One of the most important aspects of a health and wellness journey, whether to lose weight or just become healthier, is wellness. By wellness what I am specifically referring to is your mental wellness. You can eat the right things, exercise, and see short-term results, but the way you make it a long-term agenda is to put your mental wellness at the forefront of what you decide to do. Whether you decide to do this through mediation, journaling, prayer, therapy, etc. the choice is up to you. You must first gather your mental standing and see where you are, to begin with. Have you been feeling more on edge lately? Have you been more likely to snap over the little things? This may indicate that you are not mentally in the best place and need to re-evaluate certain things to get to a more healthy, free-flow position. I am no where near an expert in this specific area however what I can tell you is what I do and what works for me. If I am feeling extra irritable or overwhelmed, (when I can make myself do this), I step back and write down my stressors. This could be work, lack of sleep, coworkers, friendship issues or tension, or a vast variety of other things to trigger this feeling. But if you write them out and let that sheet of paper be your “brain dump” you can first, empty your tensions onto paper, freeing up space in your mind, and secondly, you are more likely to be able to work through the issues and create solutions because then they are on paper looking almost like a word problem. You can use a subjective standpoint and act as if it is not YOU dealing with the issue and work it out for “someone else”, we all love to give advice we don’t listen to, right? Or is it just me? So now you have brain dumped your stressors onto paper where they can live until they are solved, so now what? Now, imagine what a perfect mental health standing would look like for you? While we may not want to strive for perfection because truthfully it doesn’t exist, we can still use this idea to get a grasp on what we would like to achieve. So now, you have used the brain dump, fantasized about what perfect mental health would look like, and now you're wondering how this relates to fitness? Well, relating to anything in life, if you are trying to do something long-term and your mental health is poor, how long can you truly keep it up/be happy doing so? The key to a lifestyle change is to keep yourself in the correct headspace. By keeping a grasp on your mental health, you are setting yourself up for success than just by counting calories. When things in life get hard if you’re mentally in a good place you are more likely to assess obstacles, re-evaluate, and continue from there. If you are not in a good place mentally, the answer overwhelmingly becomes “give up”. So as you are beginning your journey, or continuing the one you are on, put your mental health at the forefront and watch how you grow!