!
Good Nutrition: Again, you’ve heard this before, but practicing proper nutrition is huge when wanting to live a more balanced lifestyle.
- Drink your water during the day (starting first thing in the morning!). Check how much water you should be drinking online, as it varies depending on gender, weight, how often you work out, and other factors.
- Have a balanced diet. A consistent, whole-food, plant-based diet tends to be the best way to go, but consult a medical professional for best practices for your body.
- It’s OK to treat yourself now and then; feeling guilty for having a cookie or ice cream is arguably worse for you as your emotions and thoughts affect your well-being, so don’t be so hard on yourself—just practice moderation.
Relaxation: Are you prioritizing rest and relaxation? We live in a culture that is always on the go and worships productivity, so often, we feel like we can’t rest and recharge because we have so much on our plates. But remember, you do not keep the world spinning, and you must relax to feel healthier.
- Take baths or long showers.
- Watch your favorite show or movie.
- Read a good book just for fun.
- Go for a long slow walk to clear your head.
- Spend time with people you love who positively influence your well-being.
- Snuggle with your partner.
- Take a nap! We give you permission.
- Give yourself grace again and again and again!
Sleep: And lastly, we have sleep. Sleep is the single most important habit you can master for your well-being. If sleep is difficult for you, try these tips (you have to actually try and stick with them to see results)!
- Step away from electronics 30 minutes – 1 hour before bed (seriously, put the phone down)!
- Set a bedtime for yourself and stick to it.
- Create a little routine that you enjoy to make it fun – skincare routine, shower, meditation – whatever! Just play around and see what feels good.
- Try deep breathing exercises to calm the nervous system.
- Do some light stretching to care for the body
- Do not watch tv, eat, or do work in your bedroom. If you live in a smaller space, do your best to create physical boundaries between your bed and other spaces.
- Consider taking a supplement. Many women are deficient in magnesium, and magnesium glycinate can help relax you before bed (remember, brands are important, so do your research).
- Notice if your brain is negative about sleep. “I am never going to fall asleep” is a common thought, so if you find yourself thinking this way, take a moment to pause and then choose again. “I am doing everything in my power to relax and fall asleep. I’ve got this. It will just take some time” can be a great perspective to adopt.
Contact Us Today
Like any new habit, pillars of wellness take practice, commitment, and time. Don’t expect to try these tips once and then never again. Keep showing up for yourself and your health over and over again, and watch how your life changes.
If you need a helping hand, reach out to one of our experts at ABH by calling 301-345-1022 or visiting us here. We look forward to hearing from you and assisting you on your wellness journey. Be well.