Whole self counselling includes a look at how you eat, how you exercise, how you sleep, how you live in and with your body. Clients tell me that counselling which supports the well-being of their physical body definitely contributes to feeling better over all. People want counselling for different and specific, personal, relevant reasons, but one common denominator that emerges is whole self wellness. When you eat well, get the exercise that works for you and sleep better, you do better, on the whole, day to day. The rewards are valuable, and worth it. BODY key words and ideas:
Food. Diet. Nutrition. Eating:
Which of these words stands out for you? What needs looking at? Depending on your needs, in counselling you can explore your relationship to food and eating. What is working well? What habits, patterns or imbalances do you have that you feel are getting in your way to living a healthier, happier life? If you were to make any changes here, what might they be? Some people want to cut down on carbs and lose weight to feel lighter, more flexible, more agile, and increase their energy. Some want to finally kick the sugar habit in order to enjoy better focus, steer clear of sugar-induced energy spikes and crashes and regulate their eating patterns. Some want to shift from a meat-based way of eating to plant-based, while others wish to benefit from an increased intake of high-quality proteins. When you clarify your best approaches to eating and tweak your strategies in doable, realistic, practical ways, what you get from counselling can help to hold you accountable. And making gains in other areas through whole self counselling, such as strengthening your mind and achieving deeper levels of spiritual fulfillment, plays into ensuring more successful outcomes in your relationship with food and eating. Research these days explores the gut-brain connection, the impact of the state of one’s gut microbiome on your state of mind. Sometimes making small changes to how or what you eat can result in big positive shifts in your state of mind.
Exercise. Movement. Working out. Fitness:
Which of these stands out for you? As with food and eating, people want counselling for their own specific reasons when it comes to exercise and physical fitness. When you envision the state of physical wellness and fitness you want to achieve, what do you see? Consider the value of using part of your counselling engagement to settle into a more effective, satisfying way of living that naturally includes the kind of exercise that really works well for you. How important is it to you to feel better in your physical body? Some people are fed up with being enslaved by an exercise regime that demands huge amounts of willpower. Many are finding that they can do much better physically by doing less punishing exercise and integrating more doable, enjoyable exercise into their day-to-day life such as walking and simple stretching.
Sleep. Not enough sleep. Too much sleep. Insomnia. Feeling tired during the day. Inability to fully wake up. Erratic sleep schedules:
Whole self counselling provides you with opportunities to look at how you sleep and to design plans of action that contribute to your sleeping better. It can be really productive to see what easy changes you can make in your waking minutes that translate into better sleeping hours. Imagine if you slept better, overall, with greater consistency. What kinds of differences would this make to other areas of your life? How would significant others in your life benefit from a more rested and relaxed version of you?
Improving your relationships with food and eating, with exercise and physical fitness, and with sleep often has excellent and unexpected consequences. A healthier body supports a healthier mind and a more lively, dynamic, enriched sense of spirit. People who feel better as a result of consistently eating, exercising and sleeping in ways that optimize their feeling good often find that they are simply more flexible, all round. When you are flexible in your mind, body and spirit, you can field life events much more easily, effectively, efficiently and levelly. Life does happen, and that will never stop. So being ready for it as a result of maximizing your physical state of health helps to make your day-to-day life easier.
“My entire life, I struggled to wake up in the morning and get to school or work on time. As a student and employee I was always right on time or late, and my mornings were hectic and stressful. For years I wanted to change this but I couldn’t. I finally decided to meet with Julia and have a few sessions with her. During the sessions, she helped me express my frustrations and more importantly, she equipped me with some methods and techniques to change my situation. At first, I struggled a bit. However now, only after 3 months of sessions, I have changed my morning routine completely. I now wake up on time, get ready in a calm manner and even get to work EARLY! The satisfaction I get from having been able to change is quite motivating in itself. Thank you Julia.”
M.A., post-secondary teacher