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Philippines Trip Day 10 - Balance and Mindfulness


By Skylar Richardson

With a single week left in this vacation, I am reflecting on some of the things I have observed.

For example, the consumption of alcohol is customary during gatherings. I don’t mean a simple glass or a shot. I mean people frequently get drunk. Not too long ago, I learned that someone close had passed due to cirrhosis of the liver because of alcohol. As I am making healthy choices, I can’t help but think about the choices we all have. No one is obligated to die young of avoidable causes. Some of us are bound by tradition. Some of these traditions, like the over-consumption of food and alcohol, are detrimental.

There is value in balance. However, if we are prone to overindulge for one reason or another, we should reflect. We should ask ourselves: What is my current state of health? Do I feel helpless? Am I afraid to change? We should not be afraid to ask ourselves these tough questions. Ignorance is not bliss. It can be fatal.

When I began my health and wellness journey, part of me was afraid because I would be abandoning the only lifestyle I had known. Not eating the foods that I’ve always eaten would seem weird. Even when I stopped drinking, that too was strange. How would I enjoy social occasions, I thought?

I have since learned that there is success on the other side, and it is not weird. It’s awesome.

I have decided that I can’t drink for more than one reason. I have also decided that being healthy means more than instant gratification. Sadly, that instant gratification was typically followed up by guilt and regret, not to mention extra pounds.

Enjoy the holidays, but practice mindfulness and balance, and do not be bound to detrimental traditions and customs that do not serve you or your family.

Be well and whole.

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