The Four Pillars of Health

My [ever supportive] husband pointed out that this graphic does not represent pillars, but rather are arrows. If I had to draw “Pillars”, they wouldn’t look like this. touche. So, I thought I would write a little something about why I use this graphic & what it represents to me.

First, as a wellness coach, these are the areas I work with my clients. These areas of health are my boundary. I don’t help clients with organizational, financial or relationship skills. I work with them on areas of health: their nutrition, activity, sleep management and stress management. The way I see it, these areas are so tightly connected that if one fails, they all tend to fail.

I’m sure you’ve noticed that during times of high stress, that if you don’t take proper care of yourself, your nutrition starts to falter. When we stray from those foods that are good for our bodies, we feel bad & don’t feel like exercising. When we don’t exercise, not only do we not handle stress well, but we also sleep poorly. And so the cycle goes on & on…

If we were to turn that cycle, and this graphic, on it’s side, we’d see that each lapse in behavior for one of these elements leads to a downward spiral for the whole cycle, and our health.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. When we start exercising and eating properly for our body, we find that we can turn this downward spiral on it’s head & make great strides in the positive direction. Making good food choices and exercising will drastically improve our quality of sleep, and also improve our abilities to cope with stressful situations.

Being organized & planning our food for the day or week stops us from just grabbing what is available (which, convenience foods tend not to be the best choices). Planning our exercise prevents us from not having enough time to do it. Having a set bed time ensures that we get enough sleep. All of this reduces stress, because nothing is left to chance.

So instead of the Four Pillars of Health, maybe I should rename it, however “the Four Health Areas that Influence Each Other” really doesn’t have the right ring to it…