“Wellness” has become a buzzword. We’re a country where being healthy really is the new push. It’s always been there, but not until recently has wellness appeared in all areas of our lives — exercise, nutrition, sleep, work, relationships and many other areas. Every aspect of our lives contributes to our overall wellness.
Just watch a few minutes of television or open a magazine. More often than not, there’s an advertisement, regardless of the product, showing someone in an active and happy state — the state we all consider to be “ideal.” This multi-faceted state encompasses many areas of our lives. It’s the consistent quest of keeping our lives in balance.
Here’s a visual to consider. Draw a circle. That’s you. Think about you — your entire body — and what you would see if you looked into a full-length mirror. Around you, there are many other circles, all leading back to you in the center. Each one of those circles represents something that affects your wellness.
Exercise: Our physical body that carries us through the day and allows us to do all of things we do is our source of freedom. Taking care of this vessel is a priority. Our vital organs, muscles and limbs need exercise. A healthy balance of cardio, flexibility and strength exercise works the entire body to keep blood flowing, muscles strong and weight at a healthy level.
Nutrition: The fuel we put into our bodies affects everything we do. There are thousands of chemical reactions that occur in our bodies when we consume food. Consuming quality fresh foods rather than junk food affects our health, energy level and weight. When our bodies constantly work to flush out foods that offer no benefits, we’re no longer in a state of wellness.
Sleep: One of the most underestimated circle is the one representing sleep. Our bodies are meant to rest. A good quality night of sleep gives our bodies a chance to recover and rejuvenate from the day’s activities. Without sleep, we’re unable to make good decisions. Lack of sleep affects our mood and zaps our energy.
Work: Going to work every day is such a huge part of our lives. You spend so much of your time in your work environment that it should be healthy and productive. Some jobs are demanding and stressful. Keeping work hours in balance is often difficult, but take time to evaluate the “wellness” of your work.
Relationships: Taking care of you first makes relationships better. Remember: You’re the circle in the middle. Your spouse, children, friends and parents are all part of the wellness puzzle. Relationships require attention, work, energy and time, but constitute one of the most significant rewards of wellness.
Other areas: Not everyone has the same circles attached to their wellness picture. For some, it’s finances. Money issues vary from a college student to a billionaire. They can cause stress and take away from the balance a life of wellness provides. Maybe its spirituality — taking time for church, prayer, volunteering and helping others. Hobbies also could be part of what you choose to include in your wellness picture. Keep in mind that your diagram changes in different stages of life.
There are many factors to consider in the pursuit of wellness. Keep in mind there isn’t anyone who has a perfect diagram with everything balanced. It takes the mindfulness of knowing what’s working and what needs to be worked on.
It’s your life. Embrace the journey, and smile every step of the way.