What's in your wellness wallet? Perhaps, like many people, you think your wallet's empty, and berate yourself for all the good things you think you should, but don't, do to maintain your health and well-being.
That's why I call it your secret wellness program; it's a secret you keep from yourself.
Get ready for the unveiling.
While you're probably right that you don't have the ultimate-perfect-ideal-and-totally-impossible-given-the-details-of-your-life wellness program that some screwy part of your mind tells you is necessary to make a difference, I bet if you take a look, you'll find you do more good things for yourself than you realize.
Let's make this very easy. I'll mention some categories and ask a few questions to get you started. You take a minute to make note of how you support yourself in each area.
Before you know it, you will have identified the healthful supports you already have in place — your secret wellness program — and you'll feel more empowered in your self-care.
Your personal wellness program
What, when and how do you eat?
What food do you prepare yourself?
When do you eat fresh food?
What beverages do you enjoy that don't contain sugar or artificial sweeteners?
How often do you share a meal with family or friends?
When and how do you move your body?
Do you stretch before getting out of bed?
Dance your way to the shower?
Walk up a flight of stairs (or two) instead of taking the elevator?
Stroll down your street after dinner?
How do you receive and give social nourishment?
With whom do you enjoy spending time?
How often do you have face time with that person?
Who comes to mind when you need support?
How do you nourish that relationship?
To what do you aspire?
In what ways do you enjoy pushing yourself?
Are you reasonable about challenge, or do you easily become self-critical and defeatist?
Are you a relentless whole-hogger, or can you back off a little and still enjoy the activity?
Do you give yourself breaks during your work period?
How does your physical environment support and delight you?
What's your favorite place in your home?
When you open your eyes each morning, what do you see?
Which is closer to your bed, your yoga mat or your computer?
What do you do just because you enjoy it?
When was the last time you engaged in a pleasurable activity?
Does this activity have a regular place in your schedule?
How do you engage with your inner life?
When do you give yourself moments of silence and stillness?
Do you spend time in nature?
Who or what inspires you?
Where do you find meaning?
A Holistic Perspective
Congratulate yourself for what you have already in place. Taking care of ourselves in today's world is an accomplishment to be applauded.
Rather than judging any one element — or yourself — harshly, look for overall balance.
EXAMPLE: generally speaking, standing while eating isn't good form, but if you've been sitting and sedentary the rest of the day, maybe it's not so bad.
Notice what areas of your no-longer-secret wellness program you'd like to strengthen. Scale down your expectations and think of small, very doable adjustments.
EXAMPLE: instead of berating yourself for not meditating regularly, pause to sit quietly for a few moments before lying down to sleep each night.
EXAMPLE: if you want more physical activity, instead of taking a parking space in front of the store, park where you can walk a bit.
Decide to stop chasing out-sized, unattainable goals and shift your attention to the little things you can do; then do them. It's the little choices that matter.
Pamela Miles is an integrative medicine consultant and Reiki Master who has worked in natural health for 45 years and has pioneered the use of Reiki practice in conventional medicine. http://