Quite often we are not in great shape when we leave the Mothership. The process has left us a bit ragged, stressed and unsettled, a bit all over the place emotionally and mentally. We’ve let our fitness decline as we were too tired for the gym sessions and we didn’t have time for sport at the weekends. We’re knackered, to be honest.
A couple of weeks of taking it easy and licking our wounds and we start to feel a bit stronger and livelier but now we have an opportunity to make some changes for the better. Our agenda is not being controlled by someone else, our priorities are no longer handed down to us. Now is the time to think about making health and wellbeing a priority and set our routine accordingly.
Mostly people think about physical health. We commit to go to the gym, perhaps engage a personal trainer or join a class. Or we take up a sport again and join a club or a group so that we start playing regularly. This is great but we need to tend to all four aspects of our health, the mental, emotional and spiritual as well.
In the same way that you put physical exercise in your schedule, you must add exercise and routines to address these other aspects of health. Similarly, there are many different approaches and you need to try some out and find the ones that work for you.
I’ll talk about these in more depth in future blogs and share my own experiences of what has worked. I do believe that physical health, exercise and diet, is key and it is the place to start because it is something we are familiar with. However, it is not enough on it’s own and failure to attend to the other three aspects can cause you to slide into inactivity again. It’s tough to keep up your fitness regime and keep off the comfort food if you are feeling depressed or upset, for example.
This holistic view of health is not one that I was really familiar with when I left the Mothership. In fact, I knew very little about mental, emotional and spiritual health and I certainly didn’t think they had much to do with me. (The voice in my head said something like “pull yourself together, stop blubbing and go to church” as a solution to all three). What I know now is that each aspect impacts on the others and you need to create a virtuous circle where they reinforce each other. If you don’t it can all too easily start to work the other way around and lead you into a downward spiral.
The process you have to go through takes a lot of energy and you need to be as fit and healthy as you can be to give it your best shot.