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We are constantly bombarded with advertising and marketing that promotes healthy living: gym memberships, diets, workout trends, and beyond. But what does “wellness” mean, and what does it look like for you? After all the stresses and changes brought on by the last several months, how do you make your personal well-being a priority this year?
You may feel overwhelmed at the thought of taking charge of your personal well-being. Luckily, there are actionable steps you can take that make the transition into a healthier, happier you much smoother.
What Is “Wellness?”
“Wellness” is often mistakenly thought to be synonymous with being “in shape,” going to the gym, and working out. While your physical well-being certainly comprises one small slice of the wellness pie, there are lots of other factors to consider and different ways of approaching a conditioning routine for your body.
Wellness may be broken down into a number of areas, including the following:
- Physical – taking care of your body with specific practices in areas like exercise, diet, hydration, and hygiene
- Social – your relationships with friends, family, colleagues, and others you interact with in the world
- Mental – your thought processes and the way you see and respond to situations
- Emotional – how you feel about yourself, the world around you, and your place in it
- Spiritual – your connection to something greater than yourself through the means of your choosing, be it religion, zen practice, family, friends, and community, or something else
- Financial – your level of financial security in the world on a daily basis and in the long term
All of these aspects of your being have an impact on how you feel and your quality of life. Not giving the proper care and attention to any one or more of them can lead to all sorts of issues, such as:
- Lack of interest in daily life
- Substance abuse issues
- Truancy from obligations (school, work)
- Isolation and loneliness
- Anger and conflict with loved ones
There is also the potential for developing any number of associated health disorders, including mood disorders (bipolar, depression); eating disorders (bulimia, binge eating, anorexia nervosa); personality disorders (obsessive-compulsive, paranoid personality, antisocial personality); and others.
While you certainly cannot avoid all negative influences and outcomes in your life, making deliberate, conscious healthy choices will have a huge impact on your overall well-being. There is no one way to go about this. Everybody will have a personal journey of self-discovery that will be particular to their individual needs. However, there are some basics you can start with to kick off your venture into making wellness a priority in your life.
Tips For Your Well-Being
Eating Right For You
One of the foundations of your well-being is your diet. We need food for energy and fuel, but food is also a crucial part of our social and emotional lives, also. It is not only about eating the “right” foods but also how you eat and when.
Many people get caught up in the idea of “good foods versus bad foods.” While expert opinions on what constitutes the healthiest foods vary, it is universally agreed that the more natural foods with the least amount of additives and preservatives are the ones that are the best for your body. You can buy or order a lot of foods to be delivered fresh, or take in the additional emotional benefit of picking out ingredients and making your own meals. Cooking and eating can be enjoyed fully both independently or as a social activity.
Of course, time is often an issue these days, but the quality of your meal ingredients does not have to suffer. You can make meals for yourself at home or in your office in convenient, easily managed packaging, such as constructing a handheld wrap or making a smoothie with a portable blender. Bonus: making your own food can save you money, too!
A good rule of thumb is that it should make you feel good to consume your meal mentally by affirming you have made a positive, healthy choice, but it should also taste good to fill you up emotionally and physically. And never forget the power of giving yourself the occasional treat!
Work It Out For Yourself
Put all that good food fuel to proper use by keeping a regular routine of physical activity. Exercise is a necessity to your physical health, and it also promotes your mental and emotional state by releasing serotonin and happy hormones to keep you feeling good inside and out.
Many people mistake physical fitness for having an expensive membership to a gym or fancy equipment, do not stress: you can give your wallet a rest while you work out. You can find all sorts of items around your home or office that can be incorporated into a workout routine, or you can simply head out the door and take a free stroll around the neighborhood.
If you are a newcomer to exercise, be sure to take it easy on yourself. Trying to do too much and push your body to an extreme degree will result in aches, pains, and loss of motivation. Physical activity should be fun and enjoyable as well as well-being, so find routines that also meet your interests.
Get Some Rest
The importance of getting the right amount of sleep is often overlooked, but it is just as necessary to your well-being as food and exercise. Not getting enough sleep can cause serious issues in your physical and emotional balance, leading to poor performance and anxiety.
Not everyone needs to get the same amount of sleep every night, but it is very common for people to underestimate the amount they should be getting. Set a bedtime and alarm for yourself and stick by it. This routine will help keep your body running smoothly and your mental acuity sharp.
If you find that you have trouble falling or staying asleep, there are a variety of tools you can use to help. Some people use calming sleep apps that provide white noise or soothing music to help them drift off. Others may use natural supplements, such as melatonin, or CBD oil tinctures to turn off their brains and ease into rest. If you are worried about investing in such items and have questions (for instance, you may wonder, “Does CBD oil expire?”), consult with merchants who can give you guidance on the best sleep aid products for your needs.
Another absolute must for a good night of rest is the right bedding. Be sure to invest in a comfortable pillow that provides proper support. There are pillows made for all different types of sleepers: back sleepers, side sleepers, stomach sleepers, and so on. Think about how you sleep most comfortably and get a specialized pillow for your slumber.
Invest In Yourself
Your body is a temple built on the pillars of your physical, emotional, mental, social, spiritual, and financial health. Taking steps to improve and make your well-being a priority this year will undoubtedly result in a healthier, happier 2021. Give yourself and your health the attention it deserves. You will find it results in looking your best, feeling your best, and ultimately being the best you that you can possibly be.