Designing Your Wellness Lifestyle

Feeling better not older is about taking charge of your own wellness. Wellness and health often get mixed up. Health is your current state of disease and dysfunction of body and mind. Wellness is all the things you are doing to have the very best life you can! Wellness goes beyond just exercise or saying no to a piece of cake. Lifelong wellness means you get to live a long, rich life where you feel good, move well, have energy and endurance to do what is important to you, feel loved, sleep fabulously, enjoy sex, and share your gifts with the world every day until you move beyond.

Wellness is grounded in your daily lifestyle choices. Every day you eat, drink, sleep, breathe, move, work, and play. Do you select foods and prioritize activities that upgrade or downgrade your overall wellness?

Wellness is the compete integration of body, mind, and spirit – the realization that everything we do, think, feel, and believe has an effect on our state of well-being. – Greg Anderson

Your brain is designed to do what is easiest. Brains like to follow established patterns. Changing a pattern (habit), going in a new direction, making different choices – those are all work! The work needs to be so important to you that you are willing to actually do it. Otherwise, you make the change for a while then fall back into your usual (i.e. stronger) and less wellness-oriented patterns.

Want to Feel Better Not Older?

Why Wellness for You?

Everyone has both feelings and thoughts; these feelings and thoughts drive our actions. They keep you inspired to finish college, make dinner, complete a long project, and make big lifestyle changes. You need to know your Reason(s) For Wellness. You may need to look deep for your reason or it may pop into your mind easily. Goals shift and change. We work with that to our advantage. Reasons are connected to emotions and are less likely to shift. Here are 5 typical Reasons For Wellness that drive others into lifestyle changes:

  • Desire to keep up with grandchildren
  • Desire to avoid the “scary medical procedure” that your friend/family just had done
  • Arrival of a “BIG” Birthday
  • A recent divorce or loss that shifts your identity
  • A personal health crisis

What is your Reason For Wellness? Find it. Know it. Use it to drive you forward. Keep coming back to it.

Human Needs and Wellness

Science and history give us valuable information about what a human needs in order to live and thrive. Human needs according to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs include (in order):

  • Biological: Air, water, food, sunlight, warmth, movement, shelter, sex, sleep
  • Safety: security, order, stability, protection from the elements, freedom of fear
  • Love: Intimacy, acceptance, friends, giving and receiving affection
  • Esteem: dignity, achievement, independence, valued by others
  • Cognition: understanding, learning, curiosity, exploration
  • Aesthetic: appreciation of beauty, form, and balance in the world
  • Self-Actualization: achieving one’s full potential, seeking personal growth and peak experiences
  • Transcendence: motivation for reasons/experiences beyond yourself

These needs are in order of importance to your mind and body. Before you can do great things for the world, you have to take care of your own needs. At Zen and Vitality, you have the opportunity to engage in self care practices that bring you up, balance you out, accept you for who you are right now, grow your confidence and strength, change your form, challenge your thinking, and help you make your mark on the world. Zoa facilitates all this without magic – just science blended with your purposeful work and mindful lifestyle choices.

Want to Feel Better Not Older?

8 Dimensions of Wellness

At Zen and Vitality, you will have access to a wide variety of tools and personalized guidance to improve and maintain all the dimensions of wellness. Some tools will be perfect for you to begin with right away. Others are either lower priority or you are doing fine on your own. Which wellness dimension(s) do you want support with first and why?

If you are most new Zen and Vitality clients, you want it all! There are so many choices! It is easy to feel overwhelmed. If you take on too many changes at once, you will likely have a very hard time keeping up with all of the changes. It is crucial to acknowledge the interconnection between the different dimensions of wellness.

For example, when you take a movement class with Zoa, you consciously are choosing physical wellness. The laughter and camaraderie that comes from a group class or your private session provides you social wellness at the same time. The full body movement stimulates your fascial system and releases pent up emotions through laughter, smiles, tears, whatever it takes! Voilà, emotional wellness has been encouraged. You gain intellectual wellness from class as well since Zoa aims to share useful tidbits about your body’s optimal functioning as they are relevant. There you go – 4 dimensions of wellness addressed simultaneously in a single hour or less.

Want to Feel Better Not Older?

Simple Ways to Build a Wellness Lifestyle

A good rule of thumb lies within the Hippocratic Oath that all medical doctors must take: First Do No Harm. To follow this important philosophy, you prioritize stopping the unhelpful or harmful things first. Those habits will naturally be replaced by something beneficial and supportive of your wellness lifestyle goals. After that, adding in the new activities makes sense. In the book Superhuman, author Dave Asprey shares this idea more directly: Stop doing things that will kill you. Then do things that will help you live better and longer.

Wellness Roadmap

When you work with Zoa Conner, PhD to create a Wellness Roadmap, you end up with a plan, goals, and steps to follow to make your goals achievable.

We will create tiny habits that stack together to help your lifestyle changes stick.

You will receive tools to help you stay accountable to yourself and your Reason For Wellness.

We will check in with each other frequently to check progress and change the plan as needed.

Available virtually or in person for La Plata, MD area residents.

Want to Feel Better Not Older?


Zoa has assisted me in my personal wellness journey from the outside in. What started as occasionally attending Friday night yoga to relax and recharge at the end of a stressful week has gradually become a lifestyle change. I greatly appreciate her tenaciously nudging me into a more consistently conscious way of living!

In her fitness classes, Zoa supports clients in developing and being accountable to their goals while encouraging them to embrace new ones. I’ve done yoga for years but had never tried barre or Pilates; nor knew what fascial release was — but I don’t think I could live without it now!

At the beginning of each session she asks participants for input regarding bodily needs and preferences, and tailors the activity accordingly. She is attentive to all attendees, offering gentle corrections or assistance as needed to ensure everyone gets what they need.

She also seems to magically say just what I need to hear at times, both on and off the mat! 

In addition to a variety of exercise classes, Zoa offers adjunctive programs running the gamut of health and wellness. She has natural products for sale and hosts unique workshops which open the mind and encourage exploration and self-care. She offers wellness tools I’ve never heard of but which have had swift visible benefit, such as the fascia and light therapy wands.

Her guided meditations tremendously help me sleep. And through her partnerships with local organic food, flower and juice purveyors I have connected with like-minded business folks and can support both their endeavors and my health.

Zoa’s passion for holistic life is obvious and inspiring. I’m happy to be working with her and trying out new things, which is propelling me to feel more grounded, centered, and strong.

Jackie, Psychotherapist

Want to Feel Better Not Older?

Wellness is not a ‘medical fix’ but a way of living – a lifestyle sensitive and responsive to all the dimensions of body, mind, and spirit, an approach to life we each design to achieve our highest potential for well-being now and forever. – Greg Anderson

search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close