It’s the time of year when everything seems to be changing. The time, weather, wardrobes, and leaves are a few that I can think of. Soon after the candy bounty from Halloween is eaten, the time will ‘fall back’ (except for Arizona) and soon after, turkeys will be carved and Christmas trees will be lit. This time of year is when things move at a wildly fast pace. We cook and shop for the holidays, plan getaways, attend parties and so much more.  Everything is wonderful until we get a dreaded winter cold or the flu!

If you’re like me, you don’t often think about wellness until you’re not well.  Even a simple head cold can make me vow to do all sorts of things to stay healthy, usually with abysmal follow-thru. With that season approaching, I’ve been thinking a lot about wellness and what it means to me. No doubt you’ve seen corporate wellness program placards at work or received something from a healthcare provider. I see them often but have only recently begun to seriously think about what wellness really means to me.

The National Wellness Institute defines wellness as six interdependent dimensions that build a holistic sense of fulfillment. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines it as a state of complete well-being. If you search ‘what is wellness?‘ on the web, you’ll find a variety of results with some commonalities. While the definition is anything but universal, I have learned that wellness is more than just the absence of illness or disease. Wellness is a pursuit. It is a process of intentionally striving for complete physical, mental and social well-being. It is something we must work at and continually adapt, as necessary. It is a multi-faceted gift that we are given to cherish and to protect.

I’m currently enjoying a wellness reboot.  I’ve taken some time off to focus on my own gift of wellness. After a very robust year of adulting, business travel, and so much more, I started to recognize that I was in need of some time to really refresh my mind, body, and spirit.  It is a special kind of stay-cation that is all about feeling better in every conceivable way. We neglect so much in the busyness of our lives.  Our daily routines become…well, routine. Routine replaces thoughtfulness and intention and before we know it boredom, frustration and anxiety creep in. During my own special time away from the norm, I vowed to really focus on the things that contribute to my personal wellness. I promised myself I’d get some much-needed rest and relaxation; get some regular physical exercise; connect with friends; engage in spiritually enriching activities; and feed myself clean, nourishing foods. As I write, Day 7 is ending and I am happy to report that I’ve kept my word to myself! It has been a remarkable time of refreshing and refreshing reconnections.

What does wellness mean to you? How are your protecting and cherishing your own gift of wellness? The pursuit of wellness is not a cookie-cutter experience but one that is very personal. Some of us are great at monitoring what we put into our bodies, but not what we allow into our thoughts. Others of us are fantastic socially but horrible in the physical realm of wellness. Whatever your personal wellness need or needs may be, I hope you’ll begin your own intentional pursuits to achieve them.  After all, if wellness is missing everything else will surely follow.  Take good care of your gift.

“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation,
and that is an act of political warfare.”

—Audre Lorde

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The PlaygroundPursuing Wellness