# Wellness

SUE – FORMING A WELLNESS STRATEGY

Peple running at beach

We had a row. This, my friends, is a rare occurrence. In fact, our editor observed this about us. She happened to think out aloud that she had never heard us raise our voices to each other. It happens when you are happy and healthy. You have more patience with your co-habitants and you have self-confidence in your personal abilities to project yourself positively and affirmatively towards others when such occasions arise.

Most of those occasions would happen in the workplace. At best, discussions and debates around the boardroom table are lively affairs. They should be, otherwise how could progress be made otherwise. Also, it is quite human to have disagreements every once in a while although it remains an ironic preoccupation for me that most of the time these arguments are quite petty. But granted, it was not the case for us in this instance, many a petty argument has arisen out of bottled up feelings of resentment that had been festering for far too long.

Another observation our editor made about us, sorry Steve, I have to get this off my chest, is that Steve is far too emotional at times while I appear to lean on the more pragmatic and practical side of life. But to his credit, Steve believes in treating everyone fairly and giving merit where and when it is due. In his fairness, he said to me the other day that it was my turn to write a post for you. The subject and theme had already been decided on – forming a wellness strategy.

Being a practical-minded woman, I suggested to Steve that he read research and write the post instead. After all, it was he who broached the subject in an earlier post while I merely introduced this line of thought when giving my brief definition on health. So, here I am. I have to propose a way forward in putting together a wellness strategy. The strategy must include everything from your daily eating habits to how you perform your exercise routines and basically how you conduct yourself generally in life.

No expert on the theoretical and scientific aspects of wellness, I found mostly corporate-orientated strategies which, I felt, weren’t going to work much for us today. So, being the practical-minded person that I am, I decided to give you a motivational post instead. If I’m not very much mistaken, it is fair to say that my days are mostly successful ones because I plan them well in advance. But I am also the first to acknowledge, in all humility, that I do not always have the ready answers for solutions to problems.

And that is where Steve comes in handy most of the time. Most of the time he is giving me hearty motivation and encouragement. Good planning needs quite a bit of introspective thought. Pen and paper should accompany these early pre-planning stages so that you can jot down anything that makes sense to you or happens to knock you out of your seat in a profound way. A good mental planning approach can be accompanied by a checklist.

By assuming that you are of at least average health, age and weight, let us quickly compose a draft plan. There will be no plan B, only forward thinking and a lot of proactive action. You have your notepad and favourite pen handy by now. Now you need both a diary and a journal. The diary will be used to schedule important appointments and events related directly to your wellness strategy and plan of action.

The journal will be used to record your personal, innermost thoughts on how you are feeling each day and each step of the way. The very first step in your wellness exercise will be a visit to your general practitioner. Let us assume that he gives the usual clean bill of health treatment but also with the regular battery of warnings such as losing weight and cutting down on junk food and smoking. At this stage, you already know that there is no such thing.

You are giving up smoking and junk food for good. Good literature is all good and well but it can confuse both you and your palate. Rather set the record straight by visiting an accredited nutritionist or dietician. She will likely be working in collaboration with medical specialists, if necessary. What she is also able to do is closely monitor your body and tailor an eating plan that is unique to you. The dietary requirements prioritise special areas in your lifestyle and current condition of health.

Where there are deficiencies, these will be addressed. A next step will be an appointment with a personal fitness trainer who will be working very similarly to the way the dietician or nutritionist did. More monitoring and supervision during the first few tentative months of your transformation. Now, while you are waiting for test results and life planners to come back to you with that plan, what do you do in the mean time?

Worth their salt, your specialists won’t keep you waiting, but in the short space of time before you finally embark on your wellness plan, you can still keep yourself busy. Go for a walk instead of sitting down to watch the stressful news. Practice cleaning up the house without the aid of electrical appliances. There’s your first set of journal notes for you. Describe to yourself how this new way of cleaning up made you feel.

Were you left feeling exhausted and mad as hell, or did you feel really great, feeling as though you’ve really achieved something worthwhile. Instead of watching late night movies, go to bed a little earlier than you would usually. Pick out a book that piques you and start reading. Engrossed in your reading, you should also start to feel dozy. Take this opportunity to shut off the light and get to enjoy your first ever wellness sleep. Sweet dreams, everyone.