2012-10-18 / Community

Just for the "Well" of it

The choice is yours...

Did you ever have to make up your mind? Today’s column is all about choices and the many decisions we make each day.

Have you checked out the shampoo aisle lately? Why on earth do we need 300-plus different brands and formulas to basically do the same thing – get our hair clean? Isn’t orange juice just that…orange juice? Again, why so many varieties? Laundry detergent? Yogurt? Wheat bread? Toilet paper? Same deal, too many choices.

Each day we are faced with many choices and many of them should be no-brainers, such as the ones involving our health, safety, values, and the care of our children. In Wellness, it’s important to be mindful of our choices and by that I mean think about your decisions and be fully aware of what you are choosing. Sure, there are several different types of apples to choose from, but just the act of choosing an apple over apple pie is a good mindful choice. Deep fried mozzarella, anyone? How about a fresh Caprese salad instead?

Walking to the store instead of driving is mindfully choosing to get a little extra exercise into your day.

What about the following: Should you read to or play with your kids, or paint your fingernails?

Teach someone something new or just do it for them? Ignore a bothersome physical symptom or do some research and make an appointment with your doctor?

Financially, we are also faced with many opportunities to choose

– should we spend our money going out to dinner each week, or save it for something we really need, like a new roof? Is the higher priced item always better? Do I need a new book when I still have several on the shelf unread?

We make social wellness choices by choosing the company we keep, the places we go, and the ways we conduct ourselves in public. If the guy in front of you in line drops a ten dollar bill, are you going to tell him about it, or wait until he’s gone and then pick it up for yourself? Where do you want to go for lunch and whatever will you order once you get there? More choices!

Spiritually and emotionally again we are faced with choosing. Do you automatically assume you don’t like someone based on their appearance, lifestyle, or beliefs? Why not choose to find out for sure—Strike up a conversation with a stranger, someone who appears to have nothing in common with you. Did you learn anything or make a new friend?

In our occupations we also make choices every day. It starts with deciding what it is we want to do for a living, then where to receive our education, and then which position to accept. Then each day we choose how well we want to do our jobs. We will mindlessly float through each day, doing just enough to get by, or will we do our very best each day and take pride in our accomplishment? The choice is ours—everyday.

Managing our stress has a great deal to do with the choices we make. Do we choose to take on extra projects, knowing that our time is already limited? Do we fret and worry about things that could easily be delegated to someone else? The ways you choose to handle your stress can make a world of difference in your life, as well as for those around you. Try to be mindful and conscious of your decisions and see what happens.

Life presents us with many opportunities to make choices that affect our overall health and wellbeing. You are the one person in charge of taking care of you—it’s your responsibility and that, my friends, is called self-management. Be responsible for yourself and mindful of all the little things that affect you each day and watch yourself become healthier, more productive, happier, and calmer!

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You can reach Cathy Kaltz, Certified Worksite Wellness Specialist, at (906) 286-0985.

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