What wellness means to individuals and how they strive to maintain their personal wellness is as unique as individuals themselves. However, as we near the end of January 2022, it’s probably fair to acknowledge that most of us can agree on one thing—the start of the year has certainly continued to present some ongoing challenges in maintaining our individual wellness.
From the overall sentiment in the news, to the memes on our social feeds, we are bombarded with messages about how the pandemic is and will continue to affect us all. As we search for ways to cope with another round of pandemic-related restrictions and a stall in reopening that few expected, “wellness content” is everywhere, from self-care product roundups to 10 wellness hacks to get you through your day, and everything in between. While much of the content we come across claims to hold the answer to achieving wellness for everyone, don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t make you feel well at all.
To inspire us to follow our own self-care practices and not just follow a one-size-fits-all approach to wellness, six SimplyProtein team members shared their insights and thoughts about what wellness means to them. While 10 minutes of yoga for one person is the key to happiness, an hour break in the day watching reality TV could help keep that wellness in check for somebody else. Since wellness should be an individual journey and not a prescriptive one, celebrating and recognizing our individual wellness is a key to achieving our own well-being.
Tip: it’s all about the small moments of joy each day
My morning routine is crucial for achieving wellness. And coffee is the constant in my wellness routine. I also can’t live without my coffee beans and espresso machine, and there is nothing like my morning cappuccino.
It’s also important that I get 30 minutes of “me time” in the mornings. This means doing something that is for myself, but not necessarily alone. I had this realization at the start of the pandemic. Working more from home, being indoors so often or having to wake up and drive to work straight away started to feel a little depressing. I needed to make time to clear my mind before starting my day. Sometimes I’ll go on morning walks with my husband, grab a coffee together and just have that moment for ourselves. Some days, I replace the walk with a 15-minute meditation or yoga session, or just reading a book. To me, wellness is just finding these moments, even the small ones, that bring us joy. Like that cup of coffee or the walk with my husband.
- Adriana, eCommerce Manager at SimplyProtein
Tip: block off time in the day to be active
At 52 years old, I find the aches and pains set in when I’m not active. I subscribe to the ‘motion is lotion’ theory. For me, this comes in different forms. While I have a regular workout schedule that includes running and CrossFit or weight training, I get equal pleasure and satisfaction from daily activities such as walking and playing with my dog outside or going for a hike. I need to make it a priority to proactively schedule time in my calendar for this each day, or I end up procrastinating or finding an excuse to do other things on my ‘to do’ list.
To me, wellness is having an inner acceptance in myself and appreciation for the things I do daily to maintain balance. As a separated father, balancing time with my daughter; keeping things on track at work; making meaningful time for my loved ones; ensuring my dog and I are exercised daily and ensuring I am getting enough sleep, can be difficult to balance. I’ve realized I can’t do it all one hundred percent of the time, and that’s ok. Giving myself permission to faulter in some areas as I focus on others helps me maintain the inner acceptance and appreciation of all the great things in my life.
-Paul, VP of Operations at SimplyProtein
Tip: go for a drive
To me, wellness means feeling balanced physically, mentally, and socially. When I’m feeling stressed, overwhelmed, or a little off, I go for a drive. Ever since I got my license, I’ve used this as a coping mechanism to help me achieve personal wellness. I’ll get into the car and turn on music, call a friend or listen to an audio book. It’s a great way to get some alone time and clear my mind when needed.
-Madeline, Product Development Technologist at SimplyProtein
Tip: “easy TV” and dance parties
To me, wellness means not forgetting to ‘put my oxygen mask on first before helping others.’ If I always put the needs of others before mine, I will get run down and not be in any shape to be there for family, friends and colleagues in the long run. This might mean allowing the kids to watch extra TV on weekend mornings while I get more rest, or asking my husband to take the children for a long drive so I can get some alone time—which is especially critical after a week of virtual school while working from home.
While I know walking is something I should do each day, sometimes I just don’t have the motivation or drive. To make it a little more tolerable, I like to watch an episode or two of “easy” TV while getting those steps in on a treadmill. The treadmill was a COVID purchase and has been a game changer to achieve my daily steps and movement goals while confined to my house, especially over the winter. Admittedly, I don’t always have the energy, but incorporating easy TV makes it easier to get started and enables me to get a mental break while moving my body after a day sitting in front of the computer.
Often, I will also have impromptu dance parties with my kids. It’s a fun way to clean up together after play time (beats yelling), and other times, as a dance game on X-box Kinect. Dancing with my five and seven-year-old always lifts my spirits.
-Yael, Senior Operations & Compliance Manager at SimplyProtein
Tip: balance is key
For me, wellness is a lifestyle choice that incorporates all facets of your life to create balance physically, mentally, socially and emotionally. It’s hard (for me) to achieve optimal wellness if I am not focusing on all parts of my life. For example, having a fulfilling job should not come at the expense of my family and physical health. Everyone achieves their balance in different ways, but the key is treating wellness as a holistic way of living, rather than defining it in terms of a singular goal such as make money or lose weight.
-Lawrence, National Sales Director at SimplyProtein
Tip: daily self-check-in
For me, wellness is all about the daily self-check-in, because my needs will change depending on the day. Checking in with myself allows me to truly figure out what it is that day that will make me feel physically and mentally well.
It’s easy to feel days blurring during the pandemic, especially when working from home. Each day, I try to do one thing for my mind, one thing for my body and one thing for my spirit. But, depending on the day, this will look very different. Some days, the “mind” category is reading, but other days it’s binging The Real Housewives of Miami. The “body” category can be dancing while I make dinner, or a restorative stretch session. The “spirit” has looked like some good old retail therapy, to picking up old hobbies like drawing, and sometimes, it’s flooding my sisters with phone calls. By not restricting myself with a one-dimensional definition of what wellness is and by listening to what I need each day, I am able to have a variety of tactics that help keep things interesting. Admittedly, some days, my mind, body and spirit tell me to do nothing at all and that’s ok too!
-Hemani Kamdar, Senior Brand Manager at SimplyProtein
Between the six team members we spoke to, wellness looked relatively different from person to person — not only in what they do to achieve wellness, but also in defining what wellness means to each of them. At the end of the day, we all get joy and seek wellness from different things. Whether it’s being active, watching TV, going for a drive, or having a morning cup of coffee. So, while searching for wellness tips and inspiration, it’s important to remember that prescriptive hacks or one-size fits all tips are not for everyone. Find what brings you joy and who inspires you along your individual path to wellness – it can be that simple.