National Wellness Month Is More Than Diet and Fitness
In May, I read about a poll of 2,000 Americans who reported using excuses an average of six times per day. At the time, I thought it was crazy that each person racked up 2,190 justifications per year not to do things.
On a weekly basis, there was a three-way tie for the top reasons that excuses were employed: to avoid exercising, healthy eating, and running errands. Excuses can become a powerful temptation, I’ve found. They can charm you right out of your wellness routines and into bad habits.
For example, I felt good going into June. I had abandoned meat and was still walking regularly outdoors despite the challenges of allergy season. Then, my old nemeses rain and heat began taking over the days, and before long, I had traded my cardio strolls for excuses.
This month, which is National Wellness Month in the U.S., I finally broke my cycle of excuses. The 31-day campaign of self-care has also served as the nudge I needed to focus on other areas of my well-being.
If you’re tired of being bombarded about the importance of exercise and healthy eating, I get it. It’s a no-brainer. What I like about Wellness Month’s messaging is that it shows us that self-care goes beyond fitness and diet. A daily calendar of challenges helps drive that point home. Stating a mantra, trying a new beauty product, and journaling were some of the challenges earlier this month. With two weeks before September arrives, there’s still time to participate in others.
For instance, today’s wellness task is to practice meditation, tomorrow is lighting a candle or diffusing essential oil, and later in the week is watching a documentary or TED Talk. Logging 10,000 steps a day, trying something out of your comfort zone, and the beneficial decluttering of an area of your home are others that remain to be tackled. The full calendar of challenges is on the website, and daily challenges are posted to Facebook.
Wellness is pure drudgery to me when I view it as workouts and forgoing the things I want to eat. When I approach wellness as a lifestyle, as the campaign says, it doesn’t feel like a chore. Wellness includes learning to relax, pamper ourselves, and enjoy life.
When life intrudes with deadlines, demands, and other stressors, it’s easy to forget to make time for the things that bring health and happiness. This month, we were not only given a reminder, but a daily guide.
Oh, and I solved my cardio needs by buying a portable elliptical trainer to fit in my limited living space. I can use it standing or sitting. No more excuses!
Brighter side: We all could use a break from bad news right now. So, I’ll be closing my columns with a roundup of positivity until we are able to say goodbye to masks, hug our loved ones, and leave our homes without fear.
- Real-life Wakanda: Singer Akon is building a cryptocurrency-run city in his home country of Senegal. The futuristic appearance of “Akon City” is reminiscent of the “Black Panther” movie’s Wakanda, which helped sell the project to investors and partners, Akon told TMZ. The city will create its own energy and be 100% sustainable, Akon said on TMZ Live last week. The first phase includes a state-of-the-art, 5,000-bed hospital that will cost nearly $1 billion to build, as well as an airstrip, hotels, residences, schools, and police and fire stations. Phase one is expected to be completed by 2023, and the entire city by 2029.
- Free movie nights: Drive-in movies are not only becoming the norm in U.S., many are now being offered at no charge. Free movie screenings are rolling out in numerous places this month, including Long Beach, California, Queens, New York, Philadelphia, and Sioux City, Iowa. Drive-in movies will also pop up at 160 Walmart Supercenter locations, and can be viewed for free by obtaining advance tickets for the traveling tour.
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