Wellness is the state of being healthy and this weekend marks World Wellness Weekend. While we all like to be healthy, we can face barriers that may get in the way including COVID-19. In Melbourne, the COVID-19 pandemic is taking over almost every aspect of our lives. Yet, we can control our wellness, and our ability to manage it, as best we can.
So, what’s the buzz around wellness?
The word ‘wellness’ has achieved a buzz-like status in the last few years. According to research conducted by Roy Morgan, 77% of Australians feel well and in good health. Surprisingly, this figure was reported in July this year; during a time when the COVID-19 virus was presenting itself among the Australian population.
Why do we need a weekend dedicated to wellness?
World Wellness Weekend was created to inspire and empower millions of people around the world to participate in meaningful wellness activities. This weekend can also remind us to take care of ourselves, especially during a pandemic. We need to remember to keep ourselves healthy by taking regular exercise, eating healthy foods and getting the sleep or rest we need.
Melbourne is in lockdown and I can’t travel over 5 kilometres from home…
This week, you’d be excited to know that Melburnians can now head out of their homes for two hours of exercise a day. Plus, exercise is one of the best ways to optimise your wellbeing especially if you have access to parks, gardens and nature reserves. Dedicate time during your day each day to go for a walk, run or bike ride. Try walking in different directions so you change your scenery and map out parts of your suburb you have not yet explored. You’d be surprised by the amount of spots you haven’t explored so why not embark on a micro-travel trip? Also, use your two hours wisely by dividing your two hours up throughout the day – two one-hour sessions, for example.
But it’s raining! What do I do now?
Your internet is your next-best exercise tool. Try researching some exercise option you’ve never tried before like yoga, Pilates, tai chi or even meditation. There’s an abundant supply of free classes you’ll find, or you can sign up to a local studio. Many studios have now moved their classes online so you can find one in your local area. Plus, you’ll be supporting a local business at the same time.
I’m sick of the house, though…
Yes, we’re all sick of the house. So why not spruce things up and turn everything upside down? Bring the outdoors inside by filling a vase with freshly cut flowers. Re-arrange the furniture and set up dimly lit lights or candles. Create your own peaceful space in an unused room; a space where you can retreat for silence, journaling or meditation work. If the weather improves, open up all the windows and doors to let the fresh air in. Enjoy your next hot drink or lunch outside rather than eating indoors. Play your favourite music you haven’t heard in a while, or buy tickets to a virtual concert. Music is another effective way to calm the mind, relax the body and bring a smile to your face. If you have a bathtub you never use, run yourself a relaxing warm bath and soak away.
How else can I keep my wellness in check?
While we’re spending a lot of time indoors, it’s tempting to eat the foods that won’t optimise our energy. Resist the temptation by eating as many fruits, vegetables and plant-based proteins as you can. Drink loads of water so you’re flushing your system from any toxins. Keep your alcohol, coffee, salt and sugar consumption to a minimum and stick to a regular, healthy meal schedule. This is the same for sleep, as well. Minimise screen time before you go to bed and get as much sleep as you can. If it’s the weekend, don’t rush and take your time or even sleep in a little. If you’re exhausted throughout the day, give your brain a rest by putting the to-do list away and taking a break or light nap.
But how can I help others keep well, too?
If you can’t visit loved ones, maintain connections by phoning them or even organise a Zoom call with friends or family. If someone’s birthday comes along, send them a birthday card (yes, in the post!)or a deliver y of their favourite food. If you know there’s a “food is free” pantry in your area, drop off some groceries on your way home from the supermarket. Or, make a donation to your favourite charity or animal rescue group that may be struggling at this time.
World Wellness Weekend is this weekend, Saturday September 19 to Sunday September 20. You can learn more about this initiative by visiting the World Wellness Weekend website.
Disclaimer: All information presented in this blog post are the expressed views of and research conducted by Justine de Jonge. Please seek medical advice if and when required.
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