Making Well-being a Priority
Do you know the difference between happiness and well-being? There’s an International Day of Happiness (that is celebrated on 20th March) but an entire week dedicated to well-being. And that’s exactly the difference: well-being includes happiness, but has many more aspects to it - physical, emotional, social, financial, environmental, and even spiritual! This is why well-being is celebrated over a week, from 24th to 28th June. One day is simply not enough.
As we near the end of World Well-being Week 2019, we thought of sharing simple strategies that can help you make well-being a lifestyle choice.
For physical well-being: Eat balanced meals
Make a commitment to nourish your body! A balanced meal, as we learned in school, includes some form of carbohydrates (found in rice, wheat, pasta, potatoes, etc.), protein (legumes, vegetables, chicken, fish, eggs), fats (found in oil, butter, nuts, meat, etc.), and vitamins and minerals (found in milk and fresh fruits and vegetables).
Incorporate these items in your meals to ensure you eat 3 balanced meals. If your meals are very imbalanced at the moment, start by having at least one balanced meal each day.
For mental well-being: Try mindfulness
Sometimes, your mind needs a break from the chaos of a busy and hectic life. Mindfulness is a great way to help your mind find inner peace. It is a skill that takes time to develop, but with a bit of practise, you can do it!
Here’s a simple mindfulness exercise for you to try: pick an everyday activity, such as brushing your teeth or taking a bath, and while you engage in it, notice what you can see, feel, hear, smell, and taste. Doing this even for 2 minutes can help you feel more mindful and at ease.
For financial well-being: Set a financial goal
Have you been paying heed to your finances? Most of us fail to take a proactive approach to taking care of our finances. But financial wellness is crucial for a healthy and happy life.
Spend some time to think about your finances, and identify a goal that you will work on. This can include anything like making a budget, setting a savings goal, saving for retirement, making an investment, etc. Then, make a plan to achieve this goal. You could ask a friend, relative, or even a financial advisor to help you out.
For social well-being: Make a plan with loved ones
Studies show that the biggest predictor of happiness in life is the quality of your relationships. This is good news, because human beings are social animals. At the same time, maintaining relationships can be hard!
Start on a simple note - arrange for a meeting with a loved one, and make a plan to do something together. To boost your social well-being, you could also try performing a random act of kindness towards another person. You could pay your colleague a compliment, or get a small chocolate for someone you love.
For environmental well-being: Appreciate nature
Mother nature has given a lot to us humans, so it’s time to return the favour! A sustainable life is the best life to live - not just for us, but for future generations.
Get in touch with nature by going for a nature walk, basking in the morning sun, setting up a kitchen garden, or doing something for the environment. Maybe your community organises tree plantation drives or beach cleanups that you could be a part of? You could even take up a sustainability pledge such as using less plastic, going zero waste, or eating vegan food twice a week.
Remember: well-being is achieved by small changes each day. Like they say, it’s all about the journey - not the destination! While World Well-being Week is a great way to raise awareness, it’s important to make self-care and well-being a habit. You can pick any one area to improve your well-being in, or - and even better - you can pick a small goal to work on in each of these areas!
If you need someone to support you on your well-being journey, don't hesitate to reach out. An InnerHour therapist is here to help!
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