What do you define as Wellness?
The answer to this question will be different for everyone, and it might in fact be easier to look at the opposite; Illness and define what that means to you.
This, by the way, should be interpreted as a question to facilitate thinking, not as a way to get a clear and absolute answer.
Activity: Spend 5-10 minutes on this with a piece of paper and you might be surprised by what you find.
Below, I’ll look at the situation from my perspective and try to shine some light on what to avoid and what to try and move towards in order to get more healthy.
The current system is a pressure cooker for lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, obesity, anxiety, depression, heart disease and cancers to name a few.
Toxic habits such as being sedentary, eating ultra-processed foods and long working days are problematic enough by themselves. When compounded they strengthen each other and accelerate the process.
A current development that has contributed a lot to this, is the social isolation as a result of the current pandemic.
This came accompanied by a sudden surge in the use of technology just around a time where we were becoming more aware of the negative effects these habits can have on us.
Now, we are dealing with a situation where most of us can relate a lot to Barry:
Barry feels stressed and pessimistic about the future
Barry does not get the same fulfillment from his Job
Barry misses the jokes and companionship from the office now that he’s working from home
Barry doesn’t see his friends so much anymore since soccer is prohibited
Barry starts to have pain in his body from working at an uncomfortable workplace
Barry isn’t so “tech-savvy” and feels pressure from having to learn all these new applications
Communicating through text and video calls is difficult for Barry and often he encounters miscommunications which can be very frustrating
Barry has been ordering a lot of fast food lately
He usually has a beer or two with it, as it helps him to relax
Barry has been working into the evening regularly
He’s been going to bed a bit later and sometimes struggles to fall asleep
His mood has not been too stable lately and sometimes he finds himself lashing out at his partner for no good reason.
These examples are just some on the forefront of my mind but when working with clients I hear them on a daily basis. Though they might seem subtle, the long-term effect on overall health and happiness can be drastic and severe over time. Becoming aware and catching the process early on is key to preventing serious problems.
So before digging into the various components of wellness I would ask you this:
“How much are you like Barry?”