“When women take care of their health they become their own best friend.”
– Maya Angelou
Health and wellness are comprised of physical, emotional, intellectual, interpersonal, and spiritual components. To be healthy indicates there is no disease or illness.
The pressure to cultivate the best version of yourself and keeping all these components in check is a lot, but if you gradually make small changes and don’t get overwhelmed, you will reach success. It is not selfish to take care of yourself and invest in your wellbeing. When a woman takes care of her health, she can take better care of those around her.
How do we maintain a consistent status of good health? I have found the best way is to combine the physical, emotional, and interpersonal components. The intellectual and spiritual complement the first set.
I am a fitness enthusiast and I work hard to maintain relationships. I often combine the two together. When we can get together with friends and talk and share experiences, we create stronger connections that allow the friendship to grow. The physical and interpersonal aspects get checked off with an emotional component too.
Over a decade ago, I was going in a different direction as far as my health was concerned. I had been diagnosed with endometriosis, PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome), I was nearly a diabetic, and I was depressed. I took medications for those ailments and I thought I would be a slave to the drug store for life. This was super sad considering I was in my 20’s. My luck changed tremendously when I added exercise to my life. Along with exercise came friendships, because I had joined a social circle that expanded as I added more fitness activities to the mix.
In 2011, when I began to get serious about running, I prayed for running buddies because I didn’t know anyone else who wanted to run as I did. God answered my prayers and since then I’ve had a steady stream of friends to run with over the years. As I ran, worked out, and made friends I also became very good at setting goals and achieving them. Beyond fitness goals, I was finally ready to go back to college and meet the goal of graduating.
In 2013, I began to consistently work on the intellectual aspect or wellbeing. It feels satisfying to learn new things and accomplish something I set out to do nearly 20 years ago, graduating from college.
There are endless ways to grow intellectually. You can learn a new skill, read for fun, learn a foreign language, learn how to dance, play a musical instrument. Don’t ever think that you are too old or too busy to try something new and different. The rewards are unlimited. You will make new friends, gain confidence, and possibly find joy in your life that you never had before. You will never be disappointed when investing in yourself.
The final component is spirituality. Giving gratitude daily is paramount to me. I have stopped taking everyday things for granted because as we get older, we realize those everyday things aren’t little things. Being able to move and run and do what I want with my body physically is something I am eternally grateful for. The good health of my family and friends and having a supportive network of family and friends is like gold.
When I feel off-center or anxious about something, I change my perspective by being grateful for the good things in life. This past year, when I was experiencing anxiety about the future and various other things, I began to implement a couple of extra lines in my nightly prayers. Every night, I pray for peace in my heart. I also ask for the ability to surrender and have complete faith. I have shared this with friends. It sounds so simple and may be silly to some, but those two extra lines in my nightly prayers have given me a reminder to have peace and keep the faith. These simple petitions have changed my world.
Good health is a cocktail of many ingredients. For those who are looking to make a change, I recommend beginning with something small. Keep adding and see where that takes you. Time flies and if you are still breathing, it is never too late.
Story by Deena Attia
Deena, a long time Peachtree City resident, is a fitness enthusiasts, foodie, writer, dancer, traveler, forever optimistic, lifelong learner.