The phrase “health and wellness” is tossed around a lot these days, promised by everyone from chiropractors and barre instructors to purveyors of turmeric lattes and vegan potato vodka. My eyes can’t help but glaze over at these three little words that, most certainly, sum up what matters most.
In my 20s (when ‘wellness’ was only for hard-core hippies), my so-called health care regime consisted of trying to not eat chips for every meal. I felt better than okay most days — a state I largely credit my tender age for.
Still, I struggled with a vague, burgeoning anxiety that I didn’t have the awareness or vocabulary to name. That unease grew over the years. While I thrived in many ways, anxiety showed its face sometimes, often at very inconvenient times. It took many years for me to find not only the words to describe it, but the courage to admit I needed help finding my centre, my well-being.
I’m lucky to be surrounded by a lot of love and support, and have had the means to find the tools that provide me with a solid path to sustainable wellness. I know not everyone is so fortunate but I’m grateful that the stigma around discussing one’s mental health, and its absolute connection to our physical health, is being reduced.
These days, I’m conscious of what I eat: no meat, little sugar, I try to take it easy on the dairy. I’m not motivated by physical health concerns so much as by how I feel. I’m tuned in to how much sleep I need; I walk, swim, stretch, laugh and play as often as I can; I try to remember to take my supplements and use CBD oil sometimes when I need it.
There’s so much positive power for me in having awareness of how what I put into my body and how much or little I exercise has an effect on my outlook, which in turn has a critical relationship to how I approach people, my work, and all aspects of my life.
One of my favourite talismans puts a little twist on health and wellness that speaks more directly to my own commitment to my life and my longevity. “Love and Well-Being” features a unicorn with a rose in its mouth. Its symbolism is a reminder that physical and mental health ought to be approached with attention and affection for ourselves; if we love ourselves wholly, or strive to do so, well-being has space to flourish. Love means paying attention. Noticing the details. Nurturing. If we do that for ourselves — when I do that for myself — I know that I feel better because I make more careful, healthier decisions that set me up for improved health.
I hope you find love and well-being in mind and body today, and every day.