Across the US and beyond, many people have been put through the wringer in the last couple of years. Social distancing led to increased isolation. Some people struggled with their health or the loss of a loved one as a result of the pandemic. Others may have lost their jobs due to closures and reduced capacity at businesses in every industry. Many plans were canceled and yearly traditions had to be adjusted. On top of all that, add the regular stresses of everyday life that have been around for eons and you have a recipe for a difficult few years.
Most if not all of these factors come from things beyond our control. The circumstances of life in which we find ourselves often cannot be affected by our choices. But, responding to circumstances is completely within our control.
When life seems uncertain and unpredictable, one of the things that you can have control over is personal wellness. Focusing on your health, whether that means physically, mentally, socially, or spiritually, is a choice that you can always make no matter the circumstances. Here are some ways that you can invest in your wellness going forward.
Form an exercise routine
We all know that exercise benefits our physical bodies, but it can also balance mental health as well. Even at the height of the pandemic, people were getting outside and going on walks, runs, or participating in physical activities, and this became even more important with increased isolation. Creating an exercise routine for yourself is key to longevity and maintaining mobility as you age. You can add a cardio workout like bicycling or jogging. You could find a local league for a sport that you are interested in. Or, investing in some home gym equipment could work if you are looking for more convenience. Taking care of your physical body helps avoid injuries that can occur in everyday life or at work, which can be costly to your health and your finances. While life may get crazy, focusing on your exercise regimen will bring some level of consistency to the chaos while benefiting your physical and mental health.
Set time aside for rest
In the current culture, rest is something that has been neglected for years to make way for increased productivity and busyness. But the value of restoring yourself cannot be underestimated. Rest does not necessarily mean a nap or lying still. It could be any activity that brings you calm and joy. For some of us, that means a nice 2-hour nap every once in a while. For others, it could be meditation or yoga that allows us to slow down and recover. Some people may have creative talents and find peace in making a painting or crafting something new with their hands. These activities are great for our mental health, especially if your days are starting to feel repetitive or you are experiencing burnout. Take the time now to pick a few activities that you know you enjoy and make time in your schedule for them to improve your overall wellness.
Connect with the natural world
Finding time to spend outdoors is proven to have multiple health benefits, and it can also connect you with the spiritual side of your life. Whether you believe in a higher power or not, the beauty of nature can vastly improve your mindset and make you feel more connected to the living world around you. Some of the benefits of time spent outside include vitamin D from the sun, fresh air that has not been circulated through vents or other interior systems, and a general boost to the immune system. Plus, being outside often goes hand-in-hand with exercising, as you could go for a walk in the park or a hike through the woods. If you want to invest in your wellness, remember to go outside as much as you can.
Invest in close relationships
Our minds are designed to crave relationships and connections. Although it can be hard to keep up with close friends and family members through the busyness of life, it is important to invest time into those connections. Maybe you can set aside one night a month to have a game night with some of your closest friends. Or, you may need to plan an outing months in advance that you can all hold each other to. This should not feel like another way to fill up your schedule, but a reason to get together and have some laughs and good conversation. For those of us who experienced loss in the last few years, investing in our loved ones becomes even more important. Do not neglect your social life when thinking about your wellness.
Plan it to protect it
If you are serious about investing in your wellness, then it needs to be given as much importance as other responsibilities like jobs, raising families, making payments, and everything else. If you aren’t setting aside time for these practices, then they are very easy to push back when other circumstances pop up that you hadn’t planned for. Whatever methods you adopt to invest in your wellness, plan them out and protect those times, because if your health starts to suffer, so will your ability to be the best version of yourself in the other aspects of your day. Plan your wellness practices now so that they are protected.