How to Stay Motivated on Your Journey to Health and Wellness

  • By Rick Kaselj
  • 23 March 2023
  • 10 minute read
How to Stay Motivated on Your Journey to Health and Wellness | The Health Sessions

This article is written by Rick Kaselj from Exercises for Injuries

Venturing on a journey towards a healthier and more comfortable life is significant. We understand that people have different wellness motivation goals. Regardless of your objectives, we’re committed to supporting and guiding you through the process. Whether you want to find balance despite chronic illnesses or lose weight, we’re here to help because we believe you can.

Although losing weight may be a negative goal, focusing on small positive changes to your lifestyle can make a big distinction in your overall health. So, let’s begin this journey together! We cannot wait to see all the amazing things you will accomplish.

1. Finding Motivation

Enduring a chronic illness can be a demanding journey. It can feel like a constant battle with your body and mind, and it can be hard to see beyond the limitations and pain that come with it. But despite all of this, it is possible to find yourself and live a healthier life with these steps:  

  • Acknowledge your struggles and give yourself the space to experience all the emotions that come with them. It’s okay to feel disappointed, angry, or sad at times; allowing yourself to express those emotions in healthy ways is important. Chatting with a trusted friend or family can help process these feelings.
  • Chronic illnesses often come with limitations, but there are still so many things you can accomplish and enjoy. Set small and achievable goals for yourself, whether reading a book, walking, or learning a new skill. Use each accomplishment as a building block toward a satisfying life.

Addressing the root cause to stay motivated

Instead of treating the symptoms, it’s more helpful to address the root causes of your chronic condition. Here’s how: 

  1. Adopt healthy lifestyle changes. This includes eating a balanced diet, staying physically active, getting enough sleep, and abstaining from processed foods.
  2. Reducing exposure to environmental toxins, such as air pollution, tobacco smoke, and harmful chemicals.
  3. Address the social determinants, such as poverty and lack of or limited access to healthcare.

While these plans may seem daunting, remember that every step can make a big difference. Take a moment to reflect on your regular and new habits, and consider what changes you can make to address the root causes of this illness.

How to Stay Motivated on Your Journey to Health and Wellness | The Health Sessions
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2. Support Systems

You don’t have to face your illness alone; some people care about you and want to help you through your journey.

Seeking professional help if needed

Remember, even though living with a chronic illness can feel like an uphill battle, every day you stick with it and conserve your energy is a reward.

First and foremost, it’s important to understand that seeking professional help is not a sign of weakness or failure. It takes courage to acknowledge when you need support, and reaching out for help shows you are involved in your health and well-being. Why?

  • Medical specialists can help you develop a personalized treatment plan that works for you. They can also offer guidance on managing symptoms, adjusting medications, and making lifestyle changes to improve your body.
  • Therapists can help you navigate the emotional toll and physical health that chronic illness can take, providing a safe space to process your feelings and develop coping strategies. 

Seeking professional help can assist you in feeling more empowered and in control of your illness.

Joining a support group

Joining a support group can be a great way to connect with others facing similar struggles and find a sense of community and understanding. Here’s why it’s important to connect:

  • A safe space where individuals with chronic illnesses can share their experiences, feelings, and concerns with others who can relate. It can be a place to learn from each other, gain and maintain new perspectives and find comfort in knowing you’re not alone.
  • Provide many benefits, including emotional support, practical advice, and a sense of belonging. You can learn coping strategies from others who have been through similar experiences and get valuable information about managing your illness.

Sharing your experiences and feelings with others who truly understand can be a powerful and healing experience.

Building a network of support

Whether through family, friends, or support groups, having a strong support system and clear plan can:

  • Provide comfort, understanding, and practical assistance in managing the challenges.
  • Help combat feelings of isolation and loneliness often accompanying chronic illness.

Finding a workout buddy boosts a healthy lifestyle

Find someone who shares your interests and fitness goals and is willing to work around your limitations and pace. Even small steps to increase physical activity can greatly improve chronic illness management, and many believe in you! Here are some reasons why workout buddies can support you: 

  • Encouragement: When you’re feeling down or struggling to find more energy to exercise, a workout buddy can encourage you to help you stay motivated and committed to a healthy lifestyle.
  • Accountability: Help you stay on track with your fitness goals by holding you accountable for your workouts.
  • Adaptability: A workout buddy understands your challenges, help you modify your workouts, and motivates you to do more exercise that works best for you.
  • Camaraderie: Provide companionship and support, making your workouts feel less like a chore and more like a shared experience.

Finding a workout buddy is not just about having someone to exercise with – it’s about building a supportive and empowering relationship.

How to Stay Motivated on Your Journey to Health and Wellness | The Health Sessions
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3. Compassion for Yourself 

With a chronic illness, life can be so hard and exhausting. It’s important to remember that you deserve compassion just as much as anyone else.

Being kind to yourself 

Living with a chronic illness can make you feel bad, but remember that success comes in setting achievable goals aligned with your physical capabilities and being kind to yourself along the way. Below are crucial steps to be gracious to yourself: 

  • STOP self-criticism. It’s easy to tumble into the trap of self-criticism and blame when struggling with a chronic illness. Instead, try to focus on self-care.
  • Rest and enjoy. Take time to rest and prioritize activities that bring you happiness and comfort.
  • Celebrate victories. Whether completing a household task or making it through a difficult doctor’s appointment, take a moment to acknowledge your strength and resilience.
  • Your illness does not define you. You have unique strengths and abilities and deserve to be treated with kindness and respect. Be gentle with yourself and remember that you are worthy of love and care, no matter your challenges.
  • Practice self-care. Take time to relax and do things that bring you joy. Some examples of self-care include taking a warm bath, practicing gentle yoga, or meditating.
  • Be patient and forgiving. It’s easy to get frustrated with yourself when dealing with serious conditions. Instead, remind yourself that you’re doing your best. 

