One stumbling block of attaining wellness is often us. We can become our own worst taskmaster, admonishing ourselves for our smallest failings and sometimes resort to a default position of ‘unwell’ as a safe, unchallenging place to be rather than face the fear of choice.
Choice is a small word but a huge thing, although we cannot choose to be ‘well’ all in one step, we can choose to journey towards wellness. We can choose to eat more fruit and vegetables, to smoke one less cigarette, to not have the next drink or to get to bed early. Sometimes though the choice we must take is to be good to ourselves, to let ourselves off the hook and recognise that on some days a step backwards is still a step taken which may allow us to better see the way forward and understand the path that lies ahead.
Some choices can effect a long tern positive change. They don’t have to be big choices – every journey is made up of single steps so a single choice could be something like; improving our sleep routine, eating an extra piece of fruit per day, drinking more water. Or it could be something as simple but effective of choosing to be kind to ourselves – let ourselves off, understand that although we may not have reached where we wanted to today, it may have been because we set the bar too high or tried to reach too far.
Part of building the resilience to stay well is accepting that at times we will inevitably be unwell and that setting ourselves an all or nothing target for the achievement of permanent and complete wellness will, in itself, prevent the attainment of wellbeing. The resilience we build makes those periods of ‘unwell’ pass quicker, it allows us to bounce back where once we only managed to crawl. So the theme for this month is to be good to ourselves; to recognise that if we can’t reach the bar right now, lower the bar a bit, try not to beat ourselves up and make small achievable changes every day rather than aim to make one huge change in one go.