I'm part of Nestlé's Choose Wellness, Choose Nestlé campaign, which is getting me thinking about wellness, what it means, and how to even attain my definition of wellness.
Here's what it is for me:
What is your definition of wellness? Are you there? Are you at your optimum, or can you do better? To see where you're at on your wellness journey, you can use the Wellness Wheel test
To see where you are in your wellness journey, take the below Wellness Wheel test.
The Wellness Wheel represents each aspect of your life that makes up wellness. By ranking yourself in each of these aspects, you can then identify the areas in need of improvement, while also acknowledging the areas that are working well in your life. This is a great guide to help you to set goals and take small steps to achieving a more balanced life.
Note: The wellness wheel changes each time depending on what is happening in your life at that moment. You can develop your personal wellness journal to monitor your progress.
Here are some tips on how to improve any gaps on your wellness journey:
Salt reduction: Instead of having the salt and pepper on your table at meal times, include a bowl of fresh herbs, spices and seeds that you can add to your meals for extra flavour.
Drink more water: It’s probably not the first time you’ve heard this, but that’s because it is a really important aspect of maintaining a healthy body. To up your daily intake of water try and make it fruity and fresh by adding lemon slices, orange slices, cucumber or mint. It looks better and tastes better than plain water making it easier to drink up during the day.
Get the kids involved: Chances are that if they are involved in the cooking process (whether it be peeling potatoes or grating cheese) they may feel more involved and more likely to eat it!
- Try your best to get 30 minutes of exercise a day. If that’s unrealistic, given your current schedule, start small by simply increasing your overall step count. Try and include one of the below activities to get you started:
- If you have a meeting, make it mobile! Going for a walk around the office park while chatting with colleagues is a great way of increasing your daily steps.
- Instead of fighting for parking at the entrance to the mall, park at the back where there are countless open parking spots and use the walk as part of your daily exercise.
- While you are brushing your teeth in the morning, after one brush do a squat and repeat 5 times.
- When you are waiting for the kettle to boil, use the time to do a few lunges in the kitchen.
- Stretching is so important, especially if you sit at a desk all day. Use your chair as a tool to do some simple stretches for your back i.e. hold the chair and turn left and then right to stretch out your back.
Be kinder to yourself – steer clear of comparing yourself to others and celebrate your uniqueness.
Practise positive thinking – our brains’ natural tendency is to think negatively. Being conscious of negative thoughts and stopping them in their tracks can reduce stress and can have an overall benefit to your mental health.
Budgeting and planning can be time consuming but making a shopping list and having a budget before you go to the store will help you to stick to buying only what you need. A small step everyday can make a difference and will not be as overwhelming as trying to do an annual budget on the get go.
Practise being mindful – this can be as simple as taking 10 minutes of your day to be present i.e. eat your lunch outside while sitting on the grass and listening to the birds or when your alarm clock goes off in the morning, keep your eyes shut and take in the silence before tackling your daily activities.
When we get busy and feel like 24 hours a day is just not enough, we start to lose certain aspects of our life and having fun is often one of them. To incorporate fun back into your life, take out just a few minutes of your day to colour in with your kids, make that call to your friend or watch that funny clip on YouTube. Introducing a mere 30 minutes of social time a day can make a huge difference. All work and no play is no fun!
When it comes to wellness, finding balance in all aspects of your life is important. This includes everything from understanding serving sizes to keeping active to effectively managing stress. It is a holistic journey which requires you to Eat Smarter, Move More to Live Better.
To learn more about the Choose Wellness, Choose Nestlé campaign, follow Nestlé South Africa on Facebook.