Are ‘health’ and ‘wellbeing’ actually the same thing?
Wed,Feb 04, 2015 at 10:13AM by Janet Schloss
How to achieve a balance of health and wellbeing in your life
Health and wellbeing are commonly confused as being the same thing, but in reality they are quite different. There are things you do for your health that you may not feel are good for your wellbeing. For example, you need to go to the dentist to have your teeth cleaned and checked but, if you are like me, the dentist is not a place you like to go, so it’s not good for my wellbeing as it causes me anxiety. Alternatively, drinking lots of alcohol, eating rich foods with friends at a party may be good for your wellbeing as it makes you feel good at the time but is not good for your health – as I’m sure you can attest to the next day!
So to achieve a good balance we need to get health and wellbeing to shake hands. How do we put this into practise? Sometimes it will involve compromise, as you may not like exercise but know its good for your health and you feel good afterwards. There are a number of things you can focus on to help you in reaching a good healthy balance, the top two of course being diet and exercise.
// Eat a healthy balanced diet that consists of lots of vegetables, 2-3 fruits a day, moderate amount of protein, low to moderate amounts of carbohydrates, good fats, small amount of dairy products etc.
// Protein: keep animal products to a minimum. e.g. red meat 1-2 times a week, chicken 2-3 times a week (no skin), fish 2-3 times a week. Keep portion sizes low such as 100-150g per portion rather than the Australian big rump steak that can be 300g+.
// Consume vegetarian protein such as legumes, nuts, seeds, some vegetables and grains.
// Carbohydrates: consume low to moderate amounts of whole grains such as oats, quinoa, rye, spelt, brown rice. Include legumes and vegetables etc. Keep white processed foods to a minimum or avoid.
// Limit alcohol and avoid or limit fruit juices, soft drink, lollies, biscuits, cakes etc.
// Eat a whole food diet rather than consume processed foods. How? Consume foods as close to their natural form as possible. Avoid foods that come in a box with lots of numbers.
// Drink water every day!
// Cook foods that you enjoy. Find ways that you can cook or prepare foods that you don’t like as much, but know are good for you in ways that appeal to you.
// Eat healthy meals – with family and friends – on a regular basis.
// Find a few exercises that you enjoy or are willing to do.
// If you don’t really like exercise, find something you don’t mind doing and just do it for 10-15 mins. It’s still exercise!
// Try some form of activity within your limits at least 3 times a week. If you are limited in your ability to exercise, it may be walking to your mailbox and back. Aim for just one step at a time.
// Increase accidental exercise, e.g. parking a little further at the shops, or walking up the stairs instead of taking the elevator.
// “Just turn up”. Sometimes the motivation is harder than the exercise. All you need to do is just turn up and do what you can.
Additional ways to help achieve balanced health and wellbeing
// Get adequate amounts of sleep.
// Manage your stress.
// Get regular health checks, including the dentist.
// Do at least one thing you enjoy every day.
// Have dreams and put steps in place to achieve them.
// When you don’t feel like smiling, just smile at someone else, it may make his or her day as well as yours.
// Be grateful each day for at least one thing.
// Tell someone something nice about them each day, e.g. that dress really suits you.
// Breathe, get up each morning, and embrace your day.
// Practise kindness, compassion and patience.
// Speak to yourself and others how you would like to be spoken to, or how you would to a sick child.
We are given one body in this life and we all need to look after it as best we can. We are all different shapes, sizes, colour and gender but we are all human. Look after yourself and enjoy life every day!
Dr Janet Schloss is a naturopath and nutritionist in Brisbane who has been in private practice for over 15 years. Janet completed her doctorate at the School of Medicine in the University of Queensland through the Princess Alexandra Hospital. She has also lectured in naturopathy at the Endeavour College and has recently returned there. Find out more about Janet Schloss.