The New Year - Assessing Your Health

As we move forward to begin the New Year, it is natural to hope for a fulfilling  upcoming year and to reflect on the previous year. Our Individual wellness is reflected in the way we feel, the energy level, the exercise time, the daily stress, the emotional health, the joy in our lives, and the giant stressors such as financial debt, death, moving and illness.

This is a time to take a few moments alone and assess your health and the issues affecting it. Referring to Duke Integrative Medicine's Wheel of Health, one notices that there are many factors that play into wellness: nutrition, exercise, personal relationships, spirituality and mind - body awareness. Take a few minutes to write how you are faring in each of the categories. Keep those notes and base your New Year's resolutions around those aspects. 

Entering the New Year, set 2-3 objective goals using the Wheel of Health as your guide for wellness. Start with small steps, such as simply taking a walk each day or renewing an old friendship. Although the New Year brings resolution lists, most folks are too enthusiastic and lofty with the goals and never reach their goals which results in negative feedback and lowers self- esteem. Start small and stick with it. It is vital to avoid making the typical New Year's resolutions of losing weight and vowing to exercise more. Reflect mindfully on the Wheel of Health and all its' aspects to observe what is lacking in your life. Physical ailments will always manifest when there is not optimal emotional well- being.  

Be honest with yourself and those around you. Seek support on all fronts: professional help for fitness and emotional issues, support from friends and co-workers and spiritual guidance. We all need help getting through life; we need each other to lean on at times. That is the wonderful part of humanity- give it to yourself, ask for it.

Looking into the mirror and seeing your true reflection can be very difficult. Know that you have support around you and available to you. If you stray from your goals, it is important not to beat yourself up about it. Life happens. Crap happens. Pause to take a breath and assess what you need quietly without the noise. And start again. Life is a series of beginnings. A series of chapters. Know that you are wonderful just the way you are.

Think of the upcoming year as it is: A New Year. A New start. A begining. A New outlook on life. 

Each day is a new opportunity. Each day is a gift.

Happy New Year!