Wellness Thursday – It’s About More Than Just Fitness

Fitness, Health and Wellness

I’ve been doing this health and wellness thing on Thursdays for a long time, although I haven’t always called it that. Most of the time I’ve nattered on about this benefit or that, which came about as a result of vigorous, regular exercise.

Today? Something a little different, because wellness is about so much more than physical fitness.

I’m in good shape. Hell, my Fitbit even condescends to tell me I’m in excellent condition, for a man my age. I do love that qualifier, “For men your age.” I’ve worked fit men ½ my age into the ground. I’m not in excellent shape for a man my age, I’m in excellent shape. Period. Full stop.

But, as I said above, wellness is about more than physical fitness.

I’ve been having a lousy day. I’m on vacation this week, and with no work to do, I’m supposed to be

  • Doing research interviews for an online course I’m developing.
  • Uploading more content to my mobile app.
  • Doing more prep for my upcoming podcast.
  • Getting new graphics for this little site (and my app, and my podcast, and my course).

What I’m actually doing is

  • lounging around,
  • chatting with the neighbours
  • keeping an eye on my boys schoolwork (even though they don’t need supervision)
  • drinking coffee and
  • generally frittering away the day.

I simply don’t have the energy or will to push myself today. I knew from the moment I got out of bed this morning that it was going to be a wasted day. I knew I wasn’t going to get to any of the big stuff on my to do list, but I’m supposedly all about wellness, so I set out to clear the decks of some of the small stuff.

Think of it like dieting and cheat days. The low carb guys know that if you try to never eat another carb as long as you live, eventually you’ll break down and binge on the damn things. When that happens, because it’s a breakdown, you pay a mental and emotional price, and it can even wind up with you going off the diet permanently.

So they plan for it by having cheat days where they allow themselves to break the rules. That was today for me.

Since I knew I wasn’t getting to the big things, I allowed myself a cheat day, a day of uselessness on the big things while still getting some small stuff done. This way I gave myself a couple of the little wins I talked about in learning to succeed.

It Worked

And it worked. I still got some background (small) stuff done. I still got something written and published, keeping this streak alive. I got through another couple modules of a time management course, and because I gave myself permission to cheat, plus some little wins, I’m not falling into the valley of despair that leads to overwhelm, which leads to quitting.

Which was the point of all of this, my mental wellbeing. Your physical and mental wellbeing are intimately tied together. When they’re out of whack and you work on fixing one of them, it drags the other along with it. Conversely, when one goes out of whack, it takes the other with it.

Today I spent the day ensuring my mental wellbeing was good, so tomorrow I can get back in the swing of things.

Do you feel overwhelmed? Is there too much on your to do list? Are you down on yourself for getting behind? Give yourself a break and tend to your emotional wellbeing. The rest can wait a day, and will follow along.