August is Wellness Month
The concept of wellness and well-being can be tricky to define. Essentially it is the idea of defining and maintaining a fulfilling and healthy lifestyle, not just as a preventative measure but as a means of improving one’s quality of life. Global Wellness Day expands on this and defines it further as a dynamic process of change and growth.
Wellness can encompass many different aspects, from physical health to financial, from social to spiritual. It means taking an active approach to parts of your life that can be easily overlooked, or in other words, “running on autopilot.” There are several different approaches for taking an active stance in maintaining or improving your wellness and quality of life.
- Nutrition: The essentials of both mental and physical health lie in what fuels your body. The importance of both consuming healthy food and staying hydrated can never be overstated. A balance of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and protein, along with 6 - 8 glasses of water a day, will make a large difference. Many forms of physical and mental health discomfort are amplified by poor diet and dehydration.
- Exercise and Sleep: As we discussed last month, fitness has many benefits that improve immediate and long-term quality of life. Regular, consistent sleep also has an enormous impact on both physical and mental health, getting 7 - 9 hours of uninterrupted sleep can drastically improve concentration and help prevent the development of chronic health problems. Here's a list of tips for healthy sleep hygiene.
- Social and Recreational: Your friends and family, and the activities you do together, are another important aspect of wellness. This could be a good month to reconnect with old friends, or take time to meet new ones at an event or activity.
- Mental Health: Intertwined with all these aspects of wellness is mental health. All these elements affect mental health, and similarly, your state of mental well-being can impact your ability to make changes in other areas of your life. Track what stressors are most impacting your life, and be honest whether or not you feel you are able to manage them. Don’t hesitate to seek counseling as a preventative measure!
The WikiHow webste gives good tips on how to create a wellness plan for yourself, in order to focus on specific, defined personal goals. The Boston Employee Wellness Portal offers a number of different wellness resources, ranging from healthy recipes to health resources to fitness challenges, complete with prizes! The Employee Assistance Program also has many health and wellness resources listed on the main page, be sure to check it out.
Have a healthy and active month!