Wellness; the art of self-care.

When someone says “wellness”, what do you think of? The first thing is probably your diet and the food you consume or should consume, and exercise. However, there’s more to healthy living than the two aforementioned attributes that make up a healthy lifestyle and that’s what we’re going to explore.

The art of self-care

Self-care influencers would have you believe self-care is all about indulgence – scented baths – and reconnecting with nature – long walks in rural areas. There is a darker side to self-care that is more integral to healthy living than indulgence and they require ongoing self-awareness and practice.

Boundaries

In a society that values pleasing everyone from your boss to your friends, there has to come a time when you have to say no and this isn’t easy in a culture where saying no is deemed rude and offensive.

Get used to saying it and practice being firm when saying it, otherwise, people won’t take your boundaries seriously and they will violate them time after time. If people keep overstepping your boundaries then you aren’t being firm enough nor have you communicated your needs effectively enough. Alternatively, you could be dealing with a highly toxic person or a dark triad.

A part of wellness is setting boundaries with healthy individuals (who will respect your boundaries) and avoid those who don’t.

Mental health

When we’re trying to meet goals or strive for success (which is – in today’s culture – centred around high levels of productivity and financial wealth), it’s easy to burn out. Burnout is a nasty depressive state where you become so fatigued and demotivated, even getting out of bed and washed is a mountain of a challenge.

Try to avoid burnout by regularly examining the source of any of your negative thoughts or anxieties and formulating a strategy to remove or avoid areas in your life that cause stress. While some stress in life is good for us, too much can lead to physical and psychological illness.

Pay attention to what goes on in your head as much as you do to your body. It’s an integral part of healthy living and needs more maintenance than your body.

Environment

It’s a known fact that the environment impacts our mental state. A dirty, smelly and cluttered room can induce feelings of being overwhelmed, stressed and anxious without there being an actual physical trigger. A clean snd tidy room that smells nice has the opposite effect: it relaxes us and enables us to concentrate better.

As a part of wellness, contribute to 5 to 10 minutes of tidying up per day. Getting into a routine of doing this will leave your home looking and smelling nice, removing stress triggers from the environment.

Leaving things to accumulate – like dirty pots or laundry and messy carpets – exasperates stress. Keeping on top of it without overcommitting will remove the pressure of having to keep on top of it and 5 to 10 minutes a day is how long it takes the kettle to boil. So, next time you’re waiting for the kettle, have a quick tidy up around the house and see what a difference it makes to your mental state.

Journaling

Not everything we speak should be spoken and not everything we think should be kept locked inside. Release any pent up feelings – even positive ones – in a journal. It’s a great way to distress and it doesn’t have to be done every day.

Alternatively, journaling is a great way of getting to know yourself better and can help you fashion yourself into the person you want to be. Knowing yourself and being self-aware is another integral aspect of wellness because if you aren’t self-aware, you won’t know where you fit in or your true calling in life. You’ll also be unaware of the impact you have on other people and that’s not healthy at all.

Wellness is more than eating right and exercising. It’s about being awakened to who you are and being in tune with your needs on a higher level than day to day living. With these insights and a little practice, you are well on the path to healthy living.