Embracing imperfection 

If you have a chronic illness, it is common to feel discouraged or frustrated when things don’t go as planned. Embracing imperfection can help you feel more accepting of yourself and your situation, leading to greater happiness and well-being. There are better ways to accept imperfection, such as:

  • Letting go of unrealistic expectations. It’s easy to compare yourself to others or hold yourself to impossible standards, but doing so can destroy your ability to focus on your goal. Instead, try establishing practical health goals within your capabilities and be proud of yourself for achieving them.
  • Practicing self-compassion. Treat yourself with the same sympathy and understanding you would offer to a loved one in a similar situation. A chronic illness can be emotionally and physically taxing, and being kind to yourself is important.
  • Acclaim your needs. Instead of feeling guilty for needing to take breaks or rest more often than others, acknowledge that your body has different needs and honor those needs.

When faced with setbacks or challenges, remind yourself that it’s okay to make mistakes and that they can be valuable learning experiences. Also, take note that initial enthusiasm is important.

Overcoming setbacks with compassion

Recognizing that setbacks are a natural part of the journey and don’t define your worth. Mishaps were always contesting, especially concerning chronic illness. But you can find the power and resilience to keep moving forward with an empathetic approach.

How to overcome those setbacks? Try these approaches.

  • Find that helping others helps you feel better, too.
  • Lapses can also be opportunities for growth and learning. You may need to seek additional resources, change your treatment plan, or adjust your expectations.

With empathy for yourself and others, you can find the solidity and strength to overcome setbacks.

Celebrating progress, not just perfection

Life with chronic illness can be formidable. Rather than focusing solely on perfection, acknowledging and appreciating your steps toward better health can help you stay motivated and positive. For example, if you’ve been struggling with a chronic condition like diabetes, celebrating could mean recognizing when you’ve consistently managed your blood sugar levels within a healthy range.

Remember? Development doesn’t have to be huge to be worth celebrating. Even small improvements like getting out of bed in the morning or eating a nutritious meal can be important steps towards feeling better and managing your condition.

How to Stay Motivated on Your Journey to Health and Wellness | The Health Sessions
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4. Implementing Lifestyle Changes

Creating healthy habits

Physical habits are created to manage symptoms and maintain a good quality of living is important. While dealing with a chronic illness can be demanding, forming good habits and cultivating a strong desire to live healthier can make all the disparity. Here are some accessible advice and examples to help you: 

  • Develop a routine: Establish regular sleep, meal, and medication schedules to keep your body balanced.
  • Stay organized: Assist you in monitoring your medications, appointments, and important information in a journal or planner. 
  • Practice mindfulness: Mindfulness meditation and other relaxation techniques can help you reduce stress and manage your symptoms.
  • Stay positive: Staying positive can help you feel physically and emotionally better. 

Some practical and healthy practices you can incorporate into your routine (in a day or a week) include:

  • Making time for a hobby or activity you enjoy reduces stress and improves mood.
  • Using a meditation app or practicing deep breathing exercises reduces anxiety and promotes relaxation.
  • Healthy diet. Incorporating more fruits and vegetables into your diet boosts your immune system.

Creating healthy habits is a journey, and making mistakes is okay.

Making gradual changes

The key aspect of making gradual changes is goal setting. This means taking small, realistic goals and achievable steps tailored to your unique situation. For example, if you have arthritis, you might start by incorporating gentle stretches into your daily routine, gradually building up to more challenging exercises over time. 

Keeping track of progress

Monitoring your development can be a helpful tool in managing your well-being. To monitor your progression, keep a journal. This can be a simple notebook or app on your phone. In your journal, you can record your symptoms, medications, appointments, and more. You can identify patterns and trends to help you and your healthcare provider make informed decisions.

Staying motivated and committed

It’s essential to stay informed about your condition and the latest treatments and therapies available. You can do this by attending medical appointments, reading up on your condition, or participating in online forums.

Also, remember to take care of yourself both physically and mentally. Chronic illness can affect your emotional well-being, so finding ways to manage stress and prioritize self-care is important. 

How to Stay Motivated on Your Journey to Health and Wellness | The Health Sessions
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Embarking on a journey toward good health and wellness is a noble pursuit that requires dedication, perseverance, and, most importantly, self-compassion.

As you navigate your journey, stick to health behaviors and recall that you are not alone. Seek support from family, friends, or professionals to stay healthy. Encompass yourself with people who inspire, motivate, and can help you achieve your goal.

Every day is a unique opportunity to drive progress toward your healthy living objectives. Embrace your imperfections, and don’t let setbacks discourage you. Above all, have healthy choices and remember to treat yourself with compassion.

Take the first step towards your journey to health and wellness motivation with confidence, knowing that you have the power within you to make positive changes for your future. Believe in yourself matter most, and you will be amazed at what you can achieve.

Author bio: Rick Kaselj is a highly respected health and fitness expert with over two decades of experience. He founded Exercises for Injuries, Olivia Diet, and Health News Day, where he provides valuable resources on fitness, injury prevention, and healthy eating. Rick’s unique approach to fitness emphasizes targeted exercises and proper form, promoting long-term health and injury prevention. His expertise is showcased in his numerous books and training programs, which have helped countless individuals improve their physical health and well-being. Rick’s dedication to helping people achieve their health goals has earned him a reputation as a trusted authority in the industry.

You can follow Rick on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest or YouTube

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