This is Part 2 of a blog by Colm Holmes in which he shares his experiences evaluating himself using the Our Agenda wellness wheel. For Part 1, click here.
Part 6 - Your Body
I’ve selected Mostly Satisfied. Similar to my overall freedom, I am mostly satisfied with my body I wasn’t always. It took time to gain the confidence and acceptance of myself. I have insecurities about myself and am sure I will continue to, but actively knowing that I am over thinking or not being rational helps me remain leveled headed with regards to my personal appearance. We know the constant pressures to live up to ideal body image standards that the media and society tend to project, so coming to the realization that the standards of beauty in the media do not have to align with my standards of beauty was a very eye opening thing for me. Working on the acceptance of my body is something I plan to continue to do in 2014. One thing regarding my physical health that I would like to address in 2014 is smoking. Quitting cold turkey can lead to failure, so I have collected some resources and plan to look over options while at the same time trying to cut back. We know the smoking rates of LGBT communities are two to three times higher than the general population. I have been smoking since Secondary school and the overall effects it has on my energy and health are starting to feel more prominent. The winter can be a great help for this as going outside can be a real inconvenience. If you are like me and considering quitting smoking one resource I found helpful was the website www.clear-the-air.ca
Part 7 - Sexual Health
I’ve selected Extremely Confident. Due to the nature of my work it is imperative that I have the necessary knowledge to be able to address sexual health questions and concerns. If something arises that I am not well versed on or do not know I utilize the internet and resources available to me in order to gain the necessary knowledge. Working in a sex positive environment allows me to gain a great understanding on the issues surrounding gay and bisexual men and their sexual health. As gay and bisexual men we may have a harder time finding the information that pertains directly to us. Discussing issues surrounding gay and bisexual men daily helps keep me informed and allows me to actively think about these issues with regards to my own daily life. Being aware that most gay men do not find themselves in the same situation as me, I would encourage anyone who needs information regarding their sexual health to contact their local AIDS Service Organization, Sexual Health Clinics, family doctor, or research some online resources such as CATIE.ca.
Part 8 - Substance Use
Mostly Under Control; I do enjoy a night out with my friends and really value the company and memories that are created. It is important when I am partying to be aware of my limits and be mindful of the situations I can find myself in. As I have grown up I have developed a better skill set in managing the substances that are going into my body and being aware of my limits. Knowing the proper risks and being aware of the tolerance you have is crucial to achieving the pleasure you are looking for while reducing the risks. Being informed is critical if one has made the decision to partake in substance use.
Part 9 – Your Day
Moderately Satisfied, due to the overwhelming cold happening in my area right now. The temperature is currently -22. Coming back from holidays is always tough to get back in the work routine so overall today could have some improvement. On days like today I ensure to make plans to do something I really enjoy so that after a work day or just a long day in general I have something I am excited about. Today after work I plan to relax with a friend and have dinner which I am really looking forward to.
Part 10- Your Environment
I’ve selected Mostly Satisfied, due to the fact that I am house hunting it is creating a bit of stress in the house I am currently living in. The environments that I work and play in are very satisfying and I am sure my home environment will be the same once I have settled. If you are going through some sort of transition during the winter like myself seek support if needed and talk with others if you are feeling overwhelmed.
That completes my Wellness Wheel and I hope it was beneficial for you to see someone utilize this tool. I encourage you to try it for yourself as it is a great tool for self reflection and can be an extremely valuable tool for the gay and bisexual community.
Feel free to try the Wellness Wheel out for yourself at http://www.ouragenda.ca/WellnessBegin.aspx and let us know your experiences in the comments section...
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