The school holidays are here now, which means you have a chance to recalibrate and actively pursue your Wellness. According to the Global Wellness Institute, “Wellness is not a passive or static state, but rather an “active pursuit” that is associated with intentions, choices, and actions as we work toward an optimal state of health and wellbeing. Second, wellness is linked to holistic health – that is, it extends beyond physical health and incorporates many different dimensions that should work in harmony.” How? Through self-care.
These holidays, I would like to share with you 6 self-care wellness tasks (see below) that focus on gratitude, journaling, storytelling, mindfulness and neuroscience – all evidence-based strategies proven in academic/scholarly research.
Stressors such as rumination (replaying past hurts, losses), negative self-talk (self-critical in a self-judging way) and unhelpful lifestyle choices like sleep deprivation, unbalanced diet all stop us from pursuing our Wellness. Stressors leave our cup of wellness empty, which stops us from living our best life.
The solution is self-care, the way in which you intentionally fill your cup and look after your whole self with self-compassion. Showing up for yourself, towards yourself, with actions and thoughts of kindness, gentleness, that you are enough, empathy, patience with yourself, open-mindedness, forgiveness to yourself, celebrating failure as learning, empowering yourself: This is showing up for yourself. Self-care is not a luxury, a buzzword or a fad, it is watering the plant that is you, so you can survive and thrive whether the weather is sunshine or storm.
At its core, wellness is about resilience building for sustainable living. That is, the ability to ‘bounce back’ during times of adversity to pursue your Wellness (your optimal health) for life longevity. This is your cup of wellness that allows you to live your best life! Not only for the child in the classroom to have life skills, but for ourselves as individuals, professionals, as members who belong to our local communities, and as members who belong to the community of humanity. Let’s look after ourselves, each other, and thrive out of the adversity presented by the current pandemic.
These 6 self-care tasks are now at your fingertips:
- Gratitude journaling
By appreciating and celebrating what is here in your life right now, rather than losing the moment to what you used to have or what you don’t have yet, you reflect on the abundance in your life.
Write down 3 things you are grateful for.
This could be on a sticky note, notepad or even a journal. Use these prompts to help you:
>A moment you smiled >An act of kindness >A challenge you overcame
- Inspirational quotes
Each quote carries a Wellness message or story. By allowing yourself to connect your own ideas and experiences to inspirational quotes, you can build your mental model of inspiration.
“Do What You Can With All You Have, Wherever You Are.” – Theodore Roosevelt
Reflect, what message does this quote give you?
- Mindfulness task
Mindfulness practice asks us to gently train our attention so we can focus on what matters most, teaching us to be open to experiences in a non-judgmental way, to accept what we can’t change and act on what we can.
(By Monash University)
- Have a laugh
A laugh goes a long way for our health, making you feel great by releasing feel-good endorphins, and even keeps you younger!
Have a laugh – Did you hear about the claustrophobic astronaut? He just needed a little space.
- Inspiring news stories
Stories activate parts in the brain that help you connect your own ideas and experiences to create a sense of belonging and community. Stories are also how raw data is given meaning for application into different contexts.
Good Deed Takes Flight at Airport as Man Buys Ticket For Someone Desperate to Get Home (May 29, 2021) Reflect, what message does this story give you?
- Learn something new
Basic neuroscience teaches that we create new neural pathways in our brain when we continuously stimulate with new thoughts and ideas from learning. The more we learn about these ideas, the more those pathways strengthen. In this way, we can start by training our thoughts to naturally flow in the direction most helpful to our Wellness and growth.
Reading a Journal Article Genre: De-Escalation, Co-Regulation and Conflict Resolution
Quale, M. (2019). Effectiveness of Components of the Zones of Regulation on Student Behaviors (Doctoral dissertation, Minot State University).
Watching / Listening to TED Talk Genre: Physical Wellness
Find a relaxing spot, grab a drink, and decide: Which task will you choose first to start pursuing your Wellness these holidays?