Being as healthy as possible in our mind and body, and actively seeking steps in order to achieve this. This is key to the idea of wellness.

What factors and influences personal wellness will be different for everyone as we all work within our own possibilities and limitations. Emotional, physical, intellectual, environmental, financial, occupational, social, spiritual factors… pretty much anything you encounter in your daily life has the possibility to influence your sense of wellness.

This brings with it positives and negatives. Things that influence our wellness for the better and enrich our lives should be encouraged and nourished. Hobbies we enjoy, people we like to have around us, foods that make us feel good, taking time to relax, physical activity, feeling safe and secure, appreciation, routine… all of these can have a positive impact on our sense of wellness.

But there are also factors that bring with them challenges that can have a detrimental effect on our wellness. Stress, poor sleep, financial concerns, unhappiness with work or personal lives, challenging relationships, feeling isolated or unsupported, living in an unhealthy environment, physical and/or psychological ill health and a lack of motivation… Any one of these can have a negative impact, not to mention more than one of them being present at once.

So what can we do to improve our wellness?

Well, like anything else involved in making lifestyle changes, it’s about taking steps, no matter how small or incremental, towards positive, long-term change.

Here are a few examples of some of the things you could do to improve your sense of wellness.

  • If you can, develop a good self-care strategy, allowing some ‘me’ time every day.
  • Develop a healthy sleep routine.
  • Exercise regularly, doing something you enjoy.
  • Eat well.
  • Talk things through with someone you trust and value.
  • Develop a strategy to cope with challenges in the workplace and/or at home.
  • Ask for help if you need it.
  • Take financial advice if necessary.
  • Make small changes to your environment.
  • Recognise your strengths and abilities.
  • Try different relaxation techniques to find one that suits.
  • Take up a hobby or reinstate an old one, doing something you love and find rewarding, inspiring or restful.
  • Develop an inner-supporter instead of an inner-critic.

Most importantly, when it comes to wellness, we must take an active approach. We can’t improve our wellness by being passive, just sitting back and hoping things will improve. Taking affirmative, positive action will make all the difference to our overall mental and physical wellbeing.

There’s lots we can do to improve our wellness, but you don’t have to master it in one day. Start small. Pick one thing you’re going to do differently for the benefit of your future self. This approach will lead to steady progress that is more likely to be sustained.

Just like the tortoise and the hare. When it comes to wellness, slow and steady will always win the race.