Personal wellness is something that is often considered a luxury. However, the older I get, the more I realize it is a necessity. Earlier this year, I had a scare with my blood pressure that sent me to the emergency room. After multiple tests and a follow-up with a cardiologist, I was diagnosed with stress and anxiety. On a side note, my elevated blood pressure is something inherited that will most likely result in medication for the rest of my life.
Stress which often leads to anxiety can cause a host of issues if not addressed. When my episode happened, I had several heart attack symptoms (chest/neck/arm pain, elevated blood pressure, racing heart, etc.). It was scary, especially since I’ve always been in good health. It forced me to stop, slow down and make health and personal wellness a priority.
There are so many ways we can combat stress and anxiety without medication. With that being said, I personally believe medication can help and is often needed in conjunction with personal wellness. Here are a few strategies to consider for personal wellness:
- Exercise – Don’t get me wrong, I will never be a marathon runner or someone who visits the gym daily. I do, however, love a brisk walk at the park and do my best to get there at least 4 times a week. I have also been trying yoga, PiYo, HIIT, and other workouts; I typically aim for 20-30 minutes of one of these two or three times per week. Check out this article from Mayo Clinic about the benefits of exercise to reduce stress: Exercise and stress: Get moving to manage stress.
- Meditation – This is different for everyone. I actually have meditation playlists that I listen to when I need to relax a bit; I even do it in my car sometimes. It has a calming effect for me. Personally, I also incorporate prayer and devotion often.
- Listening to Podcasts – I do this while walking. Most everything I listen to has some type of personal development component. Some of my current favorites are: The Next Right Thing, Cultivate with Kelly Minter, and Money Tip Monday. These are all available on Spotify.
- Massage – This one is another former “luxury” that I now consider a necessity. I do my best to schedule a massage once a month. It helps with so many things! Read about the benefits of massage here: How Massage Can Help Treat & Eliminate Anxiety.
- Talk to someone (Cognitive Behavior Therapy) – Seeing a counselor is a great way to reduce anxiety. I have not tried this yet, but my cardiologist and others have recommended this as a tool to reduce stress/anxiety. It allows you to talk to a neutral party, about anything. Check out 8 Benefits of Cognitive Behavior Therapy According to Science.
As a write the blog, I am counting down the days to my sabbatical. It begins in about 3 weeks. I’m looking forward to some downtime to focus on personal wellness. Read more about our team’s plans for sabbaticals here: Taking a Walkabout.