Wellness is a term we hear a lot these days, but what exactly does it mean?
The general consensus seems to be that wellness is a holistic measure of our overall health and wellbeing, encompassing not only our freedom from illness and disease, but our spiritual and emotional health as well.
And our search for wellness and a better quality of life has led to the creation of a special day dedicated solely to the concept of living well. Known as Global Wellness Day (GWD), it is celebrated each year around the world on the second Saturday in June.
What is GWD?
Celebrated in over 100 different countries, Global Wellness Day is designed to raise awareness of the concept of living well and to encourage all of us to take time out to think about how we could each live a healthier and more fulfilling life.
GWD advocates doing this by incorporating small changes into our lives over time on our journey towards living well. These can include simple things like walking more, drinking more water, eating healthier food and getting the right amount of sleep. They also suggest sharing a meal with your loved ones and doing a good deed for someone else, both of which will benefit you spiritually and contribute to your overall wellness.
How to celebrate Global Wellness Day
So what do you plan to do on GWD this year? If you like the idea of living healthier and feeling happier, why not give one (or more) of these a try.
1. Go for a walk
The simple act of walking can have big benefits both physically and mentally. Taking a regular walk can:
- Help you lose weight
- Lower your blood pressure
- Reduce your risk of chronic disease
- Reduce muscle loss as you get older
- Prevent varicose veins
- Improve gastric motility
- Help to stave off Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
- Improve your creativity.
So what better way to celebrate GWD than going for a walk? One of the best ways to stick a regular walking routine is to walk the dog, so if you don’t have a pet, consider borrowing a friend’s, as being around animals has also been shown to be beneficial for our physical and mental wellbeing.
2. Make a healthy meal plan for the week
The advantages of eating a well-balanced diet have been well documented and are known to include:
- Increased strength and energy levels
- A stronger immune system
- Less risk of diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease
- The ability to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight
- Clearer thinking and greater ability to deal with stress.
A well-balanced diet contains the vitamins, minerals and nutrients we need to keep our bodies and minds strong and healthy and making a healthy meal plan for the week is the best way to ensure you’re eating the right foods in the right amounts. If you need help in compiling your meal plan, a nutritionist would be the ideal person to consult. Find a nutrition expert in your area here.
3. Yoga and meditation
Yoga and meditation have been practised around the world for a very long time and with good reason, because they both have many benefits for our overall health.
- Increase flexibility, which in turn reduces muscle and joint pain and improves posture
- Build muscle strength, which helps to protect us from conditions like arthritis and back pain and prevents falls as we get older
- Prevent cartilage breakdown and help ward off osteoporosis and degenerative arthritis by regularly putting our joints through their full ranges of motion
- Improve circulation by increasing oxygenation of the blood supply and thinning the blood, reducing the risk of clotting
- Lower blood sugar by lowering cortisol and adrenaline levels, encouraging weight loss and improving sensitivity to the effects of insulin in diabetics
- Increase self-awareness and acceptance and improve our overall wellbeing
- Improve our cardiovascular health by reducing our blood pressure
- Improve immune health by increasing lymph drainage
- Improve concentration by teaching us to ignore distractions and become more focused in everything we do.
When used in combination, yoga and meditation can help to reduce the pain of arthritis, back pain, fibromyalgia, carpal tunnel and other chronic conditions.
If you’ve never done yoga but would like to try it, you can find classes and practitioners in your area here. And if you’d like to give meditation a go, you’ll find a range of local meditation teachers and classes here.
4. Day spa
Of course, the perfect place to find health and wellbeing products and services all under one roof is at a day spa. If you want to do something positively healthy on Global Wellness Day, why not book yourself in for a treatment or two?
You’ll find a range of day spa services in your area, with everything from Hot Stone Massage to cupping and reflexology. Or if you’d prefer a beauty treatment to assist in your relaxation and enhance your wellbeing, you’ll find a range of beauty-related services here, from facials and body wraps to waxing and spray tans.
5. Do a good deed
Our fifth and final way to celebrate Global Wellness Day is to take a leaf from the GWD manifesto and do a favour for somebody else. The health benefits of altruism are well known and helping others has been shown to reduce depression, increase physical health, enhance self-esteem and is also thought to neutralise negative emotions which affect immune, endocrine and cardiovascular functions.
If you’d like to perform a good deed on Global Wellness Day, why not get someone you know a Spa & Wellness Gift Card? Not only will you feel good for doing a good deed, you’ll encourage them to focus on their own wellbeing too as they choose from hundreds of feel-good experiences.