National Wellness Month

by Shelbie Palmer

August is National Wellness Month, and perhaps we should take this time to consider what ‘wellness’ truly is.

In our conventional society, we may see ‘wellness’ as formal tests and standardized treatments. Modern medicine is excellent in terms of diagnosing, symptom relief, emergency care and surgeries.

‘Wellness’ may also be interpreted in a holistic sense – where practitioners attempt to uncover the underlying cause of a disease/ailment then treat their client as a whole – offering lifestyle changes, homeopathy and food as medicine.

There are also those who prefer to walk-the-line between these two worlds, performing a balancing act with supplements, mindfulness and acupuncture, and prescription medicines and needed surgeries.

However, if one were to dive deeper into the meaning of ‘wellness,’ it’s possible to find something entirely different. The Global Wellness Institute defines wellness as “the active pursuit of activities, choices and lifestyles that lead to a state of holistic health.” ‘Holistic’ is the “belief of treating the whole person – taking into account mental and social factors, rather than just the symptoms of an illness.” It may also be interpreted as treating the body, mind and soul rather than simply the physical.

Knowing this, it would seem that ‘wellness’ can, and should, vary from person-to-person. It does seem, despite these possible varieties, it should be active rather than passive.

When looking at wellness through that light, it can be seen it can be seen that one doesn’t necessarily need to make a monumental change in order to improve one’s state of wellness. Changing one small daily habit has the potential to improve your mood and mental health.

Ideas and activities that can improve your state of wellness: Going for a nature walk, meditation, going phone-free for a day, trying a new exercise, going to bed early, writing a letter to your future self, say three things you love about yourself, have a DIY spa day, or calling a friend or loved one.

Fill in the blank: I’m prioritizing my wellness this week by _____________.