Wellness, what exactly do we mean by it? This word has become the holy grail for millions across the world, hordes of people chasing the phenomenon. One of the clearer ripple effects of this wellness drive is shelves of supplements and nutritional add-ons that you would see from the nearest supermarket to the medicine shop. Not surprisingly, a good number of brands selling these are even named around wellness. We also have wellness retreats, wherein a week long retreat can cost you some thousands of dollars, very easily.
I’ve always been a digger for anything that says wellness; choosing a lot of my personal care products, kitchen stuff and even music accordingly. But, a recent bout of illness that landed me in the hospital, made it clear that I was missing some crucial point in my run. I knew I had it coming at least a month before the hospital landing, but could not trace whatever was happening. Now, out of the hospital, but still on medicines and some injections later, I can see what went wrong.
I was too harsh; yes, on myself. Most of my life, I’ve been labelled as a very strong person, getting out of the messiest of messes easily. There is nothing wrong in this for that is how I am. Well, MOSTLY. I took myself for granted, for months, for years, and I tippled. Of course, I had to. There was a cost to this BEING STRONG label and I paid, yes. But this post and this section is not about that.
Here, I am again starting on my road to recovery with a better and easier understanding of wellness.
This morning, as I sat with a cup of tea and coconut cookies, looking out my 21st floor apartment, I felt what wellness truly is. A favourite track played in background, and sat the tune for a perfect day that started with an hour long swimming session. Out on that balcony, I realised I had not felt this good for a few months to say the least. A lot of research, understanding and self-acceptance later, I figured a clearer version of wellness. To make it easier for you, I would simply jot it down in easier words below:
- Wellness is loving yourself—all your flaws and all the goodness in one stride. Be compassionate towards yourself, be humane. Let it all go; all the times you fell for somebody and it did not work out, every time you failed an interview, all of this—let it go.
- Wellness is multi-dimensional—it needs both your brain as well as your physical capacity to tune yourself in. So yes, you need to keep both working well. Only gym sessions are not the end of it. Compliment it with something that calms or work your brain, something as simple as a jigsaw puzzle or painting eggs!
- Wellness theories are not sham (not all of them)—you just need to know what suits you, if it is hiking in some remote corner of this world or a dance class or a meditation session or making music or just throwing rocks in an otherwise tranquil lake. You do not need to doubt these retreats and sessions; not everything in the market is to cheat you if it is helping somebody else make money.
- Wellness is not a one person thing—you will start on this run alone, but gradually, it will have a ripple effect on those around you and then the ones around them.
- Wellness is not having no problems—it is knowing you will find a way out, like you always do. If you don’t, you don’t. And that is okay too. Wellness is also staying in the present moment, also known as mindfulness; you cannot change what has happened and you have no control on what tomorrow might bring. So, making one day at a time works pretty well.
6. Wellness is not a hippie movement—well, it never was. Wearing prayer beads, crystals or any such thing is not all ridicule. Almost every element in this world has an energy field, and if one of these is having a positive effect on you, go for it.
7. Wellness starts from the basics—I would not ask you to jump right away into a meditation class or a wellness session.
You can perhaps start from eating healthy and basic, which is fresh, raw and organic food; cutting down on your alcohol, nicotine intake; steering clear of canned food; getting regular and good sleep (this one is a lot of hard work, but switching off your cellphone and laptops does help).
8. Wellness is triggered by CREATIVITY—yes, it does. Basically, there are 4-5 activities that our ancestors were doing right—storytelling, dancing, music, eating right, and connecting with others.
You can add more to this with writing (works for me!), painting or any of the arts. Do it, stow away your phone for a while and disengage.
9) Wellness is getting closer to nature—Oh yes, this one definitely works for me. Go to your garden, dig some earth, watch those saplings come alive, get new flowers, go for indoor plants. Getting closer to nature really does not mean you need to go to the mountains or that seaside town; if you can do it or live in one such place, it is rad. If you do not, find a way to your garden; if this does not work either, get lots of indoor plants and work on those.
GREEN IS GOOD.
10. Wellness is NOT SELFISH—this is probably the biggest one of it all. If you know of something that makes you feel happy, like going off the grid for a week, do it. If others consider it selfish, it is not your problem. Taking care of yourself was never being selfish.
This being my first post in the Wellness & Lifestyle section aims at the basics. The next few posts would largely be on how to de-clutter and simplify life, stay in the present moment, some easy ways to get into the wellness zone and tiny lifestyle changes that have helped me and would help you in living easy, in breathing free.
Let me know in the comments below if you wish to read on a related topic, or with any feedback. Would also love to know your thoughts on wellness.
Till I write again, more power to you.
PS – Anyone with an addiction, like smoking, can still aim for wellness. While I would love it if you do not have one such habit, a step at a time might just do the trick for you.
Neither does saying WTF make you any less serious about taking care of your own self!