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Wellness has never been so in before. The wellness concept has been going around the internet, creating trends and building new stereotypes.
Wellness influencers are promoting all sorts of “healthy habits” from light to extreme. They can convince you to try anything, from drinking gallons of water and rigorously exercising to chugging green juices and taking ice baths.
But what if you cannot keep up with all the latest trends? How do you start a wellness journey that does not disregard your personality and lifestyle?
Well, first, forget about everything you believe wellness is…
This article will help you discover what wellness means to you and provide some useful tips on how to start a wellness journey tailored to your needs.
What Does Wellness Mean?
When you think about wellness, you probably picture a skinny gal in tights hitting the gym in an ungodly hour and then making an avocado toast.
While all of these are great if you truly enjoy doing them, they are not necessarily linked to wellness per se. Keep in mind that there is a big wellness industry profiting from these trends.
So, what is wellness, and is it only reserved for “that girl”?
Let’s clear things up with a definition! According to the Global Wellness Institute, wellness is “ the active pursuit of activities, choices, and lifestyles that lead to a state of holistic health.”
In other words, it is the conscious effort to achieve multidimensional health and well-being. And what do we mean by saying holistic and multidimensional?
There are 8 pillars of wellness:
- Physical Wellness: Caring for the long-term health of your body.
- Emotional Wellness: Understanding and respecting your emotions and being empathetic with the feelings of others. Regulating your emotions in a constructive way.
- Intellectual Wellness: Expanding your knowledge and exploring your interests to broaden your mental horizons.
- Social Wellness: Cultivating healthy and meaningful connections.
- Spiritual Wellness: Crystallizing your values and ideals. Discovering the meaning and purpose of your life.
- Vocational /Professional Wellness: Existing in a healthy work environment, using your skills toward a goal you believe in, and having job satisfaction.
- Financial Wellness: Managing your money wisely so you can meet your financial expectations with what you’ve got.
- Environmental Wellness: Realizing that the well-being of our planet is an undeniable condition for our own well-being. Acting towards a more sustainable future.
For those who want me to be a bit clearer, here is what wellness is and what it is NOT:
What Wellness Is
- An active pursuit of holistic well-being.
- A personal matter that looks different for everyone.
- Meant to make you feel good: body, mind, and soul.
- There is not one way to achieve it, but you can find your own path.
What Wellness Is NOT
- A product or a specific method you are being sold by a wellness influencer.
- Rigid and inflexible.
- Painful, tough, and inconsistent with your personality, values, and aspirations.
How To Start A Wellness Journey In 22 Actionable Steps
1. Prioritize Nutritious Eating
Fear not; I am not going to talk about another cleansing or diet. The purpose of healthy eating doesn’t always have to be losing weight and thinning down.
Instead of focusing on calories, prioritize choosing food that makes your body feel energized and happy. Make sure that your diet involves balanced meals with enough protein, fat, and fiber to nourish yourself properly.
For example, add more colorful fruit and vegetables and keep that piece of chocolate you eat with your coffee that brightens up your afternoons (or is it just me?).
2. Begin A Daily Movement Practice
Exercise is an undeniable health and mood booster, but not so much when it is unpleasant and forced. While HIIT and weightlifting are excellent, when you enjoy doing them, they are not for everyone.
Instead, commit to a daily form of movement you honestly enjoy. This can be dancing, going for a walk outside, cycling to work, or doing some light yoga.
3. Fix Your Sleep Schedule
Getting a good night’s sleep is crucial to keep us up and running. Your productivity, learning capacity, and energy can see a significant drop due to sleep deprivation.
Now, getting enough rest isn’t an easy task when you have a busy schedule to juggle. That is why you should try making strategic changes to ensure you are sleeping enough.
- Be consistent with your bed and wake-up time.
- Create a relaxing bedtime routine.
- Avoid screen time at least one hour before bed.
4. Keep A Daily Emotional Mindfulness Journal
Often, we are so used to suppressing and ignoring our feelings it becomes difficult to understand and express them. However, creating self-awareness around your emotions is crucial to making peace with them.
By keeping a daily emotional mindfulness journal, you will be able to explore your emotions and triggers, understand them better, and learn how to regulate them constructively.
5. Notice Your Inner Dialogue
Achieving emotional wellness takes more than making peace with emotions evoked by external factors; you also need to review the voice of your inner critic.
The first step is to notice and bring it to light. Then, try to challenge the negative self-beliefs you have internalized and search for their genesis. By being mindful of the words you speak to yourself, you will shift to kindness and unconditional self-acceptance.
6. Lean Into Vulnerability and Cultivate Empathy
Instead of allowing shame and insecurity to lead your interactions, dare to open up to the world, creating space for great things to happen in your life.
Also, empathy is a building block of all meaningful human interactions. It is the ability to step into someone else’s shoes emotionally and understand how they feel. It allows for deeper connections and fewer misunderstandings, leading to healthy relationships.
7. Learn How To Regulate Negative Emotions
Achieving emotional wellness does not equal being happy all the time; instead, it means having the emotional resilience to process negativity healthily and constructively.
Learning how to regulate negative emotions can look different for everyone. Here are some techniques you can use to understand and channel them:
- Engaging in expressive activities like dancing or painting.
- Trying therapy one-on-one or in groups.
- Talking about your emotions to a friend or family member who can support you non-judgmentally.
- Trying mindfulness and stress-management exercises like slow breathing, meditation, yoga asanas, muscle relaxation, etc.
8. Give Therapy A Try
If you have the means to reach out to a therapist, do not hesitate an instant. Your therapist will create a safe and confidential space for you to express your concerns.
They will help you recognize areas of improvement in your life, aid you in building emotional resilience, and guide you in finding the solutions to your problems.
