“Good health is a crown worn by the healthy that only the ill can see.” – Arabic Proverb

Reflecting on this reminded me of the importance of intentionally setting an inclusive framework as I put together the pieces (people, places and projects) that I would like to include in my life in 2019.

Being unwell is no joke. The best way to avoid it is to make plans within a healthy set of parameters and practices. After experiencing burnout and reaching breaking point – mentally, emotionally and physically – I had to have an honest conversation with myself about my unsustainable, self-sacrificing behaviour desperately chasing this ideal destination we call ‘success’. I had to be frank about how the quality of my life had landed in the proverbial dumps, and make a promise to myself to live a more well-rounded life. This was the beginning of my journey towards attaining a real sense of well-being.

Holistic health and wellness

Holistic health is an approach to healthcare that focuses on every aspect of human functioning and how we attain and maintain a balance between mind, body and spirit. Wellness, on the other hand, is the process of gaining awareness and satisfaction from activities that promote fitness and mental health. Our health is a result of how we choose to live our lives, while our wellness requires an active effort to maintain adequate sleep, nutrition, productivity, purposeful and meaningful vocation/work, as well as social connections and supportive relationships.

Food for thought

I recently listened to an episode of The Brendon Show where Brendon Burchard summarised ‘good health’ by guiding our definition and understanding.

“Here’s how you know if you are ‘well’:

  • Can you stay present amid the chaos and conflict?
  • Can you be creative in one moment’s notice, when it’s time to be creative?
  • Can you lead and be positive even during the days when you don’t feel like it or it’s not a good day?
  • Can you bounce back from bad emotional experiences?
  • Can you be a person who is creating and contributing from a place of congruence for you versus just responding and reacting or conforming?”

How do your answers fare compared to what you have in your mind’s eye as your ideal life? Ultimately, he emphasizes that for us to attain balance, “We have to learn how to master the mind to be able to master the body, emotions and physical vitality.” I agree, and keep reminding myself it’s about progress and not perfection.

Beyond new year’s resolutions

Straight up, this column is based on my self-interest – to remind myself that I deserve more self-care in my life. It doesn’t always have to be about work and deadlines as is my ordinary day. I wish there were more reminders around for strong, determined, self-sufficient businesswomen. Work will always be there but if we don’t take the time to care for ourselves, our productive days will surely be numbered.

I will explore various pillars of personal holistic health and wellness that include:

  • Emotional;
  • Environmental;
  • Mental / intellectual;
  • Physical; and
  • Social (significant other, family and friends, fun and recreational activities).

Not too long ago I read something online that stated, “By the second week of February, 80% of people have abandoned their New Year’s resolutions.” The reality is that we set ourselves up for failure if we attempt to make significant changes in our lives with the ‘Big-Bang Approach’. Join us on this journey of personal discovery as we consider different topics around this theme. Engage with us by sharing topics and questions that you’re keen for us to explore.