What is Wellness?
When you think of wellness, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Exercise, food, healthy living, being well? There is a misconception that wellness is just being free from illness and is based on fitness and nutrition. However, wellness is much more than this. Wellness is everything, it encompasses you and everything around you including your mind, body, spirit, friends, family, work, communities and your environment. To achieve complete wellness, you must focus on all these areas in your life. Be prepared to love, grow, change, accept and learn on your wellness journey.
Self-care and self-responsibility
The first step to wellness to taking ownership of yourself, your health and all your surroundings. Look after you. A great starting activity for this is to practice a self-care activity every day that you enjoy. This can be anything from making your favourite cup of tea, having a bath, binge watching netflix or hanging with a friend.
Hippocrates, the father of medicine, said ‘Let your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food’. Throughout its history, food has been used to nourish and heal our bodies. These foods, known as functional foods, which include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, dairy and nuts, contain nutritional benefits that will improve your health and wellness, and boost your brain power for optimal functioning.
Having a good work-life balance is essential for the mind and soul. Prioritise the time to incorporate more play activities into your everyday life. You can do this by creating a list of all the fun things that you used to do as a child. Choose one activity to do each week especially during busy exam periods.
Wellness is not about exercise, it is about increasing movement into your everyday life. Have a walking date, play a ball game with friends do squats as you brush your teeth. Increase movement in a way that works for you.
Connection is fundamental for wellness. As humans, we strive for connection and without it the world would be a very different place. Spend time working on your connections with everything in life, especially with yourself, your loved ones and your environment.
Practical tips to increase your overall wellness.
• Remember you are unique and have your own needs. Identify your needs so you don’t feel the pressure to conform to situations and environments that don’t suit you.
• Spread your connections far and wide. Make new friends, help existing friends, join a student club, volunteer, or help in the student community.
• Engage in things that are meaningful to you and that bring you happiness.
• Learn to love and accept everything about you with compassion and without judgement.
• Look around at the beauty that surrounds us and spend time immersing yourself in our natural world.
• Focus on the present and live for now
• Embrace life’s challenges and turn them into opportunities to grow.
• Breathe. The power of breath is an incredible thing. When you feel stressed or anxious, spend one minute breathing. It will change your life!
• Practice gratitude. Remind yourself of all the blessings you have in your life and write them down every day.
And most importantly;
• Be who you are and what you want to be, not who you think you should be and create the life that you want.
Best of luck on your wellness journey.