health & wellness journey with an illustration of a woman reclining in a cup of coffee with a book like she's in a bath

How to Start Your Own Health & Wellness Journey

Published On: April 28, 2022

Categories: Mindfulness, Wellness

Health & wellness journeys are all the rage these days. But how do you know if now is the time for you to get started?

As the self-described CEO of health & wellness for The Mindfulness Journey (me. I’m The Mindfulness Journey), I’m here to guide you on your path to beginning a health & wellness journey.

Because I figure if you’re reading a post on The Mindfulness Journey you must be at least a little curious if not interested in starting a health & wellness journey.

So, what do you need to get started? Great question friend!

Questions to Ask Before Starting a Health & Wellness Journey

The #1 question that you absolutely, positively, need to ask yourself before starting a health & wellness journey is…

  1. Do I actually want to?
  2. Do I feel like I’m being “forced” to start one
  3. Why, do I want to start one?

These first few questions are all variations on a theme because there is no sense in digging any deeper into the “hows” of starting this journey unless you actually want to.

Because if you don’t really want to do this? It won’t stick. Trust me. Years ago as part of my own health & wellness journey, I started working with a holistic nutritionist. I had been having some difficulty healing post-surgery and we were trying to figure it out.

He ended up taking me off of: red meat, gluten, dairy, sugar, caffeine, and potatoes (which as an Irish person was a little terrifying – we live on potatoes, haha), it was definitely a challenge.

At that time I was consuming half a pot of coffee a day! The first few days were rough to say the least.

While this didn’t help me to heal what was going on, I did discover that I am gluten & lactose intolerant, so that was helpful. I also discovered that I slept better AND felt more well-rested when I was off coffee.

These days I have gone back to drinking one cup of coffee a day in the morning – I really enjoy my time sitting down with my almond milk latte. It’s now a part of my morning routine.

What’s Your Why?

This change to my diet that I undertook with the holistic nutritionist and under the advisement of my doctor was a HUGE change. And if I wasn’t motivated and committed to making the change it would never have stuck. He literally took me off of everything that I ate at the time – I had NO idea what I was going to do instead – but of course, I was able to figure things out over time.

If I wasn’t motivated? I would never have been able to stick to it. My neurosurgery scar wouldn’t heal so clearly I had a strong motivation to make this big change. While you don’t need to have a health crisis to encourage & motivate you to start a health & wellness journey you do need something to keep you going.

Not only will we be more likely to stick to it if we WANT to make this type of lifestyle change BUT we also WON’T beat ourselves up when things don’t stick. Because we will have learned that these bits are NOT part of our wellness journey.

As I said above, when I first started I went off of coffee but I’m back to it now. It didn’t stick because I really enjoy coffee but it did support me in drinking less.

Tips That Actually Work

The first tip is to answer the questions above. Since you’re still here I’m guessing you answered yes to the above is yes and that you’re motivated and willing to undertake to start this journey.

  1. The first tip is to start a journey that works for you & your lifestyle. For example, are you a morning person or a night owl? Because if you’re a night owl then waking up at 5 am is probably not for you. Choose things that make sense for you – forget all the “6 things healthy people do” lists and pick things that make sense for your life. I get up at the same time every day, I make my breakfast and I spend some time reading – this works for me. I like to ease into my day but you might be someone who prefers to get up and get going. Both options are fine but only you will know what kind of morning routine will work for you.
  2. Test, test, and test again. My health & wellness journey has changed over the years. What worked one year no longer works for me. I like to exercise in the morning but these days it makes more sense for me to exercise in the afternoon. Try things out see if they work, keep what does, and toss out what doesn’t. I invite you to do the same. The other day I added seed cycling to my journey, I’ll give it a few cycles to see what I notice and then decide whether or not to keep doing it.
  3. Make space for new things and for habits to form. Starting a new habit takes time for it to stick. One of the best strategies that I’ve found has been from James Clear’s book Atomic Habits (*not an affiliate link, I’m just a fan*). He talks about habit stacking – sticking the new habit to something you’re already doing and for me, this has been so helpful. I stacked my morning meditation to the end of my existing morning routine and now I never miss a practice.
  4. Choose things that fill your cup up. I am not an early morning riser so making getting up at 5 am part of my routine will not work. NOPE. As an introvert, a lot of the things on my list are quiet and solitary but you might need to be around people to fill your cup. Go back to #2 and try things out and see what works. Then make a list of those things that fill your cup up and keep investigating to see which ones you want to keep.

