It Depends: Another Way to Approach Your Health

Zavia Pittman

Staff Writer

Health and wellness are most likely terms you have seen a lot recently. The pandemic had a way of putting a spotlight on public health, and, in turn, many of us focused more intently on our personal health. And that includes our physical, spiritual and mental health. As a result, many are taking a more holistic approach when taking care of themselves, which is a great thing. This phenomenon is not necessarily new though, health is a universal ideal, so people have been trying to reach that for centuries. However, with such a long history, the way that humans undertake health and wellness has varied drastically, and what is considered healthy has also changed. Yet, the belief that there is only one way to be healthy is prevalent no matter what period we are in. 

For example, in the last couple of years, I too have taken a more serious approach to my well-being, both physically and mentally (which still needs work if I’m being honest). I tried doing a bit of research before I started doing anything, and unfortunately, I found myself lost in a sea of differing opinions. First, there was varying information about diets. Some “experts” say you should only eat literally one food group while others say you can eat everything in moderation. Then there are the cleanses, the detoxes and the pills that, allegedly, fix all your problems (you see where I’m going with this…). No matter where I went (YouTube, TikTok, medical websites and personal trainers), everyone had the “perfect” way to health. And let’s not forget that this is the same way for mental health advice too. From meditating to ecstatic dance, everyone claimed to have the better advice.

Suffice it to say, I was overwhelmed, which I think comes with the territory when most people start their health journey. I was so overwhelmed, in fact, that I thought I would never find the best way to help myself. Weeks passed, and I found myself listening to this podcast called “Maintenance Phase.” The hosts are Micheal Hobbes, a reporter for “The Huffington Post,” and Aubrey Gordan, an author and activist. The podcast mostly discusses different wellness topics and myths about health (and I promise you it is extremely entertaining.) And outside of being a great podcast, “Maintenance Phase” was one of the things that helped me when I was disappointed during my health journey. Most importantly, it changed my view of what health actually is.

Don’t worry, I’m not gonna prescribe another diet to you.

Funnily enough, the answer was in front of me all along (when is it not?). Whether I’d like to admit it or not, I was looking for someone to lay out what I needed to do. One could say that this is lazy, but I think that’s too easy to say. Rather, I think I was scared of figuring things out for myself, which is a fear many people have because figuring things out means trial and error, which in turn means failure is required.

What I learned is that health is different for everyone (I know, what a shocker.) But, seriously, think about how unique we are as people. Yeah, we may share some similarities with others, but, in reality, we are extremely distinct from each other. How my body and mind react to something can be completely different from your experience. The problem with all these opinions on health and well-being is that they are coming from a sample set of one person usually. We just can’t expect this one way to work for everyone. Health is individual. I’m not saying you should throw out all the things you learn about being healthy up until this point; rather, I am saying, you only know what will work for you, especially regarding your well-being. I know how annoying this may sound (“You just have to figure it out”), but health just depends on the person.

There’s a lot of yelling going on in the health space, but you can muffle all of it when you remember that your health is yours. We can listen to others’ opinions from time to time, but we will only know what works for us if we try it. It can be a long frustrating ride, but it’ll be much more fulfilling than doing someone else’s cookie-cutter method. 

* ”Maintenance Phase” is available wherever you listen to your podcasts.

Categories: featured, Opinions


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