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Wellnication (Wellness and Communication-Pt.1)

"So, you would like to communicate better with your partner?" The person across from me answers "yes!"

"You would like to have more energy to better be able to do more things and enjoy them more fully, with your partner?" "Yes!"

"You would like to be more up, more enthusiastic about the house, your kids, your neighbourhood, your in-laws?" "Yes!"

They have come to improve, possibly even to save their marriage; we are in my office and I continue:
"It is understandable that you would want these things (more energy and enthusiasm, improved communication), who wouldn't? But are you ready to accept the need for change, to accept the responsibility for making things happen, for creating a positive lifestyle that will, hopefully, allow you to get at the root causes of your lack of energy, lack of enthusiasm and the poor communication with your partner?"
"The answer is always the same, "Ah, ah, sure!"

When you are run down and continually ignore your physical health, eventually it becomes a real struggle, first for your body and then for your mind. To focus on the issues of daily living, including communication becomes extremely difficult. Poor eating habits, irregular or no exercise, sleep deprivation, and a work-only focus in life eventually will lead to a run-down person who has little capacity left for caring about self or others. You need energy to be enthusiastic, to be focused, to feel joyous, to even want to have things better with a partner. A balanced lifestyle can have a profound effect on a persons' decision to seek change and improve a relationship through better communication. For many, being healthy and living a healthy lifestyle is not an automatic thing to do, enter Holistic Theory, enter Structure, enter the Health Plan.

The best thing about a Health Plan is that it is hard to ignore, it's in your face, a daily reminder about what you need to do to be healthy and to get you feeling positive about your life.

A Health Plan takes the theory of what good health is all about and adds it to what we deem is good for us and what we need to do to achieve balance and good feelings. Thus the Plan identifies specific activities that will help us to reach these goals of health and balance, specific goals and activities that are doable (within our capabilities) with a progressive time line (slowly building up).

"Do as I say not as I do!" is a saying I heard a great deal in my youth. This saying reminds me of when you're asked, "What do you value most?" and you answer family, relationships, and health. Then you go out and overwork and spend little time with your friends and family, over eat and have no time for exercise. We have values, but it seems we are prepared to abandon them quite readily for the fast paced, sleep deprived, "Do more with less" kind of existence offered and expected by society today. As a result, we have no energy left at the end of the workday for self or partner. We believe in self-care and relationships but our behaviour doesn't always match that belief. "I'll start next week" just doesn't cut it. Wanting to do something isn't enough-- we need action. We need discipline, we need structure, we need a Plan.

If we are to bring about the necessary changes in ourselves, to be healthier and take better care of ourselves, we need to develop positive behaviours and do those behaviours repeatedly so they become a part of our routine, a part of who we are. We need a Plan with specific doable goals, Time Lines, Outcomes, Evaluation methods, and Contracts (with specific criterion) with people who will help us to stay "on track". We need a direction, specifics for getting there, and a commitment to follow through. Even then we will be challenged to find the time and energy to "make it happen".