19 Jun An Open Letter on Wellness
We are undergoing what seems to be a prolonged crisis. The legacy of long-standing systems of oppression, the seemingly never-ending instances of violence, disease, war, and—most recently—global political upheaval have all disrupted mainstream consciousness. What we are experiencing is certainly not unique to the times we currently live in, but rather another iteration of the struggle for human rights. So this begs the question: where can we go from here?
Let’s begin with recognizing that the struggle for equality, equity, and justice in the United States, and abroad, did not begin with us nor does it end with us. Our duty is not only to continue to advocate for these issues, but also ensure that we are well equipped to do so. In order to take care of our brothers and sisters in humanity, we must learn to take care of ourselves. We know about health, diet and exercise, but I urge you to remember to build and preserve your relationship with wellness.
Wellness, unlike health, is an all encompassing philosophy and lifestyle that urges one to focus on complete physical, mental, and social well-being. Wellness reminds us to pause, breathe, and reconfigure our preconceived notions about the world around us in order to achieve the most desirable outcome in the midst of conflict.
The ever-elusive concept of wellness has increasingly become of interest to people across the globe. The Global Wellness Institute (GWI) reports that the global wellness economy was a $4.5 trillion market in 2018, The industry grew by 6.4 percent annually from 2015 to 2017—nearly twice as fast as global economic growth—and Wellness expenditures ($4.2 trillion) are more than half as large as total global health expenditures ($7.3 trillion). So where does that leave you? In a world full of distractions, the innate command to take care of your family, put your career first, protest, or prioritize everyone and everything else except you, leaves an open door—an opportunity for your overall wellness to be affected.
Luckily, there are simple steps you can take to increase your level of overall wellness—by focusing your mind on the following dimensions:
- Physical:This dimension focuses on your health; exercise, nutrition, sleep, and awareness of your body.
- Mental:Engagement with the world through learning, problem-solving, openness and creativity. Maybe take up a new hobby, or read that book that your friend recommended.
- Emotional:Being in touch with, aware of, accepting of, and able to express one’s feelings with validation and without judgment.
- Spiritual:Our search for meaning and purpose in human existence. This dimension calls for critical analysis of what our beliefs are, and how they are related to how we live our lives.
- Social:Connecting with, interacting with, and contributing to other people and our communities. Maybe get involved with local charities, or stand in solidarity with social movements you support.
- Environmental: A healthy physical environment free of hazards; awareness of the role we play in bettering rather than denigrating the natural environment. Take the time to declutter, and get rid of what no longer serves you.
Now, remember that it is with your mind with which you are working. Thus, when approaching better practices to benefit your wellness, remove all doubts and fears of your ability to achieve an elevated state of consciousness—free of the dogma that fills the human experience. I hope you take this letter, tuck it away in a safe place, and invoke more wellness practices in your everyday-life.
Jerald Ramos, B.A in Political Sciences
Statistics & Facts. (2020, April 23). Retrieved June 09, 2020, from https://globalwellnessinstitute.org