My Practical and Holistic Approach to Health
Photo Credit: Giorgio Magini/Westend61
Creating a personalized wellness routine has always been a foreign and tricky concept for me. After nearly 20 years as a student athlete juggling multiple sports and intense practices, I never gave fitness or health a second thought, as it was built into my schedule naturally.
After college spat me out, I suddenly lacked the title of “athlete” for the first time in my life and struggled at first to find an effective regimen I could maintain. Now, more than two years later at 24 years old, I’ve finally found a combination of five activities I add into my schedule that cater to both my mental and physical health.
1. Exercise 3-5 Times a Week
I’ve learned the key to sticking to a workout routine is to mix it up, especially with limited at-home workouts during the pandemic, and trade between cardio, weights, and HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workouts. I even surprised myself by taking a liking to running outside, although, in hindsight, starting the trend in the heat of the summer was probably less than ideal.
2. Check It Off
Making use of a planner to organize activities for the day and week seems like a standard practice, but for me, it equates to much more. Scheduling out everything on my to-do list — and yes, I mean everything — is the best way for me to visualize my progress, set realistic work and wellness goals, and allow me to feel in control.
3. Allow for Adventure
Gaining new experiences and widening my horizons with fresh adventures have become key to boosting my mental health. In normal circumstances, I try to sprinkle my calendar with activities such as jet skiing, wine and paint classes, visiting escape rooms, or other things that allow me to be either active or creative.
4. Incorporate Relaxing Yoga
I gave yoga a try last summer after putting aside my skepticism, and was pleasantly surprised at how relaxed and refreshed it made me feel. Now, I try to integrate a couple 30-minute sessions into my weekly routine to either wake my body up in the morning or to stretch after a workout.
5. Stay Social
Getting together with friends or family a couple times a week has become my method to de-stress from work and obligations for a couple hours and to vent about any current issues. During quarantine, I traded these in-person hangouts for FaceTime calls and socially distant walks with my sister.