9. Pick Up A New Hobby
Getting into a new hobby is an excellent way to start a wellness journey. Sometimes, the lack of interest and motivation we may experience is not because we are doing too much but because we are doing too little of what sparks our joy and creativity.
So, get in contact with your inner child and dig up the interests you would like to explore but never had the chance. Find a little time every week to engage in something that allows you to expand your skills, knowledge, and even your social circle.
10. Share Your Passions With Like-Minded People
Now that you have discovered a newfound or long-lost passion, it’s time to share it with the world. Finding like-minded people offers the delight of being seen and held exactly as you are. It creates a sense of belonging like no other.
11. Continue Your Education
Education is a life-long process, and It’s never too late to grab the books and get back to it. Let’s say you always hoped to study in university, learn a new language, or develop a useful skill – why not go for it?
Today, it’s easier than ever to acquire knowledge due to the wide variety of high-quality classes online. You can find both free and paid options that suit your requirements. Just pick a class, and become a student of something you are passionate about!
12. Declutter The Relationships In Your Life
As tough and painful as it might be, reviewing the relationships in our lives is crucial for achieving wellness. Toxic people create a climate of anxiety, self-consciousness, and negativity.
Try to keep your distance from these people and allow space for new acquaintances or deeper connections with people you already know. Settle for nothing less than mutual understanding, respect, and acceptance.
13. Set Healthy Boundaries
Some of the greatest discomfort we experience stems from spreading ourselves too thin. So, one of the first steps in your wellness journey should be to set healthy boundaries in your relationships, house, and workplace.
Prioritize your needs and your emotional, mental, and physical well-being. Learn how to say “no” more often, without guilt. People who respect you and your health will also naturally respect your boundaries.
14. Make New Acquaintances
We are naturally social people who thrive off interactions. Even introverts (like me) enjoy meaningful connections. Therefore, your wellness journey could not exclude socializing.
Like I said before, the joy of finding like-minded people to share your authentic self with brings incomparable joy.
Try opening your cycle by joining local clubs, volunteering, and attending events of your liking. It’s very likely to come across an interesting folk to spark a memorable conversation!
15. Ensure You’re Living According To Your Personal Values
Personal values are core beliefs that represent our identity and dictate our decisions and life course. Elaine Welteroth, chief editor of Teen Vogue, suggests that our values are the reasons we value certain things more than money.
Not living in accordance with your values creates a sense of confusion, discomfort, and unethicality. Ask yourself what you can do to align your thoughts, actions, and decisions with your core beliefs.
16. Discover What Gives Your Life Meaning
Purpose drives your actions, guides your decisions, and keeps you motivated even when the circumstances are disheartening. Finding what gives your life meaning is a crucial milestone in your wellness journey.
According to author and Ayurveda expert Sahara Rose, dharma (your soul’s purpose) is not a career, a project, or a certain role you play. It’s the unique vibration that your soul carries to everything that you do and every way that you are.
Ask yourself, what brings you the most joy? What are the special gifts you can offer to this world? When do you feel like existing in a natural flow?
Vocational/ Professional Wellness
17. Consider If Your Values, Goals, and Personality Are Aligned With Your Job
One-third of our lives is spent in work. That is why choosing the right job and a healthy work environment is essential for your overall wellness.
Ask yourself, is your job aligned with your core values? Do you believe it will help you achieve your long-term goals? Does this type of work suit your personality? Are your talents expressed and your skills made good use of?
Switching jobs can be a dreadful experience in our modern world. However, even if that is not a viable option, you can begin by setting boundaries and claiming what you rightfully deserve.
18. Ensure That You Are Adequately Rewarded
Job satisfaction and earning an adequate living wage are essential factors for a happy life. Do not hesitate to research whether you are paid enough for your work and pursue a just wage.
19. Participate In Work That Provides Satisfaction
But work isn’t just about money – even though that’s a big part of it. My dad always told me that the best thing I could do was turn my hobby into my job or view my job as my hobby.
One thing I keep from his words is that your job should make you feel appreciated, proud, and ultimately happy like you are contributing to something important.
20. Integrate Financial Planning Into Your Life
We all strive through financially hard times. And money alone can be a huge source of anxiety and negativity even if everything else in your life runs smoothly. Financial stability is, therefore, central to your wellness journey.
However, what is there to do when you cannot change your income? You can integrate financial planning into your daily life. And no, I am not suggesting that you cut out the coffee order that makes you so happy.
You can use online planners, apps, or a good old analog notebook to keep your logistics. Having a firmer grip on what you own and on what you can spend is going to offer a sense of control and alleviate some of the anxiety.
21. Have Realistic Financial Expectations
Honestly, our resources are limited when our wishes and wants are endless. Here are some tips to have more realistic financial expectations and stop feeling like you are missing out whenever you cannot get what you want whenever you want it:
- Prioritize your needs.
- Embrace that more isn’t always better.
- Understand that things you cannot buy are sometimes more worth your energy and effort.
- Double-check whether your consumer “needs” are created by peer pressure.
- Save money to achieve the things you want.
22. Educate Yourself About Sustainability
Striving for personal wellness while ignoring the well-being of our planet is hypocritical, to say the least. The viability of the earth is undeniably linked to our future quality of life.
Therefore, learning how to start a wellness journey should also include educating yourself about environmental challenges and sustainable living.
How To Start A Wellness Journey: Sailing Towards Holistic Wellness
Just before I bid you goodbye, I’d like to give you some final advice. Learning how to start a wellness journey is the first step to holistic wellness.
With this knowledge, you can evaluate which areas of your life have room for improvement and which tactics suit your personality and lifestyle better.
You know what’s best for you better than anyone. So, lead this journey with self-awareness and avoid comparing your progress with others. There is no one-size-fits-all. Achieving wellness is, after all, a lifelong effort personal to each one of us.