When most people think about being healthy, they seem to only focus on exercise and nutrition, but the reality is living a healthy lifestyle is so much more.
Health should be looked at as a holistic approach, and while eating the right foods and moving your body are at the top of that list, don’t forget about your mental and spiritual health. When you evaluate your health spectrum, how many times have you felt good in your body but feel out of alignment because you hate your job or you’re in a toxic relationship? Those things affect your health just as much.
Rolling out had the opportunity to speak with health expert Priscilla Williams about health issues that may go beyond the physical and why we should be paying attention.
Identifying the source of the problem:
I have learned over the years as a registered nurse that every decision you make can somehow affect your health. I remember the days of working 12-hour shifts in the hospital and working nights because I wanted to make a certain amount of money. However, I was so unhappy with how I felt after those shifts were over. I would go home and crash because I was up all night. I wasn’t getting the amount of sleep I needed to properly function at my highest. I would be cranky, irritated, and even had bags under my eyes, because our bodies release the stress hormone cortisol when you don’t get adequate sleep. Over production of cortisol can cause negative effects on the body like weight gain, a lower immune system and even a decreased sex drive.
This is why it’s very important to think about other factors that will affect your health like relationships and where you live. If you are in a high-stress environment and worried about your kids being safe walking to school, or hearing guns shots outside of your window, this can cause stress and trauma to you and your family.
My family and I just recently encountered an incident where my son didn’t feel safe at his high school because boys were bullying him and even jumped on him. This was not only stressful for my son, but stressful for me and my husband, as well. There had been other stressful incidents in our community where people were getting robbed and even shootings on our block. This is when my husband and I made the decision to withdraw my son from that school, and made an even bigger decision to relocate. We recently relocated to Jacksonville, Florida and this was one of the best decisions we could have made for our family. We had always wanted to relocate but there was some fear around it. We knew we could no longer stay in an environment where you don’t feel safe, because that’s completely unhealthy for anyone. Living in Florida brings so much freedom and a laid back lifestyle. We can walk outside to the beach or pool and enjoy the beautiful palm trees and flowers on our property. It makes you feel great mentally when you can experience sunshine and beautiful weather all day. Your environment plays a big part of how healthy you will be, and I didn’t fully understand this concept until my family and I relocated.
Spiritual health is very important to being a healthy and whole individual. This means being in tune with your creator. For me and my family, it’s God. I pray, meditate and depend on God’s guidance for my life. Having a healthy spiritual life means being in a state of gratitude and giving to others, as well. Giving to others will always make you feel good and keep you healthy. It also means being in divine alignment with yourself and your deepest desires. This means being who you are to the very core of your being. For me, this looks like being genuine and sharing who I am with others. Being intentional about who I spend time with and who I allow in my intimate space. This also means taking time for me and just saying “no.” I take time to read, get a massage, take a walk, or just do nothing and be in silence. This helps me keep my thoughts in focus so I can be a better wife and mom.
Health is the most important thing we have to focus on, and without your health, you can’t be anything you desire or need to be. Just remember being healthy goes deeper than exercise and nutrition; it’s about your overall being. Health is a 360 degrees approach that consists of maintaining the mental, physical, and spiritual.
Priscilla Q. Williams, RN is a speaker, author, and a certified life coach. Priscilla is also the founder of Priscilla Q. Williams, Inc. An organization that provides education, wellness, and women’s empowerment both locally and nationally. Priscilla has created other women empowerment programs such as Healthy Women Lead and Rock Your Royalty. These programs promote women’s health, wellness and life empowerment.
Twitter Handle: @p_williams1