What does wellness mean to you?
For some it might be as simple as maintaining good health; for others, it could incorporate both physical and mental care. I love this definition from The National Wellness Institute.
“A conscious, self-directed and evolving process of achieving full potential.”
– The National Wellness Institute
Wellness is so much more than good health. We might say ‘you look well’ to someone we bump into on the street, or we might write ‘I hope you’re keeping well’ in a card or email. However, to cover every element of wellness, we must become fully aware (conscious) of our needs.
Anyone who explores self-help and personal growth and development will understand the need to evolve. As we learn lessons we grow, as we complete challenges, we achieve our potential. Embracing all of this allows us to create and maintain an aura of wellness.
When my depression exploded in 2015, I neglected my wellbeing in favour of despair. Wellness wasn’t on my radar because it felt impossible at the time to find a solution to the pain, anxiety, and sorrow I was wading through. Don’t get me wrong, I still battle all of these emotions daily, but I’ve also managed to find simple ways to improve my overall wellbeing.
Here’s my ‘how-to’ for overall wellness:
When I was younger, I was a strong swimmer. Swimming was something I enjoyed, but I haven’t ventured into a pool in years (I’m not counting dunking my feet in the water on holiday!). I tried running and even ran the Stratford half marathon seven years ago for charity. There have been a smattering of yoga classes, Pilates, HIIT workouts (never again!), step class, and body pump/jump/leap. However, nothing gave me real joy until I discovered Body Groove with Misty Tripoli. Dancing like nobody is watching (because they’re not!) in my living room has to be the best way I’ve found to boost my physical wellness.
Not following the crowd and choosing to do a physical exercise that a) you enjoy, and b) fits with your lifestyle is vital.
Q. What’s your go-to for physical wellness?
Mental wellness refers to your emotions. Depression robs you of the simplest of emotions. I’ve been numb for many years, and although I laugh, cry, and act expressively, it’s often just an act. I ‘go through the motions’ of being happy and excited about things but inside there is a chasm of nothingness. Realising this was probably the defining moment for me. I started to understand that this was how I was now. I stopped beating myself up about it and sought help. I found an incredible counsellor who works with me on breaking down my limiting beliefs formed during childhood. She also works with me on my anxiety and low self-esteem from various periods throughout my life and helps me to discover who I am so I can let the emotions flow once more. Dealing with stress and learning to relax are huge factors in maintaining optimum mental wellbeing.
Q. What’s your go-to for mental wellness?
Social Media Wellness
In this day and age, I feel it’s important to include social media within our wellbeing awareness. Our online lives have a massive impact on our mental/emotional wellbeing.
Anyone who knows me will confirm that I’m a chatty person. I love to meet new people and explore new places. When I joined Facebook back in 2008, it opened up a world of possibility perfect for my inquisitive nature. I love social media, and I’m not afraid to use it. I have a personal Facebook account and two business pages, I write two blogs, I’m on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest, and I engage on all these platforms every week.
When my depression pulls the rug out from under me, it’s the social network that I turn my back on first. It took me a long time to realise the negative impact social media was having on me, but when I did spot it, I was able to do something about it. Taking a day, week, or month off Facebook won’t cause the world to end. Not a single person will notice if you avoid Twitter for a while because they’re all wrapped up in their own social media lives. Comparing ourselves to others is detrimental to our mental health and social media makes this a daily battle. If you are feeling low, then a day offline can make such a difference.
Q. What’s your go-to for social media wellness?
There are many other aspects of our lives where wellness is important – financial, spiritual, and occupational. What’s your go-to for these areas?
Think about what you do on a day to day basis to ensure you are consciously working towards complete physical, mental, and social wellbeing. Share your thoughts in the comments below, or tell me how you maintain your wellbeing.