Some Ideas to Get You Started.

The following are the things that make up my health & wellness journey. As I’ve said, some of these things might not work for you but maybe you’ll get some inspiration for things to try?

  1. Create a morning routine – my routine involves getting up at 7am, making my breakfast (usually overnight oats) and then sitting down with an almond milk latte and a self-help book. I read 1-2 chapters a day, meditate, practice my affirmations and then get ready for the day.
  2. Get dressed – hear me out. I know that we’re all coming off a couple of years stuck at home where it’s been #sweatpantsforlife but there is a shift that happens to your mood when you get dressed in regular clothes. Now, I tend to live in skirts & dresses but that’s what makes me comfortable – it’s rare to see me in jeans. Over the many lockdowns and surgeries I did indulge in that sweatpant life but for the most part my mood is 🔼🔼 when I’m in bright and fun clothes.
  3. Meditate – obviously as part of The Mindfulness Journey I’m going to suggest meditating, haha. The benefits of meditating are numerous and I could speak for hours on why you should add in meditating. Instead I’m going to share a link to my free 7 day challenge so you can try it for yourself.
  4. For my fellow introverts – reading, journalling, walks in nature, spending some time sitting in stillness; these are all things that make up a big part of my wellness journey. Spending time quietly allows me to recharge and fill my cup back up so that I can get back to being around friends and engaging in my more social activities.
  5. Creating a meal plan that works for you – as I mentioned above I gave up gluten and dairy and have never looked back. The one time I tried reintroducing both of them I was 🤢🤢 so it’s going to be a no for me. These days while I’m in between surgeries I’m eating a lot more proteitn – all the protein – but this is only a temporary change. I’ve tried a number of things over the years and have discovered that I feel my best on a gluten-free mediterranian diet. This is what suits me so I continue to stick to it.
choose your thoughts

Now its Your Turn

At this point, you’ve got several tips and ideas to kick off your own health & wellness journey. One of the things I’ll suggest is to start small and slow. Make one (no more than 2) changes and test them out for a couple of weeks. Remember, slow & steady wins the race.

A wellness journey is often a lifelong commitment so there is no need to rush things. Take it slowly try things out and see what works for you.

Questions or comments? Please let me know below, I will do my best to get back to you ASAP.

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Charlene Gethons

Hey there, I'm Charlene!

I help creative entrepreneurs with chronic illness create a sustainable business that fits their lifestyle without letting imposter syndrome take over.

Charlene is an entrepreneur, psychotherapist and mindfulness coach living with chronic illness after she was hit by a bus.

This week on 🎙️ Calm Amidst the Chaos🎙️, I share a little bit about what it’s been like being a high achiever who now has a traumatic brain injury. 
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I speak vulnerably about the shift from being a in a “race car” to now driving an older model with a faulty gas gauge and all that that entails. 
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And how mindfulness has been a game-changer for me during this time. 
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Since learning mindfulness I’ve created the tools, practices and strategies to help me navigate the difficult and challenging times. 
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✨ To help me to deal with the anxieties and stress that come along with running my own business. 
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✨To meet the sadness and the moments when I am feeling disappointed, frustrated and depressed as a result of my life being turned upside down in a moment - twice. 
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✨ To continue to show up and serve every day because I know just how truly valuable this information is and that everyone needs to know it. 
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It is my goal to help other entrepreneurs with chronic illnesses and disabilities to heal their anxiety so that they can prevent and manage their burnout. 
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Join me on my podcast this week as I share my journey of rebuilding and finding strength in the face of adversity. 🌟💪 
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Click the link in my bio to sign up for my FREE 7 day mindfulness meditation challenge so that you can start to build your meditation toolkit to prepare for difficult and challenging times. 
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#Rebuilding #FindingStrength #NewBeginnings  #Mindfulness #PresentMoment #CalmAmidstChaos #traumaticbraininjury #highachiever
🌟 Life can change in an instant, and it's not always easy to navigate the new reality. Today, I'm sharing my journey of rebuilding after a traumatic brain injury. Join me in my virtual living room as we talk about resilience and finding joy amidst the chaos. 🌈✨ #MindfulnessJourney #Rebuilding #FindingJoy
Did you know that in addition to online courses I also have been brought in to lead a mindfulness workshop at other companies/organizations?
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Over the last 7 years I have helped people learn how to quickly calm their mind when they are feeling stressed or anxious. All by using nothing but your breath. 
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I’ve taught at TD, AMEX, the TDSB, and BIAYR. I’ve even led a meditation (virtually) from the inside of the ROM during the pandemic!
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Each workshop I’ve taught has been tailored to the population and setting that I was going to be speaking at. 
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The common denominator is reducing stress so that you can prevent burnout. 
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Want to learn more about how we can work together? Send me a quick email at the link in my bio.
Feeling overwhelmed? Try the STOP practice

