What's in Your Wellness Toolkit?
Toolkits are a part of life – we have one in the trunk of our car, one in the house, and one in my husband’s work shop so when a need arises, we are prepared. Here’s a suggestion for another kind of took kit just for wellness. Tools are the habits, products and self-kindness practices that improve the quality of our life. They support us and keep us grounded, anchoring our body, mind and spirit. These are the tools we go to when we want to improve or maintain our wellness and, since we each have our own unique bodies, each person’s toolkit will be different and change over time. With the right tools we can improve our well-being any time we want.
To get our ideas flowing it can be helpful to see what other people have in their toolkits. A few of my favorite tools are quiet time, practicing gratitude, deep breathing, spiritual resources (inspirational reading, prayer, meditation) time away from my phone, reading historical novels and true stories, kayaking, soup making, time with loved ones, having a good belly laugh, and nature walks. I have one friend that renews herself by cooking up a feast, another makes artistic quilts and another enjoys knitting. When we’re stressed in any way doing something calming is healthy self-care. It helps to make a list of what nourishes us and keep it close by for easy reference. If our tool lists make us feel positive, renewed, and hopeful then we have what we need.
Here are suggestions others have shared. Journaling thoughts, feelings and dreams can be therapeutic. The right kind of music, whether we’re listening or making our own, will release tension and restore peace. Another tool is living mindfully which means focusing on the present moment instead of living on autopilot. Taking care of our bodies with good nutrition and appropriate activity belongs in our toolkit. So is being around people who are supportive and make us feel good about ourself. Clothing psychology tells us to wear something that makes us feel good when we need a boost. The tool of spiritual practices often opens us to see new choices and the gifts difficult situations can contain. This is centering and soothing.
Some of us do crossword puzzles or sudoku, play with a pet or rock an infant. Others of us benefit from looking at pictures of people we love who live away from us or focusing on the beauty of a fresh flower. Taking a warm bath or shower is relaxing. More tool suggestions are fishing, gardening, photography, or any hobby that relaxes us. Taking a break from social media is essential for peace of mind so this is worth considering. One tool we all need is getting enough sleep.
When we set our priorities so we’re clear about what we can realistically do in one day, and feel compassion for ourself at the end of the day, we’re into healthy self-care and have added an important tool to our kit. Our tools help us build resilience, manage stress, build a support system and cope with change. Our toolboxes will be as varied as we are and will change with circumstances, but their usefulness will remain. Let’s carefully select what works for us and enjoy the benefits of each tool we choose. What’s in your toolkit today?
Until Next Time – Sylvia