A message from Kathleen Yung, FNHA Healthy Eating and Food Security Specialist
The New Year is here and some of us may be reflecting on our wellness goals and actions. It's a great time to call in and nurture the things that support our whole (mental, emotional, physical and spiritual) self -- our “wholistic" well-being.
We hear, “You need to change," so often that sometimes we forget to celebrate all of the good things we are already doing! One of those good things includes maintaining gratitude and appreciation for the things we already have in our lives, such as our loved ones and our communities.
As we travel along our individual wellness journeys, we can enhance our wholistic well-being by expressing gratitude for all that is going well, all that we have, and all that we are. From that place, we can consider making any changes to best support our overall wellness goals.
By reflecting on those things we already have, we can really take notice of the small gifts that surround us every day, including the lands where we live, the waterways, and the air we breathe. Our environment can remind us of the foods, plants and medicines that support our wellness, as well as ground and connect us back to our culture, our ancestors, and our values.
As you reflect on your wellness goals consider the following:
1. What is important to my wholistic well-being? Many messages this time of year focus only on our physical aspects (e.g., exercise or diet) rather than our whole self, including the spiritual, mental and emotional. How do these messages impact you?
2. Tap into your “inner wisdom" to support and nurture your relationship with the gifts around you (foods, plants and medicines from the lands and waters). As we build more trust in ourselves to guide our decision-making, we can develop awareness around whether those decisions are wholistically good for us.
3. Nourishment goes beyond food. Nourishing our bodies is connected to our relationships with ourselves, our environment and lands, and to each other (with other people, plants, animals, and all living things—All Our Relations).
4. Each health journey is personal and different. Our wellness and strengths cannot be measured by numbers. Wellness is defined by each individual person based on where they're at on their journey. There is no right or wrong path to take, but only the path that the individual decides is best for their wholistic wellness.
If you are interested in new ideas for recipes, the First Nations Health Authority and Indigenous Sport, Physical Activity & Recreation Council (ISPARC) have collaborated on a recipe cookbook called “Food is Medicine" that features information about how to use traditional foods in your area to make delicious meals. You can also watch videos of the Food is Medicine Cooking Show right here.
ISPARC's HealthBeat program has healthy living resources aimed at improving sleep, managing stress, nutrition and eating, managing diabetes and cholesterol, increasing physical activity, reducing blood pressure, supporting wellness, and more.
Other Resources to Consider:
If you are feeling distressed or are struggling, please reach out and ask for help if you need it. The First Nations Health Authority has mental health and wellness supports that you can access if you need additional supports.