Personal wellness is something you don’t usually pay attention to until it takes a noticeable turn for the worse. By that time, you’re usually experiencing significant physical, mental or emotional setbacks that require major changes to your lifestyle. During our wellness retreats, we take a holistic approach to wellbeing, demonstrating how your thoughts, emotions, and actions all play an equal role in achieving balance.
However, too often we find that people neglect one or more aspects of their own wellbeing. This neglect doesn’t cause catastrophic problems immediately. Instead, the effects are experienced over time. If left unaddressed, they tend to get worse. Many of these problems also compound the original issue, piling up and causing setbacks on many fronts at once.
If you find that you consistently put your own wellbeing on the backburner, take a closer look at some of the adverse impacts this could have on your life.
The foods you eat are your body’s primary source of fuel. Emotional eating, convenience eating (reaching for whatever’s close/cheap/readily available) and an abundance of processed foods in your diet will take a toll on your body, causing your weight to inch up over time. Most packaged foods are loaded with obvious–and sometimes not-so-obvious– salt, sugar, fat and preservatives. Make a choice to replace these foods with fresh, organic, thoughtfully prepared meals that provide your body with a clean source of energy.
Unchecked stress can lead to poor concentration and short-term memory problems. A body that is in constant fight-or-flight mode has a negative effect on brain functioning. This dulled mental capacity can create performance problems at work or cause you to lose interest in activities you once enjoyed. During our health retreats, we show you how to make space to clear your mind. This helps you focus on your personal goals and visualize the life you want to live.
When you don’t get enough sleep, your body starts to suffer almost immediately. You’ll see obvious signs like poor skin quality, circles under your eyes, fine lines and facial puffiness. Chronic sleep loss has also been linked to serious health problems like heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure and diabetes. Quality sleep is the time for your mind and body to relax and replenish. During this time, your cardiovascular system gets a break as your blood pressure and heart rate slows. Blood flows to your muscles to repair tissue. Letting this vital rest period fall to the bottom of your list of priorities robs your body of its due.
Neglecting your own well-being opens the door for stress to creep into your personal life and anxiety, fear and anger can take root. When you’re already feeling stretched too thin, little things like minor criticisms, small setbacks or perceived slights can push you over the edge. This can easily lead to outbursts in which you say something you regret, breaking down in front of coworkers, or turning your negative feelings inward.
Perpetual stress can lead to—or exacerbate—depressive feelings. Depression is a difficult cycle because part of the condition traps you in place, feeling hopeless and demoralized. However, there are a number of ways to treat depression, from medication to therapy to lifestyle changes. If you think you are experiencing any symptoms of depression, speak with your doctor to determine a treatment plan that is right for you.
Thinking negative thoughts about yourself will ultimately leave a negative impact on your body. Magnifying problems, anticipating the worst, ruthless self-criticism and a negative worldview have been linked to a lowered immune system, depression and difficulty coping with stressful situations. Self-image is so important that our health retreats focus not just on improving your body, but also improving your outlook. We believe that both are deeply intertwined. Frequent exercise and a healthy diet will only take you so far–your mental state provides the wind in your sails.
Personal well-being is not a given. Like a garden, it must be tended to and cared for in order to thrive. Though it can be a challenge to manage during the hectic day-to-day, there’s no better time than right now to shift your focus back to all the aspects of yourself that you have been neglecting.