Many notions may come to mind with the word “wellness” – fitness and exercise, a balanced diet, mindfulness, meditation, positive thinking… the list goes on. And most would agree that “wellness” is not the result of simply one of any of these notions, but a combination of most (if not all!). Why? Because true wellness touches upon the person’s whole being - the body, mind and the spirit.
The World Health Organization defines as “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”. Don’t we all wish to achieve this?
Here are some tips to help optimise each area of your being, to help bring you to a state of true wellness:
Maintaining physical wellbeing involves a balance of physical activity, healthy nutrition and hydration and quality sleep.
Physical Exercise:The benefits of physical exercise are well-known and cannot be underestimated. Physical activity, in whatever form, gets your blood flowing, improving your health overall.
More specifically, it helps to strengthen your body, improve your stamina, boost your energy levels, and even lift your mood.
Be it a workout, a brisk walk, or even a deep stretch, make it a point to engage in some physical exercise for at least 30 minutes everyday.
Nutrition:A healthy and balanced diet means eating a wide variety of nutritious foods in the right amounts. Make sure to introduce different fruits and vegetables as part of your daily nutrition, eating raw whenever possible, and learn to opt for unrefined and unprocessed foods as a general rule.
Supplementation:As part of your daily nutrition, it is important to ensure that you are consuming the vitamins and minerals needed by your body for it to function at optimum levels. Supplements are a great way to boost your vitamins and mineral intake to ensure a complete and balanced diet.
Hydration:Drinking sufficient fluids and remaining well-hydrated is crucial to staying healthy! This is because the body - which is mostly made of water - requires fluid in order to maintain and promote the proper functioning of all internal bodily systems, including the heart and the brain, and to help ward off infection.
Besides ensuring drink 1.5-2 litres of water everyday, we would recommend adding other important fluids into your diets, such as herbal teas and fresh fruit juices, as well as eating water-rich foods (e.g. salads and fruit) in order to keep well-hydrated.
Quality sleep:Sleep is essential to your physical well-being. Besides giving you the energy you need every day to be able to get through your long and busy schedule, the very act of sleep is involved in healing and repair of your heart and blood vessels.
In fact, continued sleep deficiency is linked to a variety of health issues including an increased risk of heart and kidney disease, high blood pressure and stroke.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, the average adult requires between 7-9 hours of sleep each night, while teenagers require between 8-10 hours with children (between the age of6-13) requiring between 9-11 hours.
Creative and intellectually stimulating activities greatly contribute to your mental well-being. This could be mean:
developing new habits and disciplines
setting goals that are specific, measurable, and attainable
keeping up current (or picking up older) hobbies
discovering unknown talents
reading new and varied books
playing strategy, word or number games
engaging in fruitful conversations with others
Whatever the mental stimulus, we urge you to find ways to challenge your creative intellect and expand your knowledge and skill set. Besides exercising your brain muscle, mentally stimulating activities are a great way to relax and destress!
At the heart of emotional and spiritual wellness is the ability to engage positively with the self, others and the natural environment.
Healthy spiritual wellbeing means to discover, accept and appreciate the person you are, and to integrate meaning and purpose in life through your daily connections, interactions and experiences.
Here are a few exercises which you could practice to strengthen and enhance your spiritual wellbeing:
Examination of conscience
Acknowledging achievements (however small you think they maybe)
Learning about self-care and self-improvement
Giving of self, for e.g. through volunteering, acts of charity and kindness
Finding and expressing gratitude in ordinary things
Forgiveness of others
Detachment from unnecessary material matters
Staying close to (and seeking support from) family and loved ones
Wellness involves the active process of making daily choices towards a healthy and fulfilling life in order to help the mind, body and spirit work together in harmony. There are many and different ways in which we can achieve true wellness.
What is important is the will to continue to work at our choices, and to acknowledge that wellness is not a static state but requires our positive and conscious participation everyday.