✨S - stop what you’re doing
✨T - take a breath
✨O - observe what is going on inside and outside of you
✨P - proceed mindfully

This practice helps you to notice what’s going on, to allow the experience to be, just as it is. By taking a moment to STOP you also give yourself the chance to CHOOSE how you want to respond. 

Feeling overwhelmed? STOP and take a moment to choose what you want to do next. Do you need to take a break? Grab a coffee? Ask for some help? 

Feeling frustrated? Do you need to get some air? To head outside for a quick walk? 

This practice helps you to consciously acknowledge, in any moment, the thoughts, feelings and behaviours that are affecting you. 

To notice when your inner critic is showing up, to notice what it is saying to you AND to remember that thoughts are just thoughts. They’re not facts. 

The more you do this practice the more you can notice your thoughts without attaching to them. To let them go without attaching to them. 

To hear the inner critic, acknowledge that it’s just a thought, and that you can choose whether to listen to it or not. This is what mindfulness helps us to do. 

Ready to get started? Join me inside my FREE 7 day mindfulness challenge and create your very own meditation toolkit today. 

Click the link in my bio to join me.
Hey everyone! 😄 

Have you ever found yourself overthinking and blowing things out of proportion? 🤔

 We've all been there! In my podcast episode, I shared a personal story about how my catastrophizing thoughts almost ruined a date 😅 and how mindfulness helped me find calm amidst the chaos. 

Give it a listen and let me know if you can relate! 🎧 (link in my bio)

#FindingCalm #Overthinking #MindfulnessJourney
Getting all the scritches and belly rubs today. 🎉🥳🎂
Hey, hey! 😄 Let's talk about the art of procrastination, my friends. 

Ever find yourself getting 85% through a task and then suddenly losing all motivation to finish it? 

You're not alone! We all face that struggle. We'll be exploring why this happens and why it's not a sign of laziness. 

Plus, I'll share some fantastic strategies to help you beat procrastination and make progress towards your goals. 

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I’m popping by today to share something exciting with you, my biz friend, Cat Griffin has put together the Let’s Get Digital Bundle which is packed full of fabulous goodies including my program Mindfulness Meditation for Beginners. This bundle is great for all my fellow entrepreneurs who are looking for ways to increase leads and sales without adding more stress to their plate. 
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It’s a little different to a lot of other bundles in that there are actually two tiers - which means you get to choose what you need right now. You can choose between getting the regular bundle only (for free), or if you are looking to invest in your business a bit more you can upgrade to the premium bundle. 
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Inside the premium bundle there are an additional 65 products which are great if you are looking to delve into things a bit deeper. 
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The premium bundle is priced at only $77 and as all the products are typically sold for $97+ even if there’s just one thing in there you have been meaning to buy you will be making a saving. 
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Personally I think it’s really worth it if there are 3-4 items that you know you are going to be able to take action on.
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🌿 Hey there, grab a cup of coffee and join me in my virtual living room. ⁣
Today, let's talk about stress. It's something we all experience, but did you know that a certain amount of stress can actually be good for us? 

It can motivate us and help us achieve our goals. It's all about finding that sweet spot. 

Let's dive into understanding stress and how we can manage it effectively. 

#StressManagement #FindYourSweetSpot
I can’t believe it’s February already! I don’t know about you but January felt like it was 3 months long. ⁣
While we might be one month down, we still have 11 months left of 2024 and I am ready to make them count! If you are too I have just the thing for you, the Let’s Get Digital Bundle!

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I’ve been looking through this and I’ve already picked out a few items to help me achieve some of my 2024 goals

If you run your own business then there will almost certainly be several products in the bundle which are going to be able to help you make changes and take action in your business. If you are a coach, service provider, digital product creator or work online with clients then you are likely to find tons of resources in the bundle which are going to help you. 

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