Here is a collection of quotes about well-being. After reading each one, pause and take three deep and gentle breaths. Notice the sensations in your body. Does it feel tight? Heavy? Light? Energized?*

“Well-being cannot exist just in your own head. Well-being is a combination of feeling good as well as actually having meaning, good relationships and accomplishment.”

– Martin Seligman

“Establishing healthy habits – like eating a healthy diet, getting plenty of sleep, and participating in regular exercise – can also go a long way to improving how you feel. Similarly, getting rid of destructive mental habits, like engaging in self-pity or ruminating on the past, can also do wonders for your emotional well-being.”

– Amy Morin

“Wellness is not a ‘medical fix’ but a way of living – a lifestyle sensitive and responsive to all the dimensions of body, mind, and spirit, an approach to life we each design to achieve our highest potential for well-being now and forever.”

– Greg Anderson

“A healthy attitude is contagious but don’t wait to catch it from others. Be a carrier.”

– Tom Stoppard

“Wellbeing is about the combination of our love for what we do each day, the quality of our relationships, the security of our finances, the vibrancy of our physical health, and the pride we take in what we have contributed to our communities. Most importantly, it’s about how these five elements interact.”

– Tom Rath

I find many of the phrases above inspirational. They fill me with energy and a sense of possibility. I feel motivated to take an inventory of what elements in my life make me feel vibrant and which elements drag me down. By “elements,” I mean habits, actions, attitudes, etc.

When I read other phrases, I tighten up. “Economic security?” Yikes! I feel frightened and powerless…

My body’s responses alone may be a signal that I should consider making a change.

Once a year, I consider the promise “I will spend my days in ways that enhance the well-being of myself and others.” It’s a chance to look at how I’m spending my time and energy.

Take a look at your calendar for the past month or so and respond to any of the prompts below.

In your journal:

  • what did you notice in the quotes above? Where were you inspired? Where were you dragged down?
  • Do you have a happy balance between rest and action? Time alone and with others?
  • Where are you with sleep, diet, and exercise?
  • How is your physical health? Mental health? Spiritual health?
  • Are your relationships mutually supportive?
  • How do you spend your days?
  • What makes your heart sing?
  • What does your heart long for?
  • What changes (if any) would you like to make and what are the kindest ways to make them?
  • How would you like to celebrate all the good in your life?

* I’m learning this technique of checking in with my body by reading and working with Resmaa Menakem’s books on embodied anti-racism, which I highly recommend.