The Five F's of Wellness
My Wellness Resolutions for 2021
So often, the word "wellness" becomes synonymous with a healthy weight. To me, however, wellness encompasses so much more. While nutritious food choices and an exercise regimen that work for you are important, I believe that wellness should also consider the mental and spiritual aspects of living. My wellness resolutions for 2021 aim to improve all areas of my life that I consider important. My "Five F's" of Wellness for 2021 are food, fun, faith, family, and fire.
One of my resolutions for 2021 is to pay more attention to the food I'm putting into my body. I have tried dieting in the past and have never stuck with it. After my dieting failures I am left feeling worse about myself for failing than I ever did about my weight! In 2021 my goal is to simply be more mindful of my eating habits. I am trying to add more healthy choices to my fridge and prominently display them on the upper shelves, rather than tucking them away into the vegetable drawer that I never seem to think about opening. From a psychological perspective, the foods that I see first are often the ones I'm most drawn to in the moment. Therefore, having a wide selection of fruits, vegetables, low fat dairy products, and whole grain food choices should hopefully entice me to eat those foods in the spur of the moment.
My wellness motto for 2021 is "fun with a purpose and purposeful fun." So often, my mind wrestles with wanting to complete purposeful activities (i.e., cleaning the house, doing dishes, folding laundry, exercising) but also wanting to have fun by watching tv, reading a book, or playing video games. I have found a way to incorporate the two into one activity. My purposeful activities no longer feel like a bore, and the fun I have is no longer purposeless. By melding the concepts into one activity, I can ensure that I am having fun with a purpose and purposeful fun.
TV/Dishes: My husband bought me a battery-operated radio/Bluetooth speaker for Christmas. It's a gift I didn't even realize I wanted, but it's a gift that keeps on giving. I can use it to listen to Air 1, a Christian radio station I like to listen to for spiritual growth and to help reset my mood. I also use the speaker and connect it via Bluetooth to my phone to watch movies or tv shows while doing dishes. I put my phone on the windowsill in front of me and have the speaker on the kitchen sideboard. Now, I look forward to doing dishes because it's a time when I get to watch what I want without kids dictating my viewing choices.
Sunday Afternoon Ritual: Sunday mornings are for church, but Sunday afternoons are for football and laundry. At the beginning of this football season, I started a new Sunday afternoon ritual. Because no one else in my house is interested in football, and I am highly invested in my fantasy football team (third place this year, so not bad for team Mama Bear!), I started going upstairs to our bedroom to watch football. One day, I decided to take up loads of laundry to fold on my bed, and soon it became my Sunday afternoon tradition. Even though football season is drawing to a close, I still plan on laundry and TV on Sunday afternoons. I have extensive wish lists of movies and shows on my streaming services, and I look forward to my purposeful yet fun Sunday afternoons (and a couple hours' respite from my kids, which I desperately need as a stay-at-home mom!)
Fun Exercise/Cleaning the House: This is the area where I have seen the biggest transformation in my level of excitement. I used to find exercising boring; now, I can't wait to exercise each day. I've found the perfect solution for making exercise fun, while simultaneously making it even more purposeful. My solution is called The Walk, an exercise app where you are the main character in an elaborate plot to save the world. As you walk, you unlock audio segments that reveal more of the story and give you motivation for continuing to walk (such as escaping enemies, making it to the next safe house, etc.). I used to feel like exercise took me away from my other responsibilities or left me feeling exhausted rather than rejuvenated. The Walk was the perfect solution, because it allows you to walk at your own pace. I like to take a slow, steady stroll throughout my house while also tidying up! I just carry my phone in one hand and dirty dishes, trash, and toys in the other. I have finished 28 out of 51 episodes, and I am just as invested in the storyline as I was at the beginning. I can't wait to exercise and clean the house each morning, because I can't wait to hear the newest plot twists and get my next walking "assignment." For a full review of The Walk, check out my article "How to Save the World By Walking."
This is an area of wellness where I already felt fairly strong, but the pandemic has helped strengthen my faith more than I could've imagined. I used to worry about little things that were beyond my control. Since the pandemic, however, I've learned to let go of things that are out of my control and to focus my energy on the things that I can control, such as my own wellness and my family. I plan to continue this newfound wisdom of "letting go" and having faith that things will turn out for the best.
This is another area where I already felt fulfilled. I am fortunate to be able to stay at home and homeschool our children. Homeschooling became our plan a couple years ago, so while a lot of people I know were either scrambling to find childcare for their children's remote learning days or buying last-minute homeschool curriculum, we were already well-prepared. My husband has early work days, which means he's usually home in the early afternoon. Our family time is another area where we were already blessed. I pray that my extensive time with my family, both in homeschooling my children and in time with my husband, continue throughout 2021.
Although I've always felt blessed to have a lot of time with my family, I also used to take it for granted. Being at home with kids all day is rewarding, but it is also demanding (and it has an annual salary of $0.) So often, my mind used to slip into self-pity and feeling like my "job" was unappreciated. This is another area where the pandemic has helped me change my mindset. Again, while I saw other families struggling to find child care or having to make the decision to cut their hours, we just continued to live our life. This is when my eyes were opened and I began to see myself as more than "just" a stay-at-home mom. I saw myself as the primary caregiver for my children. I saw myself as the one shaping their view of the world, a world that may seem messed up right now but that I can help them see as beautiful despite the chaos. I saw myself as fortunate to be able to escape the impossible choices other parents are having to make right now. I saw myself as not "just" a mother, but as the mother that was chosen to raise these specific kids. My family is my world, and I finally feel like my job is the most important one I've ever had and ever will.
Although I've already been making positive changes in my wellness routines and feel confident in my mental and spiritual well-being, the biggest area where I still need improvement is stoking my internal fire. By this, I mean fueling my passions. For too long, I've put my writing career on the back burner. I have always felt that because writing isn't guaranteed money, it is just a waste of valuable time that I could be spending on other ventures. Sure, I write here and there, but it's not at the same pace or intensity as it used to be. When I sit down and just start, the words come spilling out. Too often, however, I find the sitting down and getting started to be the hardest step! My resolution for 2021 is to regularly devote time to writing. My goal is also to start pursuing other areas of interest. Although my job as a stay-at-home mother is very near and dear to my heart, I can't let it be the only thing that defines me. I can be 100% devoted to my family while also being 100% devoted to myself and to my passions.
I feel I have come a long way since the person I was at the beginning of 2020. Partly due to the pandemic, and partly due to my own self-discoveries, I have made great strides toward loving and accepting the woman, the wife, and the mother that I am. I have a newfound appreciation for the work I do and a new attitude towards how I handle my anxiety. I have learned to let go and let God, which has been essential in navigating this world of chaos. While I finally feel like I have my mental and spiritual health under control, I still need to make positive changes in my physical health. My goals are to shop for and prominently display healthier food choices. I plan to continue The Walk to improve my heart health. I will also continue to celebrate the mundane by making fun purposeful. Lastly, I will focus on my passions and find the motivation to fuel my fire. In 2021, my goal is to let the Five F's of wellness guide and motivate me in my daily life. I will be mindful of the food I eat, I will have "fun with a purpose and purposeful fun," I will let faith be my daily compass, I will appreciate my abundance of family time, and I will constantly stoke the flames of my passions so that the embers never die out.
About the author
Malia is a stay-at-home mom with a passion for writing. Her novel, Saving Eve, and her children's book, The Christmas Spirit, are both available on Amazon. She enjoys writing in a variety of genres and sharing her imagination with others.