Among many Americans' busy lives, sometimes it can get overwhelming, and you can lose track of the things that should be important to you, including yourself. When you finally become overwhelmed by all the projects and people you’ve given bits of yourself away to, you are left to wonder if you should be taking more time to focus on yourself. The answer to that thought is: yes, you deserve to focus on yourself.
Sit down, take a moment for yourself, and think about the things that are bringing stress into your life. Ask yourself this: How many of these things can I control?
While some people have access to healthcare and health insurance, sometimes insurance premiums and health care costs can be a bit high. Why not take matters of your health that you can control into your own hands? This is where a wellness plan can come into play.
Often, the things that are negatively affecting you are beyond your control, and learning how to cope with this and how to put your own needs in front of others can be rewarding in many different ways.
For what is in your control, you can take the time to focus on and tackle them headfirst. For many, an easy way to figure out what they need to change to make their lives better, easier, and healthier is to develop a health plan that identifies goals that promote an individual’s overall wellness.
What Is a Wellness Plan?
A wellness plan is an action plan that you create that focuses on achieving your specific needs in regards to several different sections of your life, like physical, mental, environmental, emotional, and financial wellness. A wellness plan can help you set goals with the health information you have on hand, identify boundaries you need to make, and carve out well-needed time to focus on yourself.
Your overall wellness is not determined by just one or two aspects of your life, and your wellness plan will show this. Your wellness plan can incorporate everything from physical to financial wellness, and you get to decide what you want to put even more emphasis on when you are planning it out.
Your wellness plan goals can vary depending on your medical history and any health risks you may have. For example, if your primary goal is weight loss, then your wellness plan may look different from someone looking to quit smoking.
Writing things down and creating goals on paper is the first step towards accountability when fulfilling the needs you create in your plan.
Thinking about how you could better your life is merely a thought, but writing it down solidifies that it’s something you are serious about. Breaking your goals down into action items can make them more attainable and make you feel more accomplished as you check those boxes off!
Benefits of a Wellness Plan
When you create yourself a wellness plan, you outline the goals you have and the needs you require to be met. In some ways, creating a wellness plan is like setting boundaries, as you are finally outlining how you will take better care of yourself. Becoming serious about yourself can be nauseating; it means you often have to face harsh realities and come to terms with them.
To make your health plan more enjoyable, you can add incentives for participation. Basically, you'll be giving yourself rewards for sticking to the plan over time.
When you create a wellness plan, you only need a bit of time, some moderate to intense planning, and dedication to improving yourself—your physical wellness, your mental health, and a whole lot more.
Seeing Your Goals in Motion
One benefit of creating a written wellness plan for yourself is that you are able to plan and track the progress of your goals. This leads to more accountability in moving forward with your goals and identifying roadblocks that might be causing some back-up with your progress.
Outlining the steps you need to take to accomplish a goal makes it easier to process. Plus, breaking down these goals into steps makes it easier to see your progress towards achieving those goals.
Focusing on It All
Another benefit of creating a wellness plan is that you can focus on all aspects of your life. This isn’t like setting a few New Years Resolutions; you take the major step to gain better control over your happiness and health. Because that’s what wellness comes down to: Are you feeling good about yourself, where you are in life, and where you are headed?
If you answered no to any of those things, you might want to try to sit down and create your wellness plan. Don’t know where to start? We’ve got you covered!
What Aspects To Focus On
Many factors will impact your overall wellness, and that’s why putting all your goals into one plan can be beneficial in keeping track of it all.
There are many different aspects that you could focus on when crafting your wellness plan, and we recommend adding most of them in, but some of the most common ones to include are the following:
Your physical wellness includes your medical health, physical activity levels, how well you sleep at night, your nutritional habits, and your recreational activities. You want to tune in to how you feel, think about the parts of you that feel unwell, and consider how your activities impact your physical well-being.
If you are looking to get active, it might be good to look into gym memberships. If weightlifting isn't your thing, there are alternatives to getting active such as yoga, boxing, dancing, pilates and more. Regardless of the physical activity, each comes with health benefits.
Your physical well-being is heavily impacted by what you are consuming and how you are taking care of your body. If you aren’t feeling your best, you won’t function at your best. Assessing where you could make lifestyle changes that impact your physical health is one of the most important aspects of your wellness plan.
Nutrition is a big part of physical wellness, and there are ways to learn about taking care of yourself better. You don’t have to do this on your own; there are people out there that can provide you with these answers, like Vessel Health. Vessel is like your own mini-wellness plan that gives you health strategies to help improve your overall health.
Your physical wellbeing can be a major factor in how other aspects of your life impact you. Those who aren’t feeling their best might not be able to work, which could cause stress to their finances and professional well-being.
Everything is intertwined, which is why it’s important to focus on as many aspects of your well-being as you can!
Your mental wellness focuses on how you deal with stress and manage your emotions. Learning to cope and understand how to deal with emotions properly can be extremely important in achieving your goals. Your mental wellness will affect your well-being, so it’s essential to implement steps towards taking care of your mental health.
You know what’s going on inside of your brain best, and it can be difficult to come to terms with roadblocks that you may be experiencing. Your personal wellness plan is exactly that—personal.
