“Wellness is the optimal state of health of individuals and groups. There are two focal concerns: the realization of the fullest potential of an individual physically, psychologically, socially, spiritually, and economically; and the fulfillment of one’s role expectations in the family, community, place of worship, workplace, and other settings.” – World Health Organization
So how do we achieve that optimal state? The first step is taking an honest and in-depth inventory of our lives. This includes evaluating what you eat, stress, physical activity, weight, sleep habits, relationships, hobbies and interests, work and/or school demands, family responsibilities, the products you use on your body and in your home, and all other aspects of your life. Once you can identify the areas that are out of balance, you can determine attainable solutions that fit your lifestyle and will improve your overall health and wellbeing. Positive change and quality of life can be achieved with the following tips:
- Be realistic. Set goals that challenge you, but are also achievable. Consider making ‘healthy upgrades’ to start, because improving your lifestyle doesn’t have to mean radical change.
- Be natural. Choose whole foods and a plant-based diet whenever possible (i.e. vegetables, fruits, nuts, grains). Consider your food as your medicine, and how what you eat can affect your overall health and wellness.
- Be active. Exercise regularly in order to maintain a healthy weight, increase cardiovascular and respiratory function, reduce the risk of disease, and improve energy levels.
- Be attentive. Chronic stress is bad for your health. Consider taking some time each day to care for your mental and emotional needs by planting a garden, taking yoga classes, visiting friends, enjoying your favorite music, or reading a great book.
- Be safe. Our lives are not lived in a bubble, so at times we find ourselves in need of medical care. There are a wonderful array of nontraditional therapies available, such as acupuncture and massage, that allow you to experience healing without more invasive treatment or prescription remedies. Please take all serious medical concerns to your licensed physician.
- Be thoughtful. One of the best ways to improve our mood and outlook is to take the focus off us and help others. Look for ways throughout your day to encourage and support your family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, etc.
- Be faithful. At times the steps you commit to taking to improve your health and wellness may seem overwhelming. Don’t give up! Keep a journal of your thoughts, struggles, and victories. Looking back upon your progress will strengthen and inspire you.
- Be open. Keep an open mind when it comes to new wellness ideas and ways for improvement.
By addressing our physical, emotional and spiritual needs, we can bring about beneficial results that will impact our bodies and souls, as well as those we come in contact with.