The terms “wellness” and “wellbeing” are everywhere these days. But what do they mean? And how can they help us lead healthier, happier lives?
Wellness is a general term with a loose definition. It encompasses a holistic approach to health that explores the physical, intellectual, social, emotional, occupational, spiritual, financial and environmental factors that can all influence how we feel.
Instead of focusing on illness or disease – or even the narrow specifics of exercise and diet - wellness looks at the many and varied aspects of life that can affect our health. It moves the conversation from a narrow focus on weight, diet or disease to a broader exploration of overall health and wellness.
Here’s how this holistic approach to health and wellness could work for you.
Connecting with others can help you develop a sense of community, belonging and support. There are many ways to meet new people to keep you from feeling lonely.
- Got time on your hands? Offer your services as a volunteer. GoVolunteer makes it easy to find an organisation and role that suits you.
- Join a special interest group. Whatever your passion, you’re likely to find a club run by people who share that passion.
- Pick a team sport and join a local club. Less keen on team sports? Try a rowing or cycling club. If you’re less energetic, darts, golf, bowls, snooker and a host of other activities all involve meeting people. Learning to dance can be fun, and you work on balance and coordination at the same time.
Managing your feelings can help you meet the demands of everyday life and create meaningful relationships.
- Book a massage. Massage can reduce stress and anxiety and encourage relaxation by reducing levels of stress-inducing cortisol and increasing hormones like dopamine and serotonin that have a positive effect on wellbeing.
- Head outside. Any exercise in a park or green space, even a gentle walk, can improve your mood and reduce your stress levels.
- Avoid processed food. A healthy balanced diet can positively affect your mood, while too many highly processed foods and alcohol can have the opposite effect.
- Try starting a gratitude journal. They’re known to increase levels of positive emotions.
Discovering a sense of meaning and purpose can enrich your life.
- Meditation can help you slow down, live in the moment and reconnect with your inner self.
- Essential oils, like clary sage, may help calm and relax you. Ancient civilisations burnt sage to enhance intuition and spirituality.
- Consider treating yourself to a retreat. Silent, spiritual or religious, there are many to choose from both here and overseas.
Engaging in creative and mentally-stimulating activities can develop your knowledge and skills.
- Learn something new. There are thousands of courses to choose from at places like TAFE, your local community college or university.
- Sign up for a cookery course that focuses on nutrition. You’ll gain valuable knowledge about food and develop your culinary skills at the same time.
Acknowledging the importance of physical activity, nutrition and sleep.
- Incorporate physical activity into your daily routine.
- Join a walking club to benefit from outdoor exercise and meet new people.
- Follow this advice on getting enough sleep.
- Check you’re making healthy food choices.
Showing respect to the environment around you and creating a space that supports wellbeing.
- Reduce the impact that your food choices have on the environment by trying ‘meat-free Mondays’.
- Exercise or walk amongst trees to supercharge the benefits of ‘green exercise’.
- Get together with friends and take part in this year’s Clean Up Australia Day.
Finding personal satisfaction and enrichment in your work while maintaining a work-life balance.
- Follow these tips to achieve a healthy work-life balance.
- Life coaches can help you identify meaningful goals and explore strategies to achieve them. Be sure to use a reputable coach.
Feeling satisfied and in control of your current and future financial situations.
- Saving more than you spend, even by a small amount, can help build a buffer for emergencies.
- If you’re not sure about budgeting, find out more about financial literacy and managing your money.
- Cut down on discretionary spending on things like fast food and takeaway coffee.
If you feel overwhelmed or out of control in any aspect of your life, get in touch with your GP as a first point of contact. Then, check to see if you qualify for any of the CBHS Wellbeing and Fitness programs. To find out more, call our Member Care team on 1300 654 123.
We’re here to support you with access to disease, health and lifestyle management services.
Disclaimer: All information contained in this article is intended for general information purposes only. The information provided should not be relied upon as medical advice and does not supersede or replace a consultation with a suitably qualified healthcare professional.