Wellness Spotlight | Danielle Tenconi | Fitting Fitness Into a Full Life
The Wellness Spotlight Series highlights military spouses and their real world health and wellness journeys in a Facebook Live series. Below is an excerpt of Danielle's feature.
Danielle has been a military spouse for 15 years and a working mom to two young boys. She is a world traveler that is passionate about health, enjoys running and practicing yoga.
TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR JOURNEY AS A MILITARY SPOUSE.
I met my husband on a bus in Australia before he joined the Army. I had just graduated university and was backpacking around the world before starting my first real job. I had no idea that a holiday romance would lead to living this military life with two children 15 years later. We have lived in nine different places, including Germany and Korea, each having highs and lows, but overall, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I cherish the experiences military life has given us, especially the people we have met and now consider family.
WHAT IS one personal habit that contributes to your success?
I’m a huge believer in being consistent with exercise. I schedule time to exercise every day, and if I miss a day, I can feel it in my productivity and mood. I’m a much nicer person when I exercise. It does not have to be a full hour in the gym. Just 20 minutes running outside, or a quick yoga class at home recharges me. My exercise time is always in my diary, like all appointments and meetings, and it’s a commitment to myself that I can’t break. If I don’t put it in my schedule I will never do it. I’m going to add a bonus habit and that’s exercising with friends. When I have a running buddy, I never miss a run and I always go far longer than when I’m alone. If you are a social exerciser, I highly suggest doing it with friends to keep you accountable and motivated.
WHAT IS A LOW MOMENT WHEN YOUR HEALTH SUFFERED THE MOST AND HOW DID YOU OVERCOME IT?
The moment that is freshest in my memory was this past year in Korea. I had completely over stretched myself working full time, traveling for work, being mom while my husband worked crazy hours, and volunteering as spouse club president. I had become exhausted and my health and family suffered as a result. I had stopped enjoying things like running and going out with friends because I was in a constant state of stress.
It was a tough realization that I could not do everything, which was hard to accept, as I’m someone who never says no. It was not until we had moved to the US, that I realized how badly I had burnt myself out. I have now decided that for the short term, I will not volunteer for any military groups, events etc. I love serving the military community, but for the immediate future, setting this boundary has really helped me focus on the other aspects of my life and given me space to breathe.
When have you felt your healthiest (mental and/or physical) since becoming a military spouse?
This year is going to be my highest moment! My goal is to find better synchronicity between the different aspects of health by setting more reasonable health expectations. In previous years, I have challenged myself to race or go exclusively to advanced yoga classes or be super strict with my diet. What I’ve found is that if I push myself too far in one area, another aspect of my wellness suffers. This year, I’m going to do things differently. I’m going to prioritize sleep, as that is one of the most important foundations of wellness. I’m not going to worry about eating out occasionally or buying pre-chopped veggies/fruits to make life easier. I’m not going to stress about walking instead of running, or opting for the easiest yoga class, as exercise does not have to be intense all the time. If I achieve this, I will be very happy…although I may run just one or two races.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE FORM OF SELF CARE?
Self-care comes in many forms and I need different things at different times. If I’ve had a stressful work week in which my brain is exhausted, I adore binging on trashy TV. If I’ve not slept well, a great yin yoga class is my medicine. Every week I ask myself what I need to re-energize and then pick the most appropriate thing.
WHAT IS A HEALTH AND WELLNESS RESOURCE YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE WITH THE COMMUNITY?
I’m always being asked about yoga resources, as it’s a passion of mine, especially when friends are pregnant. My go to yoga resource is: https://www.glo.com/ - it’s a fantastic membership site with amazing instructors, and you can do high quality yoga classes in the comfort of your home. This is my go-to resource when I’m traveling or mid-PCS.
IF YOU COULD RECOMMEND ONE RESOURCE TO MILITARY SPOUSES, WHAT WOULD IT BE AND WHY?
I’ve been really into listening to the Brendon Burchard podcast recently, as I find him motivational, but he also gives tangible actions to live your best life. Navigating military life can be tough, so the more tools and techniques we have the better!
ABOUT Danielle Tenconi
Danielle has been a military spouse for 15 years, is a working mom to two young boys, and lives in Texas. She works remotely as a consultant for Accenture, traveling frequently across the world. Danielle is passionate about health, so much so, she decided to do a MSc on Healthcare Communications for fun. She is a qualified yoga instructor and loves to run.