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Wellnication (Wellness and Communication-Pt.2)

I read an article the other day that stated that sleep deprivation had taken over from alcohol as the #1 killer on our highways. For a time the health focus was on the nations cholesterol problem, then high blood pressure, obesity in our children, cancer due to cigarette smoking and second hand smoke, now it's sleep deprivation. Maybe someday our focus will switch from health problems to problem prevention!

We need to go back to the basics, to Maslow and his Hierarchy of Needs. If we are going to feel good and healthy, then we need to make sure we are eating properly, exercising, getting enough sleep, making positive contact with others, and managing our stress levels. We need to manage our lives like we are in training, like an all-star athlete approaching the big game (Life). We need to determine the Plan and then rep. (repetition) the Plan.

We need to work the Holistic Muscle (physical, intellectual, spiritual, emotional, social, and work) in a balanced fashion, repeatedly, until it responds more easily. I wouldn't say automatically because without conscious commitment to healthier choices, it is so easy to revert back to old unproductive ways (see article: Relationships and Wellness, D. Rosin). There is a saying, "Use it or lose it" and I believe that holds true for the Holistic Muscle as well. Without repetitive practise of a new behaviour any positive change that might have occurred can very quickly be forgotten and old (normal) ways of doing life will return.

We need to identify those positive practices and then repeat them! We need to identify what it is we need (physical, intellectual, etc.) and then find the people, affirmations, and activities to support those needs. We can't just settle for what "falls in our laps" or leave our health to chance. We need to be discerning if we are to get and remain healthy and we need to be diligent about those choices--for a lifetime.

Now don't get all upset or alarmed that you have to do all this goal setting, planning, and finding all the right positive people stuff all the time and perfectly. Remember the Rosinian philosophy, "Life is merely a series of starting overs". After you fall off the horse, just get back on it tomorrow. Just get back to doing what you know you need to do to be healthy. Don't make a big deal about falling off or getting back on track---just do it!

What getting back on track means to me includes: exercising daily, taking time for relaxation and reflection, proper meal planning, surrounding yourself with positive people, appreciating your own efforts (at work, at home, and in the community), telling people you care about that you care about them and often, and being organized (doing what you need to do and remembering to credit yourself). Live life on purpose, create a Plan and practise it often.

A good Plan is specific and doable. To accomplish ones goals is both motivating (to continue) and self-esteem building. It is also uplifting to look back over a month (benefits of good record keeping) and see what you have accomplished on your own behalf.

In my book "I can have fun on a school night!" there is a concept entitled "Planned Spontaneity". This concept (an oxymoron) introduces the idea that 'spontaneous' and 'fun loving' may not be natural things for many people, it may require a Plan to get people to the activity and then they can have fun and be spontaneous. I am afraid that people just don't choose often enough to put themselves in fun places and all to often are focused primarily only on the work part of their lives.

Without a Plan you are vulnerable, it is too easy to revert back to previous patterns, which are all too often unhealthy and don't support a balanced lifestyle. By seeing the what, the when, and the where -the Plan, on a daily basis, you have a considerably better chance of doing that which you know needs to be done and is good for you. By purchasing the "uniform" (tennis shoes, racket, gym membership, and a contract to do a routine with a friend) there is additional motivation to follow through with your Plan.

Setting reasonable goals (small and doable), within a realistic time framework, is strongly recommended when looking at "change". Robert Penfield in his studies on brain stimulation found that it took somewhere in the area of 30 consecutive days of repeated stimulation to change one neuron pathway in the brain. So, plan to go slow-but go! Go specifically and repeatedly, and keep copious notes to remind yourself that you are "on track".