January 2024 | Wellness Connections
By Linda Wilcox
“What we think, feel, and believe about the physical body informs how we live in and through the body.”
This time of year, the promises of quick fixes and fad diets are plenty and seem to come and go as quickly as our New Year’s Resolutions. Diet culture would have us believe that appearance and body shape are more important than physical, psychological, and general well-being. A belief which ultimately ends up keeping us stuck in a cycle of restriction, quick fixes, and micromanagement of our lives which may not lead us to long term health but possibly a couple of steps behind.
True wellness involves caring for ourselves as a whole person and all aspects of our lives including spiritually, physically, emotionally, mentally, and relationally. Here we find that optimal well-being is not a destination but a journey that builds lifelong healthy habits that honor your unique needs so you can be your best in each season of life. A balanced approach to wellness takes us back to the foundational pieces of health and wellness and invites us to start small to create lasting change.
Foundational components to our health and wellness include:
- Physical Health – Nourishing foods – Movement & rest
- Spiritual health – Spiritual practices and disciplines
- Mental and Emotional Health – Having a healthy
understanding of emotions, stress management, etc.
- Relational Health – Investing in relationships
The first step to a more balanced approach to wellness is to be aware that what and how we think about health and wellness matters. Our thoughts affect our actions, which means we cannot change our behaviors until we change the way we think. The most important questions are not how much exercise we need to do to change our bodies or how much we should or shouldn’t eat, rather, how can we reframe our perspectives to create change that is life-giving and on-going. Reframed perspectives are new perspectives like: Wellness does not always equal weight loss, it doesn’t have to be all-or-nothing, and progress is more important than perfection.
Beginning with a new perspective on wellness, consider the foundations of health and how each area is
currently being tended to. Does one area need more attention than another or are there small intentional
steps that can be made in each area? Scaling back our goals to make them doable and fit in our season of life frees us to pursue health without it feeling overwhelming and allows us to integrate life-giving habits for a lifetime of wellness. Welcome to the New Year and a new way to approach your health and wellness journey.
“Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is
getting along well.” – 3 John 1:2
Ease into the New Year
The change of the calendar to a new year can bring a sense of haste with new goals and ambitions. Instead of rushing into all the new year holds, consider taking a slower pace allowing yourself to rest, go slow, create space to reflect on the previous year, and to grow into the year to come from a place of rest. Winter invites us to quietly slow down for a season. Embracing this gentle rhythm provides some margin to consider what lies ahead and where we are going. By taking it slow, we might find pleasant surprises along the way. Retreat from screens and activities that might distract you from true rest. Keep a journal for reflection, gratitude, and dreams for the future. Go for walks and embrace the rhythm of winter. Embrace the longer evening hours. Give your body rest and sleep. Be intentional with setting goals for the year ahead, allow it to come from a place of rest.
Linda is our Registered Dietitian Nutritionist that uses a balanced approach to health and wellness, focusing on nutrition, movement, sleep, and connecting you with other appropriate health resources.
Linda understands and recognizes the courage needed to take the first step in caring for yourself and starting your own health and wellness journey. Learn more about Linda’s services like individual wellness and nutrition consultations, ministry and church wellness consultations, and group presentations here!