While we are constantly reminded to live a healthy, balanced lifestyle, many of us may not know what that means

Ah, February – the month of love, the month after Januworry, the month most people have settled back into their routines and habits. The herds at the gym and box have started thinning out, with only the regulars making appearances at classes once spilling over with newbies eager to stick to their new year’s resolutions. Bank accounts are recovering, kale smoothies have been replaced with ice cream, and the scale got shoved back into the bathroom cabinet.

Who would have guessed, then, that 16 February is Healthy Lifestyle Awareness Day or that the entire month is known as Healthy Lifestyle Awareness Month?

While we are constantly reminded to live a healthy, balanced lifestyle many of us may not know what that means.

We need only think about the health ‘diet’, and fitness trends and terminology with which we have been bombarded over the last few years – banting, keto, low carb high fat (LCHF), vegan, wholefood plant-based, adaptogens, CrossFit, high intensity interval training (HIIT), and low intensity interval training (LIIT) – to understand how even seasoned professionals can feel overwhelmed.

What chance, then, does the average human have in navigating this minefield?

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I was diagnosed with adrenal burnout nearly three years ago

I can’t give you the exact total in terms of all the hospital visits I had before the diagnosis, but numerous kidney and bladder infections, as well as stomach ulcers got me well on the path.

Chronic and acute stress provided the final shove that sent me to the doctor for a battery of blood tests. I stared at him blankly as he read out everything that was wrong with me.

“Okay, so how do I fix it?” was my frustrated response. I didn’t want to hear the answer, and I wasn’t ready to hear it either:

Adrenal burnout’s ‘quickest’ treatment meant two years of removing all stress from my life. Another blank stare.

So, what now? Was he seriously telling me that a sabbatical from life was the answer? There was no way I could just quit my job and live off the land!

Thus began a long, tough, and sometimes excruciating trek that would see me pursuing that elusive concept of ‘wellth’ – the combination of health and wellness

I realised that there was no quick fix, no easy answer. If I wanted to be truly healthy, to be well, I had to make drastic changes that would apply to every aspect of my life.

This month, I want to honour Healthy Lifestyle Awareness by sharing this journey with you. It cannot compare to the journey you are on, but it’s a useful point of reference for anyone who feels despondent or lacklustre about their health and lifestyle choices.

I hope that it offers both inspiration and a warning.  It would be remiss of me not to state that any change needs to be monitored by a healthcare professional. Please consult a suitable specialist before you embark on any new path when it comes to your health.

Read this next: Why today’s mothers are exhausted and unhappy

While All4Women endeavours to ensure health articles are based on scientific research, health articles should not be considered as a replacement for professional medical advice. Should you have concerns related to this content, it is advised that you discuss them with your personal healthcare provider.