Home Uncategorized When Becoming Healthy Feels Overwhelming

When Becoming Healthy Feels Overwhelming

Embarking on a journey toward a healthy lifestyle can feel overwhelming, especially when you don’t know where to start. As a mental health therapist and holistic wellness coach, I’ve had the privilege and joy of guiding many individuals through this process!

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If you can resonate with the overwhelm, you are not alone. First of all, there is sooooo much information out there! From 100s of fad diets, to the next best thing on TikTok, to cottage cheese ice cream… It’s no surprise that many people become paralyzed by information overload.

But, there’s good news: it’s entirely possible to navigate this journey and you don’t have to do it alone!

Here are some steps to get started.

1. What’s your why?

Before making any changes, it’s important to understand your “why” for pursuing a healthier lifestyle. Is it because of news at a recent doctor’s visit? Or maybe you’ve always yo-yo dieted your entire life and are ready to gain confidence and balance once and for all. Is it to feel more energetic, improve your mental health and clarity, or simply to live longer and be able to run around and chase your grandkids pain-free? Whatever your personal why is, this is a crucial first step, because it will help keep you focused and motivated. Take some time to reflect on your reasons and maybe even write them down. Your “why” will be your guiding star when the journey feels tough, because we all know change can be hard!

I do want to point out that health is not only physical – weight loss, what you eat, exercise, etcyour health is also affected by the quality of your relationships, your emotional health and your spiritual life (your anchor and hope when things do get hard!). We are holistic beings, made up of all of these parts, so feeling and living our best life is WHOLLY possible when we are giving care and attention to each of these areas!

2. I encourage you to pick one thing you’d like to change first.

By now, you can see our health is comprised of several facets. (& that may feel overwhelming already) And that is ok, and totally normal. You don’t have to tackle it all at once! Let me say that again, you do not have to change every aspect of your health at the same time. Start small and be realistic.

One of the biggest mistakes people make when embarking on a health journey, or incorporating any lifestyle changes for that matter, is trying to change too much too quickly. When we do that, we often fail because a) we’re human and b) it’s just too much to take on with all of the other demands of daily life.

       Here are some ideas:

            *Prioritize Sleep  – aim to get 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Some helpful tips are 1) avoid eating 2 hours before bed 2) turn off screens 2 hours before bed 3) take a bath, do some deep breathing, use a meditation app or read before bedtime 4) try a magnesium supplement to support calm, restful sleep.

Switch up your night-time rituals – make them peaceful, relaxing and grounding.  Good sleep supports overall health in a huge way, it also improves mood and enhances your ability to make healthy choices.

            *Get moving!  – It is crucial to focus on what feels good and find activities that you genuinely enjoy, so that exercise doesn’t feel like a chore. Healthier living doesn’t mean you have to give up everything you love. It’s about finding balance and pleasure in new, healthier alternatives. If you hate running, don’t force yourself to run—try dancing, swimming, or yoga instead. The key is to move regularly. Start with small, manageable sessions and gradually increase the frequency and intensity. Remember, any movement is better than none, and consistency is more important than intensity.

            *Reduce Stress – Managing our stress is CRUCIAL to our overall wellness as it can truly derail most of our efforts towards health and overall wellness. I believe you can eat like a Paleo Warrior, but if you are a ball of stress, that hard work and commitment goes out the door. Start with daily mindfulness or grounding –meditation, yoga, long walks, deep breathing exercises, and hobbies you enjoy can all help reduce stress levels.

            *Clean up Your Diet!  – Instead of overhauling your entire diet, begin by making one change, such as increasing your protein or reducing your intake of processed foods, sugary drinks, and excessive amounts of alcohol. Remember, it’s about balance, not deprivation. Our relationship with food plays a huge role in this area – and our mindset – food is neither good, nor bad and a restriction mindset almost always backfires.  This is why diets do not work. Restriction isn’t sustainable. Balance is! So, instead of saying, “I can’t have the cake”, try saying, “When I eat cake, the sugar leaves me feeling lethargic. I’m going to choose to have some fresh strawberries I bought at the farmer’s market Saturday!”

 

3. Seek Support and Community

Don’t underestimate the power of support systems. Joining a local gym or workout class (some favorites are at Yoga Abode, Ride Society, LoveLock Healing Arts and Pure Pilates), working with a health coach or dietitian or finding a workout buddy can make a huge difference. Community support can provide motivation, encouragement, and accountability, as well as knowledge and information surrounding a healthy lifestyle and choices.

Let’s recap!

By taking small, manageable steps, focusing on holistic wellness and finding enjoyment in meals, movement and new rituals, you can create a balanced and sustainable lifestyle. Remember, it’s about progress, not perfection.

There will be days when you feel discouraged or slip back into old habits. Instead of beating yourself up, practice self-compassion. Remember, we are human BEINGS not human DOINGS. Celebrate your wins and get back on track tomorrow!

Your journey to health is uniquely yours and there is no one size fits all approach. Try to throw comparison out the door and take these 3 steps:

  • Cleary define your personal “why”.
  • Pick one change to get started and commit for the first week. Notice how you feel.
  • Community, Community, Community. We aren’t meant to do this alone – join a gym, sign up for a workout class, hire a professional – get plugged in!

Here’s to a healthier, happier you—one step at a time!