Many people hear the word “wellness” and switch off. They think it’s another fad that will pass or something else to worry about. They dismiss it as something not worth their time, thinking it’s all about meditation and eating a vegan diet. But, it’s not. Not at all. Wellness, at its core, is about looking after yourself. It’s about making decisions that will help you to live a healthy and happy life. Whatever that might mean for you. Everything that you do to take care of yourself, from going for a run to reading a book in the bath, is practicing wellness. What could be better than that?
There are a few simple lifestyle changes that you can make to bring wellness into your life. But, none of these mean that you have to make bold changes that you don’t really want. Wellness is after all about your happiness and health. So, you shouldn’t feel pressured into living a certain way or giving up the things that you love. Just try to make better decisions, and moderate anything you love that might not be too healthy, like eating junk food or boozy nights out.
Be More Aware
The first and possibly most important way to bring wellness into your life is by simply being aware of it. Start thinking about your choices. Consider what’s best for your body and your mind, and what will make you happy long-term, not just what will give you a feel-good buzz right now. Be aware of how your decisions affect your long and short-term health and happiness. Be more aware of your body and your feelings. Get to know yourself, so that you know what feels good, and what doesn’t.
For example, a huge chocolate binge might make you happy while you are eating it, but not long after, you’ll feel bloated, full and guilty. You’ll feel worse when you step on the scales, struggle to fasten your jeans or see a greasy and spotty face staring back at you in the mirror. Was it worth it? Or would you have felt better with a few squares and no guilt?
That takes us to diet. Your diet is an incredibly important part of how you look and feel. Wellness doesn’t mean not treating yourself, or not eating the things that you love. It means eating a healthy and balanced diet with the occasional splurge.
Breakfast is the perfect place to start. Wake up and drink a glass of detoxifying lemon water, instead of your usual coffee. Then, eat a protein filled breakfast of porridge or eggs with a portion of fresh fruit. This will help you to start your day filled with energy and confidence.
The best way to boost your confidence and become more aware of your body is using it right. When we first start a new exercise program, we often ache in places we didn’t even know we had muscles. This is because we don’t use those muscles. There are whole areas of your body laying in waste. Start exercising more and you’ll be more aware of how your body looks and feels. You’ll start to see changes, and you’ll feel amazing for it.
On those days when you don’t have much time, do a 10-minute Pilates routine as soon as you get out of bed. This will boost your circulation, get your metabolism going and start your day with a great adrenaline rush. But, don’t try to force yourself into an exercise program that you don’t enjoy. This kind of pressure won’t bring wellness. Instead, try a few different things to find what you like. This could be anything from weight training at the gym to long walks in the country. As long as you are moving, it counts.
Many of us stop learning when we leave school, coming back to it only when we start new jobs or gain promotions. Why? Learning is fantastic. It’s a great way to keep your brain alert and young. It can improve your memory and IQ and give you a new interest in the world around you. Learning something new, which could be anything from an online degree to a program from the school for defensive driving, is a great way to give your brain a kick start and open it up to the idea of more.
Love Your Body
You’ve only got one; you need to make the most of it. The first thing you need to do is stop hating on it. It’s yours; it’s who you are. Make changes that will improve your health, while learning to love yourself, just as you are.
Meditation isn’t just about sitting cross-legged and chanting. In fact, you don’t need to do this at all, and certainly shouldn’t if it makes you feel silly. Meditation is about sitting quietly and clearing your mind or taking the time to think about your feelings and problems. It’s a chance to let stress go. You can do this whenever and wherever you want. You can even do it surrounded by people just by switching off, closing your eyes and taking some deep breaths. It can be a good idea to find a mantra. This will be something personal to you, almost like a focus phrase for your life. Something that grounds you and reminds yourself of where you want to be. If meditation is new to you, try using an app to help.
A lack of sleep is one of the leading causes of stress, depression, overeating, illness and anxiety. But most of us aren’t sleeping enough. Try going to bed a little earlier and giving yourself a chance to get some rest. If you are eating well, exercising and using meditation to clear your mind, you should have no trouble nodding off.
Stop letting your phone rule your life. Go out without it once in a while and give the real world your full focus. Speak to real people, smile at the sights without putting them on Instagram or checking in on Facebook. You might find it enlightening.