Just for a moment, imagine your life like a cruise ship. You’re sailing along doing business as usual and then – BOOM! Suddenly you crash into something causing an acute injury that has the potential to sink your ship. You head for the ER where a team of talented people help you get your body back in working order. In time, your injury heals and you are back on the water.

Or, perhaps, it’s not quite so dramatic. Instead, you slowly, quietly sail into waters you never intended to be in – the stormy sea of chronic illness. Cancer, heart disease, autoimmune issues, obesity, diabetes, and the list goes on. No one ever plans to go there. But most Americans do.

If you find yourself in a place you never intended to be, it’s not too late to get your ship heading in the right direction again. Everything you think, say, or do either moves you toward illness or wellness. You can turn your ship around, sail out of the stormy sea of chronic illness, and back to the waters of wellness.

Here are five simple steps to get started:

1. Nourish
97% of your body is made out of the food you ate last year.  Providing your body with quality building materials – whole foods – is foundational to turning your ship around. Eating junk food leads to the sea of chronic illness; eating nutrient-dense, whole foods leads to the waters of wellness.

2. Move
Stagnant water is sludgy and smelly. And your body can be that way too – if you don’t move. Your lymph system – the drainage system of your body – doesn’t have a pump like your heart does. Your lymph only moves when you do. Walking and rebounding are excellent. Don’t be like a stinky, stagnant pond. Get your body moving throughout the day.

3. Cleanse
Just like your house will accumulate garbage if you don’t take it out each day – so will your body. God designed your body to get rid of waste but sometimes it needs a little extra help. One simple way to assist your body is to start your day with warm lemon water. This can help flush your digestive system and hydrate your body. Simple habits like this add up to big benefits over time.

4. Rest
Your cell phone needs to be recharged everyday – and so do you! The sleep you get before midnight is key. If you want to thrive, make a habit of getting to bed early so you can start the day with a full battery!

5. Rhythm
Embracing the season you’re in is essential. Consider creating a vision board to help you discern your current priorities. Then spend your time, energy and resources on what God is asking you to be about in this season of life.

Don’t stay in the sea of chronic illness. Be intentional about turning your ship around and soon you will be heading for the waters of wellness!