Wellness Wednesday: It All Begins Here

My intention was to write this post last night and publish it early this morning. Unfortunately, I’ve been brought down with a tenacious head cold so my energy level is hovering somewhere around 20%. The irony that my illness prevented me from writing a post on wellness is not lost one me.

Over the recent Christmas holidays, I came down with strep throat – again. It was the second time in a year that I battled this painful pest, but I was determined to avoid antibiotics once again. I thought I’d be clever and health-savvy and mixed up a paste of cayenne powder, raw garlic, and honey. You can’t imagine how awful it tasted, but I ate it non-stop for a 48-hour period. That is until my husband started complaining about the smell of our house and he refused to come within five feet of me.

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Not only did the paste not work, my symptoms actually worsened. And trust me – strep throat is nothing something you want to mess with. I resigned myself to the notion that I’d need antibiotics and found myself in the waiting room of a walk-in clinic on more than one occasion over the holidays.

The circumstance I found myself in, as I flipped through a months-old magazine in the clinic’s waiting room, was exactly the kind of motivation I needed to make some serious changes in my life. Becoming infected with strep throat twice in the same year was only the tipping point. I’ve been afflicted by everything from eczema to low energy for most of my life, and I couldn’t overlook the fact that my immune system was taking a serious hit. I knew I needed to create change in my life from the inside out, and certainly without delay.

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Over the last month, I have begun to assemble a “health squad,” if you will, comprised of wellness practitioners who prescribe to a holistic approach. I’ve added a chiropractor, a naturopath, and an acupuncturist and doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine to my team. I’ve prioritized carving out time to practice yoga – even if it’s just for 30 minutes. My eating habits have been given a major overhaul (albeit by way of baby steps). I spend more time and energy into reading and researching ways I can enhance my own overall wellness.

Most of us realize how valuable our own wellness is, whether it’s physical, mental, spiritual, or emotional. For some of us, wellness means aligning all four of these elements in our lives. Very few of us are able to effectively prioritize our sense of wellness and some of us don’t even know what it looks like. I recognize that the steps I’m taking can be considered drastic and even time-consuming. I’ve learned that one’s own wellness doesn’t have to be an “all or nothing” quest. We can each do a lot of things, or we can pick one or two things that heighten our individual sense of well-being.

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Small changes often make the biggest impact. I love Prevention’s list of “100 Ways to Change Your Life in 10 Minutes or Less.” I have to be honest: not all of those tips appeal to me, but with an open mind you might find a little bit of inspiration. While we can’t do everything, we can each do something.

I recently read a quote that I won’t even try to paraphrase, but in essence, it encouraged me to make changes not because I hate my body or because I’m frustrated with my health. I should make these changes because I cherish my body and wish to honour my health. If there’s anything I can stress, it’s that it’s important to remember to be gentle with ourselves because no journey is without stumbles, trips, and wrong turns.

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My goal is to make this post the first in a series of weekly posts about my personal wellness journey, so I hope you’ll follow along and find some encouragement. I’d love to hear your tips and ideas for healthy, practical changes, so please feel free to share them in the comments below! See you next week!

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