Wednesday, April 15, 2015

RituALS (An ALS Wellness Check-up)

Congratulations readers of the ALS and Wellness Blog!

Together over the first three months of this blog we covered many of the fundamentals that contribute to building resilience and well-being while living with ALS (or other similar serious health conditions). These include the topics of:

                Humor                  Exercise               Optimism            Mindfulness       Perceptions

But, we’re not finished!

Three months is the perfect time to pause; take a look back at our progress, assess what needs more of our attention and then move forward.  It’s a very helpful ritual that I follow and want to share with you.  

Why pause now? I like to time it with the changing of the seasons; always a good time for reflection, goal setting and a fresh start.  

I know we can all drag out our personal calendars and validate that for the past three months we were very busy; busy with medical appointments, visits from friends and family and small projects at home. The big question is: have we been paying attention to our own well-being? Have we been living our lives in a deeply satisfying way? Everyday busy-ness can mask the underlying feelings of emptiness and dissatisfaction - - and that’s not healthy for our bodies and minds - - and not healthy for those around us.

Here is how the ritual goes:

1. Have paper and pencil ready for notes, use a journal or create a document on the computer.
2. Copy and list the six wellness categories: 
    Intellectual, Physical, Emotional, Spiritual, Social and Occupational.  
3. Read the questions below and for each category write down write down two answers:
    First, what you've done in the past three months that qualifies as a “yes,” answer.
    Second, what you will try to do more of during the next three months.
4. If you responded with a “no,” to any question, then go on to ask yourself: 
   What do I need, and who can help me to do more in this category?
The Six Dimensions of Wellness*
In what ways do you stimulate your mind and mental capacity? Do you participate in creative and interesting mental activities? Are you continually learning and gaining new knowledge?

Do you participate in appropriate physical activity and consume quality nutrition to maintain your health? Do you have regular medical care, take appropriate medications and participate in self-care?

How well do you express your feelings, manage your stress and cope with Life's transitions? Do you have high self-esteem, self-control and a strong sense of self?

Are you living each day consistent with your beliefs and values? Do you have purpose and value in your life?

Are you continuing to connect and interact with others? Do you maintain both close and informal social ties?

Do you use your skills or abilities to contribute to your family's, or a social group’s or another person's behalf?

I’ve found this three month ritual helpful and enlightening. It’s helped me bring balance, meaning and value to my life - - I know it will do the same for yours as well.  

Happy Spring!

*From:  (2-15-2015) “Feeling a Little Burned-out Lately?

Dagmar Munn
ALS and Wellness Blogger

“Pay close attention to the patterns in your life. They’re the keys to doors only you can open.”
                    Terri Trespicio


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