We all hear the term “wellness” pretty often nowadays, don’t we? It’s everywhere!
What does it make you think of?
Do you instantly think of physical well-being? Emotional? Both? Neither? Something else?
Turns out wellness has a broad definition, but many people think of it simply as “being well”. That’s how I think of it- feeling well, being well, living well, sort of like a wholeness.
So what really is that “well” that we refer to? It’s not just the absence of illness but rather a balanced mind and body. To be well, we must not only be free of sickness, but we must nurture at least these five areas in order to feel, look, and live our best.
We can choose to fill our bodies with junk or with carefully prepared whole foods. “Whole foods” is simply eating mainly unprocessed foods in an array of colors. As close to natural as possible and better yet, organic. But I’m about moderation too. No stop at an ice parlor with my kids on a 95 degree day is going to lead to guilt here. Love the food you eat, don’t label it all so intensely. It’s not “bad” or “good” if you relish it for that meal with your every sense. However, choosing homemade meals based around plants is the best way to keep your body at it’s peak healthiness.
Physical wellness is about being conscious of the foods we eat but also moving our bodies, stretching, exercising and feeling good IN and WITH our bodies. It’s having that bounce in your step. Having the ability to reach your toes or keep you with your kids( somewhat anyway, we all know how fast a 2 or 3 year old can be!)
There are many ways to stay in shape. Recently I read that two of the best things are walking and yoga. So, yeah, lucky me, they happen to be my faves. And it’s so easy to check your pedometers and get in your steps nowadays between fitness bands and fitness apps. I find the more I check it, the more I want to walk. You can also add yoga to your day, even if just twice a week (and trust me, once you get hooked, you might like it 3-6 times a week) Another great way to stay fit is resistance training, AKA weights. Keeping your muscles strong is important as we age. Adding weights twice a week can also help us burn more calories.
Emotional wellness is a tough one for many people. Throughout each day we are bombarded with stressors and have to make choices on how we react and how we think. Not easy right?
Emotional wellness is about your attitude, optimism, self-awareness and self-acceptance.
It’s about feeling supported and offering support.
It’s about loving yourself and loving how you feel about your choices. No guilt, no fear.
I suggest having a few apps on your phone like HAPPIFY or CALM or HEADSPACE and tuning in to them daily is possible. They help me so much. Calm is my go-to and I share it with everyone I know. It’s actually the only app I have ever paid for and so worth it, since it comes to cents a day.
Connecting with friends is an important aspect of wellness. Social wellness involves participating in your community and circles as well as your family and friends.
It’s feeling connected with like-minded people and being able to talk and share activities.
Social wellness and balance come from having deep meaningful relationships with family, friends, co-workers and colleagues. But you can also develop and nurture your social wellness by volunteering. Working a home business can connect you with a team, as can working anywhere. There are many ways to be socially involved. Stay active and get out and about and meet new people. Join a club, take a class and get social. It really feels good to have all sorts of connections.
Spiritual wellness is not necessarily religious but if religion plays a big part in your life, there is a great overlap.
Spirituality gives us a sense of purpose and meaning in life, expands our harmony and brings a sense of inner connectedness with oneself and inner peace. Taking time to be alone, especially out in nature, often nurtures our spirituality. Yoga can too. Sometimes being with animals can do that for people too. Or consider going on a spiritual retreat or even one day mini-retreats aimed to awaken and nourish your spirituality.
This is more about the ability to open your mind, improve your skills and learn new things.
It’s a stimulating part of life that comes from reading, studying, travel and trying new things. Intellectual wellness is about soaking up life experiences and growing from them. Talk to new people, listen to new views and open your mind.
Balancing all of these aspects and nurturing your body, mind and soul is what will help you ultimately achieve satisfying and health-nourishing levels of wellness. You’ll not only look better, but you’ll also feel better, when you are balanced in all areas.
If you feel you’ve been neglecting one area, or more, start focusing on that area and see how it fills up your life and adds balance. I hope you take time to nurture and balance your main areas of wellness.
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