Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Dear Military Spouse: Are You Well?

I wanted to preface this post with a little bit of background information for you. I recently started on a health journey of my own. I've been making food and exercise changes little by little to help me live a healthier and happier lifestyle. So, when I was presented with the opportunity to be an ambassador for a free, online Military Spouse Wellness Summit, it seemed like the perfect fit.

This Summit will take place from October 19 - 24. The entire event is online, which is super helpful since so many of us are busy and unable to travel for an event. Get ready for a few link drops as I give you the details of the events. I encourage you to visit these links, but also make sure you read the rest of this post for even more important information!

The event is hosted by InDependent, The Army Wife Network, and The USAA Educational Foundation. It will last from October 19 - 24 with lots of recordings from health and fitness experts along with financial experts. The event will cover health, nutrition, fitness, and finances - these are all just tiny pieces in the puzzle called "wellness." In addition to the information presented in the free summit, participants also get a year membership to Thrive Market ($49 value) and one week of virtual health training at Fit. Active. Toned.  Did I mention that there will also be prizes given out during the summit? I can't wait to participate and I hope that you will join us too! All you have to do is register by clicking on this link.

Now we're going to get to my post (which is about wellness, hence the background information). Feel free to share this event with all of your military-affiliated friends using this link:

Dear Military Spouse,

I want to take a moment to talk to you about YOU.  Yep, that's right - I don't want to talk about your spouse or your kids. I want to talk about you and your well-being. As military spouses, we often put the well-being of everyone else ahead of us. We do what's best for our spouse's career and our children's lives without stopping to think about what's best for us.

I've only been a spouse for a year, but in that year, I have certainly made decisions based on more than just my needs. Prior to marriage, I was much more focused on my needs and wants. Now, there's always a bigger picture and sometimes my needs or wants are put on the back burner. This is all okay and it's a natural part of marriage, but we have to make sure we're focused on our own wellness or the results can be negative for everyone involved.

I want you to think for a moment. What is wellness? What does it mean to take care of your own well-being? I'm going to share my thoughts on this topic but I also want you to think about your own definition of wellness as you go.

Here you go. Here's the pieces of my wellness puzzle and why I've chosen to include them.

Health - The first piece to being well is being healthy. This means taking care of yourself and trying to prevent illness. An unhealthy you is good to no one and is (typically) miserable. For me, being healthy means staying on top of my daily medications and resting from time to time to prevent my body from being worn down.

Nutrition - This is often lumped in with health but I like to separate it. It's important to think about what's going into your body. Your daily food decisions can help you out in the short term and long term of life. It's not always easy, but I'm working towards making healthier, more balanced decisions when it comes to food.

Fitness - Your body was made to move. Therefore, it's important that you give it these opportunities. I used to hate working out - it always seemed like a chore. Then, one day, I decided to push myself out of my comfort zone. I decided to try out various workouts. In the process, I discovered some that I love and it's no longer a chore (well, most days).

Finances - Money problems can be a big stress-inducer. It's important that you spend time talking about money and working out solutions with your spouse. Remember, finances is not a battle that you fight alone. My husband and I frequently talk about finances and our decisions with them. We always have a new "budget" talk before he goes on deployment to insure we're on the same page of what is being spent by whom.

Stress - Stress is a huge part of the wellness puzzle. I'd say it's a bigger piece than some of the others. Knowing how and when to handle stress is a crucial piece to staying well. Too much stress can lead to unhappiness and sickness. I could give you lots of advice on handling stress but I'll save that for another post. For now, I'll simply say don't be afraid to ask for help.

There's plenty of smaller pieces that I could include in the puzzle such as environment, sleep, and having goals. I decided to stick to the largest pieces of the puzzle for this post though. I hope you thought about your own version of the wellness puzzle and what you would include. I'd love to hear about it in the comments.

I'm going to be returning next week with tips on how to stay well and enjoy life even during deployment. Wednesdays are going to be dedicated to wellness for a while as I celebrate the upcoming event and focus on making a few more changes for my own well-being.

Until next time,
The Coastie Wife

P.S. If you didn't click over to join the wellness summit earlier, I hope you will now. Here's the link again!

1 comment:

  1. I love how you broke out wellness into different categories. The speaker yesterday talking about emotions and stress and how they relate to wellness really hit home with me. I always thought of wellness as just something physical, but there is way more too it. Thanks for your words of encouragement.