People tend to think about wellness and immediately think in terms of physical health but it is often so much more. Wellness is a mix/integration of physical, mental and spiritual well-being. We should strive for health, of course, but it’s more about living life to the fullest. Wellness is a personalized approach that allows you to become the best version of yourself. It is not always easy because we have different battles to face but learning how to utilize some coping techniques can be beneficial. Now that we are facing a pandemic, there are various emotions of anxiety, uncertainty, even anger. I want to share a few tips that can help you boost your wellness & even de-stress.
As a teenager, I’ve always loved to write things down. From a simple grocery list to forming a diary, it was imperative for me to be able to see things in black & white. It was finding the calm in the chaos and becoming in tune with whatever emotions came about. It was a daily check in, even if most days I could only form a sentence. It is sincerely a therapeutic technique, giving room for reflection and creativity. You may have a short or long term goal you’ve been thinking about. Make an outline, checking off as you reach each step. How about a place to keep your most cherished moments/memories? A space where you can let out all your emotions uncensored.
Ok, I admit, I’m no chef (lol). Through the years, I’ve learned to make meals for my teenage daughter and myself but had never taken a full interest in the process. It’s a great time to experiment and purchase a few recipe books. I have one here: https://www.amazon.com/Soul-Food-Love-Healthy-Inspired/dp/0804137935 & I will try it out very soon. I am good at baking but as I read more about sugars, fats etc, I’d like to find alternatives and still have tasty cakes/pies. If cooking is your thing, challenge yourself to make something complex or perhaps try that new vegan dish you’ve heard about. It’s a great hobby and one of the best ways to connect with family/loved ones.
Meditation is often said to be a good way to boost your mental capacity. Taking a few minutes each day to quiet your mind and focus on the present. It is more powerful than people think. Whether its guided or on your own, meditation works to release the stress hormone, cortisol. This is due to the fact that meditation teaches you to how to control your thoughts, actions. It can be as simple as sitting in your favorite chair or on the floor, closing your eyes and taking a few deep breaths. Don’t get frustrated when you find that your mind wanders, it will happen. Allow the thought to pass and re-focus on being present. With time, your mind learns to block negative emotions and focus more on the happy ones.
Along with meditation, regular physical exercise has many benefits. Having a gym membership is cool but that can feel like an impossible routine unless you have a partner. At this time, you can find ways to stretch, along with other methods, at home. There are many online workouts you can join in on along with tutorials on how to remain active. Right now, my gym, planet fitness will have daily workouts for FREE online http://www.planetfitness.com
I love books! It is such a habit with me that even while I eat, I have a novel open and I’m into a chapter. It has always been a form of escape as a child and now as an adult, I enjoy it even more. You can find something great in all genres if you’re willing to explore. A few titles I’ve read:
The Alchemist- Paulo Coelho
House Of Waiting- Marina Tamar Budhos
Anything by Renee Watson, recently “Piecing Me Together”
I could go on with my list but go with what draws you in, a topic you find yourself curious about, whether its fiction or non-fiction. Also, there are many online book clubs. You can find others who share the love of reading, connect with different reviews etc.
If you to start to feel increasingly overwhelmed, don’t be afraid to reach out for help. You can seek out a local therapist or counselor. I believe many are now doing video calls & texts to check in. Text HOME to 741741 for FREE 24/7 confidential support. You will be connected to a trained crisis counselor.