Wellness Weekly: Enjoy what needs to be enjoyed...but get back to work

Wellness Weekly: Enjoy what needs to be enjoyed...but get back to work


How you should manage your health around the celebratory moments in life.

Happy Friday!

About a week ago I was still in Ghana, enjoying some downtime after my traditional wedding, in 35 degree heat....

And now I'm back in the UK where it is 7 degrees! (Look I love London, but I also love 35 degree heat).

That's besides the point of this post though...

The discussion here is how we should manage our health and wellbeing practices around the celebratory moments in life.

I discussed the 'over-optimisation' of health in a recent email, and how it leads some people to avoid the lighter moments in life in favour of being incredibly regimented for every single day of the year.

I personally don't think that is realistic for most (it is perhaps slightly different if you are actively managing a health condition of course).

Did I have some late nights while I was in Ghana? Yes

Did I have a few alcoholic beverages while out at dinner with friends and family? Yes.

Given that my health habits are dialled in 90-95% of the time, this isn't going to affect me in any way.

However I still think it's important to maintain 'some' form of routine when away – y0u shouldn't just switch off completely and go off the rails.

I still like to keep the engine running – for example while away for 2 weeks, I got 3 really hard full-body training sessions in the bank.

And when it came to my nutrition, I took some bits with me (tofu, oats, nuts and seeds) – however there is plenty of healthy, plant-rich food in my home country anyway.

Foods such as plantain, yam, beans, plus rice and beans all were in the mix.

Having a minimum viable dose of exercise and good nutrition when away is good – before getting back into a full routine.

In my opinion, I think this is a good approach for everyone.

As my good friend Dan Hyman often says – 'enjoy what needs to be enjoyed, but get back on the road'.

Holidays, birthdays, weddings and more are to be enjoyed - but then the work continues with your health afterwards.

What does this mean?

The road is a metaphor for your lifestyle and everything that is involved with it.

Your training, eating habits, sleep, stress management, and anything else that keeps you in the best condition possible to live well.

But when certain events come around, its important to be fully present and enjoy them as much as possible.

That might see you slip out of routine for a bit.

But when the event is over, its on us as individuals to click straight back into gear, and get back on track.

That's how you should view your lifestyle.

If you are using light-hearted life events to 'get away' from or 'cheat' on your health habits, then they are too restrictive – and you'll likely fail in the long term.

But your lifestyle should see you acknowledge that health habits are simply ingrained into you as a part of who you are – with the occasional birthday or wedding enjoyment being temporary – and that you flip back into routine as soon as possible.

It's the most sustainable approach in my opinion, and one that will work for many.

So the next time you are away, allow this sentence to ring in your head:

Enjoy what needs to be enjoyed...but get back to work when its all over.

Tweet of the week

Don't listen to those who make blanket statements about how bad all pharmaceutical medicine is.

Do we overmedicate in society? Absolutely in my opinion.

Has there been a deviation from many other forms of holistic medicine to solely paint conventional medicine as the saviour of all? Yes.

Is there less of a focus on lifestyle habits, and a reliance on medicine to solve our problems? Yes (although the tide seems to be turning a bit).

But that doesn't mean medication can't be useful at some point.

The key is to set up your lifestyle (whole-food nutrition, targeted supplements/herbs, bloodwork, training, sleep, stress, healthy relationships etc) to give yourself the best chance of avoiding having to be put on medication in the first place.

Many of the diseases we see in society today are lifestyle-driven.

But God forbid I'm in a car crash, I want all of the drugs to help me get through it.

Enjoy your weekend my friend – and stay healthy.