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Unlocking Wellness

A Holistic Approach to Mental and Physical Health in 2024

Article by Kit Garrott

Photography by Sarah Bell, Sélavie Photography

Originally published in River City Lifestyle

As the new year dawns, we reflect on the past and contemplate the future. It's a time for setting goals, envisioning personal growth and embracing a fresh start. Michelle Johns, founder and CEO of Transforming Wellness and Jenna Goode, founder of Core Collective Broad, share their insights on setting mindful goals, finding harmony between physical and mental health and overcoming setbacks with grace.

Mindful Goal Setting: Slow, Simple, Purpose-Driven

Michelle Johns advocates a mindful and deliberate approach to goal-setting. She emphasizes the importance of setting one to three achievable goals in various life areas, aligning them with personal values for intrinsic motivation. "Keep it simple," she advises. Overwhelming and drastic goals can hinder progress. Michelle encourages flexibility in timelines and strategies, urging individuals to "assess rather than give up." 

Harmony Over Balance: Connecting Physical and Mental Goals

Striving to balance professional, relational and personal needs can sometimes seem impossible. Michelle prefers the concept of harmony over balance, acknowledging the inherent imbalance in all our lives. She stresses the significance of wholeheartedly giving one's best to the present moment. Time blocking for personal well-being is crucial, even if it's just for five minutes a day. "Being flexible, loving and kind to ourselves is the best way to achieve goals and harmony," Michelle affirms.

Start Small, Move Often

Jenna Goode, a proponent of holistic wellness, believes in the power of small, incremental changes. She emphasizes the intricate connection between the mind and body, advocating for enjoyable, sustainable movement. "Commit to moving your body every day," Jenna suggests, recognizing the challenges of our modern, sedentary lifestyles. "When it comes to exercise and movement, find something you enjoy. You are much more likely to stick with it if you don’t dread your workout." Jenna is also quick to highlight the value of Pilates as a holistic approach, catering to all ages and fitness levels.

Fueling the Body, Nourishing the Mind

Nutrition is central to overall health as we must fuel the mind and body so they function properly and efficiently. Jenna's approach to nutrition centers around viewing food as fuel. She embraces the enjoyment of indulging in moderation, of course - to keep us sane! Mindful eating where emphasis is placed on whole, natural ingredients creates a lifestyle of nourishment. 

Rest, Connection and Service: Building Resilience

Jenna highlights the significance of rest and sleep for overall well-being, echoing the wisdom of Joseph Pilates and Hippocrates. Connecting with others and serving the community are also integral to our own mental health. When we help others, we move beyond self-absorption. Perspective is a powerful thing. Jenna's positive mindset tips include starting and ending the day with prayer or meditation, fostering gratitude and focusing on the potential of a capable, healing body. Additionally, Jenna emphasizes the importance of breath for our mental state, using deep inhales and exhales to release stress and down-regulate fight-or-flight responses. 

As we stride into 2024, let's set goals with grace and pursue harmony over balance. Let's embrace daily mindfulness practices, identify the connection between physical and mental pursuits and remember the transformative power of small, intentional changes. After all, the journey to holistic well-being is personal, and each step forward, no matter how small, brings us closer to our best selves.

"When it comes to exercise and movement, find something you enjoy. You are much more likely to stick with it if you don’t dread your workout." - Jenna Goode

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