Wellness is a relatively new buzz word in the world of health and fitness. But what does being "well" even mean?
As a health coach, here is my answer.
Wellness refers to an overall physical, mental, and emotional status of an individual. To be "well" means more than just being free of illness. It implies that a person has the knowledge, skills, and resources at their disposal to achieve a certain standard of multifaceted physical and psychological wellbeing.
That standard of wellness may differ from person to person, and in some ways it is subjective. Personally, I feel well when I exercise, eat vegetables, and have a good book to read. Others feel well when they socialize with friends over a nice meal. Inherently a person's feeling of wellness cannot be wrong so long as activities are all enjoyed in moderation.
There have been times in my life that I was maintaining a very regimented diet and exercise plan and by all accounts was very "well", but the rigidity of it all made me tense and stressed out, therefore "unwell". This is when I discovered the difference between health in the traditional sense and the flexibility required to be "well".
So, there is much more to wellness than a balanced diet, an exercise routine, and getting enough sleep. Although that is a good place to start! Feeling that your life brings you joy and satisfaction are also elements of wellness as well as having a support system and people that care about you.
Ultimately, wellness to me is about balance and moderation. Taking care of one's mind, body, and soul. And I for one am happy that wellness is getting more attention in the overall health conversation.
So go forth, and be well!