THE WHEEL OF HEALTH
PART 1 - RELATIONSHIPS
The Relationship with Yourself
This week's blog is the first in a series discussing the different segments of the Wheel of Health. There will be a few parts to the Relationship section beginning with The Relationship that you have with Yourself.
While the level of social connection and support in your life influences the development, progression, and recovery from illness, the first relationship that you need to work on is the one with yourself, as it's the foundation for everything else in life. When you deeply understand what your needs and values are you're able to make clear decisions regarding career choices, friends, partners, who to vote for and how to make a difference in the world.
7 Ways to Build a Great Relationship with Yourself
1. Self care - The first step is to provide yourself with the bare necessities of life - proper nutrition, exercise, and adequate rest are all an absolute must. It may appear obvious, but these three things are often at the BOTTOM of people's To Do List. Learn to make time to prepare delicious and nutritious meals for yourself, find a type of exercise that you enjoy (I can't get excited about a spin class but I'll hike any day rain or shine), and practice making the time to relax.
2. Build Your team - You can't do it all and nor should you. Every successful business, sports team and celebrity has their own team. These are people who help you to be your best and support you in different ways. You may not need to use them all at the same time, but its important to acquire them for times when they'll be necessary. "Team (insert your name here)" might include :
Health Care Practitioners - Acupuncturist, Massage Therapist, Naturopath, Medical Doctor, Life Coach, Hypnotherapist, etc.
Exercise Buddies - gym partner, hiking/running buddy, personal trainer, coach, or someone to be accountable to if you struggle with exercise.
Close friends/family - people who are trustworthy and dependable to provide you with emotional support. Its important to know you have people who will catch you when you feel you are falling and are able to bring a healthy perspective to whatever challenge you're faced with.
Spiritual Teachers - teachers, gurus, clergy, etc are important to your self growth. It would be ideal to have a varied group of these people on your team.
Back up Support Team - babysitters, colleagues, pet sitters, car maintenance people, accountant, insurance broker, banker, housekeeper, and all the other people that you can rely on in their specialized field.
3. Make time for yourself - when was the last time you made a cup of tea and read a book, soaked in the tub, walked on the beach or in the forest by yourself, did something creative, or journaled (you'll know just how far you've come when you're able to look back and read where you once were)?
4. Meditate - All of the answers to everything you need to know are available within you and THAT is personal power. This is one of the least expensive, most valuable tools that you can have in your toolbox and yet probably the most underutilized. Find a meditation class, look up guided meditations on YouTube (Yoga Nidra is excellent for beginners), or make a commitment to meditate regularly with a friend. Meditation will discussed in more detail in future posts.
5. Pay attention to your thoughts and feelings - A very common form of stress comes directly from everyday thought patterns; people ruminate about what happened or what will happen or about not measuring up in one way or another. Its one of the most damaging things you can do to yourself and yet one of the easiest things to change, with practise and awareness. Pay close attention to your thoughts and start changing the negative self chatter into positive affirmations. Also check in regularly with your feelings and ask yourself 'Why am I feeling this way', and 'Where did this emotion come from?' Dismissing your emotions is as damaging as having someone else not validating them.
6. Treat yourself to something every week - it doesn't have to be big but it has to be special to you and only for you, such as a pedicure, new shoes, or even chia seeds. You are important and bringing pleasure into your life shouldn't be the exception, it should be the norm.
7. Listen to Your Intuition - That little nudge, or jab in the solar plexus is there for a reason, so it's time to pay it its due attention. You know that feeling when you shouldn't be walking into that dark alley or that something that someone is saying doesn't 'feel' quite right? Listen to it. We now recognize that this instinct serves to guide and protect us. Once it has been significantly developed and honed it can be use as a decision barometer for just about every choice you have to make.