Like many my age, health was nowhere near the top of my priorities list. Being a full-time student who works as much as possible I would have plenty of excuses as to why I can’t work out or why I just need to veg the whole weekend. These excuses sometimes are warranted, but not as much as I would use them.
I would watch what I eat and aim to park at the back of the parking lot each day, but that’s not enough. On top of it, I haven't been to my GP since I started college almost four years ago!
So what sparked my sudden interest in taking care of my health? My wellness journey, if you will, started over a year ago. At the time my mother was diagnosed with many health conditions and diseases that she, in her early 50s, will have to live with forever. Shortly after, my father was diagnosed with some less serious health issues, but still chronic.
As one who’s never been a fan of visiting the doctor even when I’m sick let alone healthy, I felt like I was staring into a future full of two, sometimes three doctors appointments a week. I felt like I was staring into a future full of medicines and tests. I saw how quickly my parents’ health declined and it honestly scared me. That on top of some chronic back and hip problems I have, that was so bad at times it was excruciating to even sit, I knew that I had to do something now in my early 20s to at least prevent these health conditions later on in life.
I knew that if I wanted to get healthy it needed to be a mind, body, and soul type of deal. I know how terribly cliche that sounds, but just bear with me for a bit. Since my mind was probably the least healthy out of them all, I knew that’s where I needed to start.
Years of stress and a lifetime of anxiety has led my mind down a dark path at times. But I couldn’t complain all that much as I am trying to be a horror writer. The dark side of my brain does come in handy with that. All joking aside though, I knew that if my mind wasn’t well I wouldn’t be able to dedicate the time needed to get healthy.
So what did I do? I started meditating again. All throughout high school and at the start of college I would religiously meditate. Again, life, work, and school got in the way and meditation slowly started to slip down the list of importance.
I now make it a point to meditate at least two, if not three or four times a week. Most often this happens at night. If not at night, I do a quick meditation as soon as I wake up. Having this time to clear my mind of the negative energies that weigh us down has allowed me to wake up faster and easier, get a more restful sleep, have more energy throughout the day, and has let me endure more short-term stressors since I know it will usually melt away at the end of the day.
Next up on my journey was the body part of it. Working out to me was always as hard as finding a good book to read. I have such a short attention span so I need something that will captivate me long enough to get a workout in plus a workout every day. After months of trying different programs, I finally found one that is perfect for me.
One of the best parts about exercising is that I always have an hour every night or every morning dedicated just to me. It’s not time to stress about what needs to be done; it’s not time for others to bombard me with their stresses either (which is totally normal this time in the semester).
At first it was hard. I even tried to make my excuses again. After a couple weeks, I was able to enjoy this time. The benefits so far of this body health is that the pain in my back and hips are practically gone after six years of pain! I have more energy throughout the day, I feel more alert, and I walk and look more confident.
Next up is my soul journey. I’ve started a bit of this with the medication and the me-time, but I know this will by far be the hardest for me. For right now at least, I can say that I am on the track to an overall wellbeing.
My advice to everyone is to start your own journey. It may be hard at first, but the benefits of having an overall well being outweighs the cons that occur during the transition.