(Foreword: This post is primarily geared toward women because of the dominant demographic of Pinterest users and members of the Rockin’ Rural Women community. Men, please don’t be offended by this. If you’d like to join community-geared efforts toward wellness, feel free to hop in, share your thoughts, and join in any initiatives that take place following this
One of my big goals for the second half of senior year is to take better care of myself. (Let me tell you, I hardly ever take good care of myself. The needs of others generally come first.) This will happen in a variety of ways. I want to work out more. I want to eat better. I want to decompress more easily when I need it. I want to develop a better relationship with myself.
One of the many changes I’ve made in my life lately has been an addiction to Pinterest. It isn’t intentional and it isn’t necessarily healthy, but it’s caused some interesting dialogue. My food-pinning habits were calling into question when there were more Jell-O shots than salads on my food board (at the time called “Edibles and Libations.”) Since then, I’ve split my food pinning habits up between Light and Tasty!, Sweet Treats, Rich Dishes, Breakfast…or Brinner…or Bunch, and Libations and Thirst-Quenchers. I also started a board called Health and Fitness that references inspirational quotes, lifestyle adaptations and simple workout ideas for the athletically-challenged.
Well, ladies, I can pin all I want to about fitness and eating right. How do we actually make it happen?
Let’s hold each other accountable.
Between #Agvodate and #RockinRuralWomen, I am connected with a broad assortment of country women who all rely on each other for all sorts of moral support. If I had a quarter for every time these women came to my rescue during a case of the gloomies, in a moment of fashion indecision, or in the face of a moral dilemma…well, I would not be quite so concerned about my student loans or car payments.
For stress management, I attend yoga once a week. They are offered free for students on campus each Monday night. I also have access to a well-equipped gym, indoor track, and weight room. (At one point in time before winter break I was running 3-4 times a week averaging about 9 minutes a mile.) While our cafeteria doesn’t always offer the healthiest hot meal options, there is always soup and a pretty well-stocked salad bar. (To be fair, our cafeteria is far above any I’ve experienced at other schools, and we have a few fantastic short order chefs who spoil us rotten.)
How can we do this? How can we, as women who are separated from a large portion of our moral support by geography, team up together to encourage better health for all of us? While I have the wonderful resources of my campus community until I graduate on June 9th, after that it’s a gamble on what I’ll be able to do and how. I’m not sure where I’ll be living (aside from a few weeks with my parents, ten miles outside of the nearest town on 400 people), and I have no idea what resources I have. Likewise, many of my Rockin’ Rural friends don’t have many resources close at hand…so, what do we do?
Let’s discuss this, ladies (and gentlemen too, if you want to hop on board the Rockin’ Rural train). Let’s get the ball rolling. How can we, as a group of geographically-distant-but-emotionally-close individuals promote, encourage, and foster good lifestyle choices among ourselves, even with the limited resources that may arise in a rural setting?
We have to think beyond just exercise and food, too. We need to get down to the heart of the matter, which is that wellness and health go hand-in-hand with a good relationship with yourself. I know that my online community has been a source of support through some very trying times. If my experiences are any indicator of the power of digitally-founded relationships, then I think together we can really foster a deeper appreciation for ourselves, our bodies, our experiences, and our emotional health. When I think back to my thinnest, most athletic days (senior year of high school), it isn’t necessarily the fact that I was skinny that I miss. It’s the feeling of confidence and the sense of accomplishment that I was running, staying in shape, and taking care of myself. I’ll never be that size again, but I think I can achieve that peace of mind about myself with the right moral support and dedication. Heck, I’ve made leaps and bounds of progress from where I was a year or two ago in regards to that.
The simple fact is, together, we can make this happen. As a community of Rockin’ Rural Women (and Men), we can really take control of our well-being.
So, who’s with me? And where do we start?