Go Vita Ballarat staff member and Naturopath is taking advantage of the season change to give her health a reboot. For a little while, Michelle's health has taken a back seat to other demands in life (you can read about the start of Michelle's journey here). In week two, Michelle has tapped into something that can be really powerful when changing your lifestyle: mindset and stress. "It's hard to know where to begin with a Health and Wellness journey- there are so many different elements to consider! But once I thought about it, the answer was easy- I needed to start with my mindset.
I have always loved the idea of journaling and, with a plethora of notebooks spotted around the house - have always had the best of intentions to do it regularly, but then life got in the way and it fell off the priority list.
So my first step in my Spring Health Reboot was to begin a journal. Along with writing about my daily successes and challenges, I chose four lines to record which I repeat to myself each day-
REMEMBER MY END GOAL
EVERY DAY COUNTS
I didn’t commit to writing in it every day (I think your goals need to be realistic and manageable), but pledged to write in it every few days.
I have found writing in a journal very therapeutic - it helps to keep me on track, whilst enabling me to reflect on daily challenges I have faced; and then learn from them. I make sure that I am completely honest, no matter how confronting that can be at times.
Along with journaling, I have placed a real focus on my reaction to stress. I have had a terrible habit of responding to stress by eating food- and usually foods that are not nutritionally beneficial.
I have been managing my stress-reactions by mentally gauging to what degree the stressor will truly impact on my life- and in most cases, it is minimal.
When you have previously been quite reactive to stress, this is a tough process to overcome, and is definitely still a work in process for me personally. However, I am already feeling lighter emotionally, and am determined to get better at it.
Another hurdle that I have been working to overcome, is letting it be OK that sometimes I can just ‘be’.
I often crave some down time: just for me. But with a hectic life of work and busy kids I usually feel guilty for even contemplating time to myself; there always seems to be SOMETHING else that I should be doing, rather than resting, or enjoying an activity just for me.
Over this past week I I have been practicing overriding that feeling of guilt by telling myself that I am just as entitled to some down time as any other member of the family. This has had a HUGE positive impact on my emotional well being, as well as my level of stress.
Just by implementing these few changes, I have seen significant change to my mindset already. I feel far more positive, am seeing much less evidence of self sabotage and am seeing more control over my emotional reactivity.
In my next post I will be delving more into what types of foods I eat, why I think ‘treats’ are important, why I don’t advocate any particular ‘diet’ and how I have found a way to thoroughly enjoy my food, all while achieving balance.