Achieving Wellness: What Does That Look Like and Why is it Different For Everyone?
When you think about the word ‘wellness’ and what it entails, what pops into your mind? Does wellness look like exercise? Eating well? The absence of stress? Wellness is defined as “the quality or state of being healthy in body and mind, especially as the result of deliberate effort.” – Dictionary.com. Wellness encompasses both aspects of body and mind for each individual. So, without there being any concrete definition, how do we know we’re achieving wellness? Throughout this post I’m going to help you understand what defining wellness looks like, and why it’s so personalized to the individual.
Why There Is No COncrete Definition of Wellness
Achieving wellness does have a definition, however, it’s not a very explanatory definition. A state of being in a healthy mind and body – what does that look like exactly? The thing is, there’s a reason why the definition is vague like that.
Being in a state of wellness will never look the same for two people. Every individual’s body, mind, DNA, life events, environment, capabilities, family life and lifestyle choices all play a part in how you perceive and practice being well. No two individuals will have the same set of factors influencing their lives.
What I may deem as an act of wellness for me, may not fit into your definition of wellness, lifestyle, budget or capabilities and vice versa. However, these differences in approach don’t make one better than the other, or one more correct than the other. It simply means we all have different ways of approaching and achieving wellness, which is why no concrete definition exists.
How Do We AChieve It Then?
Just because there’s no concrete definition, doesn’t mean it’s unattainable – it just means you’ll have to start asking yourself some important questions. When it comes to achieving wellness, we have to take a look at our lifestyles, interests and limitations to figure out how we can keep it simple while working towards being well. Below, I’ll share a few questions you can ask yourself to help get a better picture of what wellness looks like for you.
Questions to Ask Yourself to Create Your Own Definition of Wellness
In no particular order, here are 4 questions you can ask yourself when it comes to finding out what’s important to you and what defines wellness for you!
1. What is my Definition of Healthy?
What weight do topics like eating healthy, exercising, emotional intelligence etc. have in your life. What importance do you place on taking time for yourself, moving your body, and eating well? What does mental health look like to you, and where are you at right now?
Taking a look at broad topics that make up health can be a good indicator of what you place importance on, and where your interests lie. You may be more interested in getting outside for exercise than doing a conventional workout in a gym. You may define mental health for yourself as regularly seeing a therapist and taking medication. Having a weekly takeout night may be what keeps you on track and eating well consistently.
Whatever health looks like to you, you need to figure out where your priorities lie and what you’re willing to do for yourself in terms of maintaining your health.
2. What Am I currently Doing to Achieve that?
Take inventory of your habits. Do you make an effort to exercise? Do you meal prep? What does your current sleep schedule look like? Taking a look at how you already practice wellness is a good indication of where your priorities lie, and what defines wellness for you.
3. What Areas Would I Like to Improve Upon?
Do you feel like you could be eating better? Could you be doing better with tapping into your emotions and feeling them? We all have areas we want to work on, and showing willingness to improve also shows you where your priorities lie. Take inventory of where you’d like to improve your wellness.
4. What Are My Values, Goals and Aspirations?
What do you believe in? What are your goals in life? This is also important when we take time consider wellness from a body and mind aspect. Living true to your values, taking part in things that interest you and following your beliefs, wants and dreams is important to our mental and physical health.
What Achieving Wellness Looks Like
Again, achieving wellness is going to look different for everyone – however there are some common themes. Below, I’m going to share with you a comprehensive and inclusive guide to incorporating simple wellness practices into your routine, however that looks like for you!
MAking Sure You Move Your Body
However you decide to do it, make a point of moving your body. Whether you’re into weight lifting, walking, yoga, biking etc., getting your body moving is important. Exercise is linked to so many health benefits including cardiovascular health, decrease in stress, and maintaining the condition of your body. However you’re able to and within your capabilities, make time to move your body.
Get Enough Sleep
Of course, science recommends a suggested amount of sleep for optimal functioning. Everyone is different, with different needs, careers and lifestyles. Wherever you fall on the sleep amount scale, just make sure you’re getting enough sleep to keep your body functioning.
Good Read: 10 Tips For Getting the Best Sleep Ever
Staying hydrated is key for mental clarity, organ health and many other body system functions. Making sure you’re drinking enough water for your individual health and needs is important! There are recommended average amounts of water an individual should be drinking for their age, gender, activity level etc. Of course, take into consideration any health concerns you may have that may require more or less than the average individual.
I’m not going to tell you what to eat, but I am going it tell you to make a conscious effort to make what you eat nutrient dense! There are so many intolerances, allergies and preferences that affect what we eat, how much we eat and when we eat. Make sure that no matter that how you decide to eat, you’re making an effort to reach for foods that will provide adequate fuel for your body!
To friends and family, whoever is your chosen family. Having a support network is key to feeling like you belong to a community. Keep your friends and family close, lean on them for support and make an effort to stay connected and maintain this network.
Make Time For Yourself
Making time for yourself is so important when it comes to achieving wellness. Whether you’re taking up a hobby, making time for leisure activities, or working on yourself or your goals, making time for yourself is important. You can’t pour from an empty cup, no matter what. You need to take care of yourself and put your mental and physical needs front and center.
Good Read: Putting Yourself First Isn’t Selfish: How to Make Yourself a Priority
Fresh air is good for the mind, body and soul. There’s something about stepping outside and breathing in the fresh, clean air that does wonders for you. Make a point of stepping outside at least once a day to breathe and take in the outdoors.
Take Care of Your Environment
Your home, your work environment, the place you work and your social circles are all an extension of your environment. Whether you need to declutter, clear out your friend list or make a change in your environment, making sure your immediate space is a place of safety, love and source of happiness for you is important. You can’t thrive in a space that won’t let you.
Good Read: How to Declutter Your Life and Improve Your Environment: Unfriend, Throw Out, & Delete
At the end of the day, you need to have a little fun in life. Make it a point of giving yourself moments of joy throughout the day. Whether it’s taking time to work on your hobby, catching up with a friend, or simply doing something you enjoy, put in the effort to make sure joy finds its way into every day.
Achieving Wellness: a Quick Recap
When it comes to achieving wellness, there really is no concrete definition that applies to everyone. What being healthy in body and mind looks like for me, may not look the same for you. The important thing is to stop focusing on a definition of wellness and start creating your own that’s tailored to your specific needs.
Some important questions to ask yourself when it comes to defining your own version of wellness include: what is my definition of healthy? What am I currently doing to achieve that? What areas would I like to improve on? What are my values, goals and aspirations?
Regardless of what your definition of wellness looks like, some important pillars of wellness include moving your body, getting enough sleep, paying attention to what you eat, getting outside, finding time for joy, staying connected and hydrating.
However you decide to incorporate wellness into your life, make sure it’s going to work in the long run for you! What are some of the ways you incorporate wellness into your daily life?