It’s between you and the paper, so be vulnerable and don’t be ashamed to lay all your cards on the table. It can feel like it takes leaps and bounds to improve your mental wellness, but that’s because you are doing the work entirely on your own.
Emotional wellness goes hand-in-hand with mental wellness. While mental wellness often focuses on the state of being in and how you cope with obstacles, emotional wellness is more in tune with how you feel about yourself and the circumstances you are in. This aspect focuses on self-esteem, your feelings and personal thoughts, how you feel about your relationships, and your acceptance of it all.
Your emotional wellness can also be impacted by how others around you treat you. If you aren’t satisfied or aren’t being treated right, you may benefit from assessing how these situations impact you. Wellness plans give you a space to do this privately.
At some point, you get to a point in your life where you may no longer be taking classes or advancing in your education, and that might leave you feeling a little lost. Most of our lives are spent in the education system, so transitioning out of that can be a little confusing! Including intellectual stimulation into your wellness plans ensures that you allocate time to consider your hobbies and what interests you.
This can be learning a new language, reading, working on puzzles, or listening to informational podcasts, anything that keeps you stimulated.
Your intellectual wellness also focuses on your ability to think analytically, and problem solve. If you have trouble managing your time or meeting deadlines, you might need to think about creating a plan to become more functional. Being able to find solutions is a great skill to have!
When we are talking about financial wellness, we are discussing your financial stability. Financial stability can have a heavy impact on your overall wellness.
Many factors can impact your financial stability, like your ability to have a job, where you are living, do you have student or credit card debt, the list could go on and on. Getting your finances in order will help you plan for your future, so including it in your wellness plan is necessary.
Including professional wellness in your wellness plan will help you identify your career goals and assess if you are truly happy and benefit from where you currently work. Your professional wellness is important because work can take up to 40 hours (and sometimes even more) of your week every week!
Feeling confident and happy in the professional aspect of your life will assist you in having better mental and environmental wellness levels because it all is interconnected. Who you spend your time with, how you spend it, and where you spend it will impact your overall wellness, especially if you are not happy about your life.
Lastly, you want to include environmental wellness into your wellness plan. How you feel inside your own space, workspaces, public spaces, and around certain people will either benefit you or bring you down.
You want the energy around you to be positive, and you have control in making that happen. You get to choose who you want around and where you spend your time, so don’t settle in the name of other people’s comfort.
This is where the wellness plan can come in handy. You can write down the changes that you need to implement to feel better about your spaces and work towards meeting those goals. Changing your environment can be a huge process, but breaking it down in steps makes it manageable.
Implementing a Wellness Plan
Each aspect that you include in your wellness plan will need to be well thought out. This makes it easier to implement. If you have laid it out for yourself, all you have to do is follow the steps you created. Below we have laid out a few questions that you can ask yourself to implement into your wellness plan to set goals and reach them!
Tips To Stay Focused
Improving each aspect we listed above relies on asking yourself hard questions to achieve your goals.
If you’re stuck on where to start, here are some ideas:
- You can begin by talking to a physician and getting a professional opinion on how to improve your health.
- Write down how you are active daily.
- Go on more walks and stretch every morning.
- Are you drinking enough water?
- Track your macronutrients and plan out what you will eat for a few days in advance to maximize your ability to create healthy and energizing meals.
- Eat more vegetables, fruits and whole-grain foods.
- Carve out time each day for yourself to relax and unwind.
- Try out different methods of relaxation and find one that works for you to lower stress and anxiety.
- Seek out a therapist if you are able.
- Reframe negative thoughts and work on thinking through events.
- Spend time journaling or writing down your feelings.
- Identify the source of your emotions and think through your reaction.
- Make sure that you take time to validate your feelings, go on a walk or do some meditation to collect yourself.
- Find a support group or confide in a trusted source.
- Find new hobbies that stimulate you.
- Read more books and articles.
- Engage in thoughtful yet healthy conversations with others.
- Spend time learning new things about the world, your community, or your friends.
- Write down your financial goals.
- Set up a realistic budget for yourself.
- Come up with guidelines for purchases and investments.
- Take a few days to think about big purchases before making a decision.
Write down some career goals:
- Where do you want to be in six months? Two years? Five years?
- What is it that you love to do? Figure this out, and then come up with careers that could fit into what you want.
- What were your dream jobs when you were a kid?
- How does your work make you feel?
- Assess your surroundings and write down which parts make you happy and which make you feel unhappy.
- Spend more time making your home environment your oasis.
- Think about what your ideal environment would be and create mini-goals to achieve that.
The purpose of a wellness plan is to create a space for you to gather all your things and try to figure them out. It allows you to consolidate all your goals, thoughts, and passions into one space to dedicate more time to the things you want in life.
Wellness plans encompass all aspects of your life that influence how you feel overall and are a great way to stay focused and motivated.
Consider Vessel to be one of your resources when it comes to health and wellness guidance if you want to get a jump start on your wellness plan and start implementing healthy behaviors into your lifestyle.
Don’t worry if you need to change your wellness plan as your life changes and new challenges arise. Change is good, and it means you are making progress!