Wellness means different things to different people. We often equate wellness with physical fitness. But for me and I’m sure many others’ wellness extends way beyond our ability to be physically fit. I believe it should be viewed as holistic, and that is the way I started to see it.
We can all try our best to lose weight, exercise more, or push our bodies to impossible limits. But without rest and recovery, we will be physically tired and hurt ourselves. If we focus primarily on physical activities, how then will our emotional health be strengthened? Let’s say we neglect to find ways to decrease our stress, our bodies will be dis-eased. If our emotional health is out of whack, we would be physically fit and miserable as hell.
Wellness, to me, is a proactive approach to living. It’s about our physical, emotional, spiritual, and mental health. Our ability to reduce stress and rest, recover and relax both mentally and physically. The ability to have healthy relationships and healthy social lives. Our financial and environmental health. Our quality-of-life. All of these dimensions of wellness are interrelated — have you ever tried to reduce stress while you can’t pay your mortgage or rent? Or try to be peaceful when you’re in a state of worry and fear? To lead a fulfilling life, we must look at all aspects of what genuinely optimal wellness is to us.
Creating Wellness Goals
We live complicated lives— look at the way we’re living these days. I don’t know about you, but it’s a challenge to optimize much less maintain my mental, physical, emotional, or spiritual health these days.
As I write, I’m stuck in bed. Because I felt uncertain—I pushed myself physically, and now in bed here icing my knee. In a different time, I wouldn’t have pushed my body. I would have remained in the present moment and listened to my body.
Some of my current wellness goals include
Getting to a healthy weight.
Reducing my stress level as I navigate COVID-19.
Maintaining my morning and evening routines to help with a level of normalcy and peace of mind.
Having healthy but challenging conversations with my brother about business.
Being kind to myself and others while I can be easily irritated and lash out.
I just don’t see the benefit of working on my physical health while neglecting my emotional, spiritual, or mental health. I’m no expert, but it’s never worked for me. There was a time when I kept doing the same things over and over again, yet I expected different results. Why am I so angry, and I feel such a disappointment when I work out daily? Why am I feeling so hopeless when I worked out just a few minutes ago? These were some of the questions I asked as a focus solely on physical activity. By asking these questions came answers, and with these answers came an awareness of how I could live a better life.
I haven’t figured out all the answers or asked all the questions. I’ve just touched the tip of the iceberg, but I now understand that my wellness is dependent on me, giving all parts of myself attention. When I journal, it helps me with my emotional and mental health. I say thank you in the mornings before I get out of bed, it’s part of my spiritual health. When I plan my day, and I list something I am grateful for. Or I write down an affirmation for the day— that’s a part of my mental and emotional health.
Your first step is to figure out what wellness means to you. Go beyond what I have written here— do your research. Read books, articles, studies, etc. and create your wellness goals or rituals. They do not need to be complicated or lengthy. I’ve gathered my ideas from different sources. It’s about what works for you. If you do it and it feels right, then it’s something you can continue to do. If it stops working, then upgrade it or find something else. It’s about you; it’s not about me, your parents, husband, boyfriend, or society. Your optimal wellness is solely about you.
When I think about wellness and achieving it, I know it looks different for each of us. How it looks for me, it doesn’t look the same for my sister. We must find the right combination of support and things that work for us as individuals. It’s truly dependent on our needs; wellness is unique to each of us. What do you need right now? Take an honest assessment: what is one thing you can do right now that will improve your wellness?
Five minutes of meditation can help you to feel more relaxed; reading a motivational quote in the morning can help to combat negative thoughts. While saying a morning prayer can make you feel more hopeful and increase your faith. Bear in mind I’m focusing on where we are right now. Pre-COVID-19, if my body showed signs of stress, I would go for acupuncture or massage. Now when I feel stressed, I stretch or tap various points on my body. Stay in the present moment, adapt to your current climate and find ways and things that can work now.
Wellness offers us many benefits, and we should make it a priority now more than ever. In our new normal, my unique wellness rituals help to increase my energy, experience more positive emotions. Frees my body of pain (I started to experience body pain during the first month of COVID-19 from being sediment — at times it was unbearable). It helps my day to flow better in a more positive way, helps me to have faith in better days ahead, and to experience a sense of peace, etc..
I feel better equipped to manage expected and unexpected changes, especially during these uncertain times. Some of the benefits you can experience are:
- Increased creativity
- More laughter
- Higher productivity
- Reduce illness
- Reduce stress
- Mental strength and awareness
- Physical strength
- Deeper spirituality
- Emotional awareness and strength
And this list could go on and on.
Wellness should change our lives for the better — it should not be another thing for us to be obsessive about. It should be something tailored to you uniquely. And when we embrace wellness fully it activates benefits that extends to our loved ones and those we interact with physically and virtually.
As Always, I’m sending Love — Stay Safe.