The global wellness industry is now a $3.7 trillion market, a staggering figure with 2018 set to be the biggest year of growth yet. When any industry grows to reach a significant percentage of the global economic output, you are sure to find ‘big corporate’ move in vying for a piece of the pie.
Inevitably when this happens, consumers are often left feeling confused or overwhelmed, as fast growing brands compete for market share, flooding the market with products and services which often conflict against each other in order to stand out and be seen by consumers.
Leaving the consumer excited by the prospect of healthier lifestyle, holiday and food choices available on the market but ultimately confused, overwhelmed and sometimes frustrated that it seems so hard to navigate and find their path to wellness amongst the multitude of choice and competition.
Wellness doesn't seem to end at eating a healthy diet full of variety, getting adequate sleep and having an exercise regime. Now it's seems to have no boundaries and none of us know where to draw the line in the sand when it comes to how well we should strive to be.
Veganism, super foods, organic/non-organic, supplements or nutrients from food, which supplements? Yoga, weight training, spin classes, Pilates or barre. Healthy retreat, boot-camp and fitness holidays, eco-makeup, bamboo toothbrushes, meditation apps, raw desserts, sugar-free everything, hybrid cars, beyond burgers, coconut water or just normal water
It’s a minefield of choice and in my opinion it’s become over-complicated and confusing. Because now it’s not only about making a decision for your own health, but your choices must also take into consideration the health of the planet too. Now we are being reminded we should be saying no to the plastic straws served with our drinks and riding a pushbike to work instead of taking a pollution-creating vehicle.
Maybe it would all seem easier if we just stripped everything away and thought about what wellness actually is for a moment. By definition wellness is defined as a state of ‘being in good health’. Of finding equilibrium within an environment and then maintaining the balance of this equilibrium continuously over a lifetime.
So with all this confusion I would offer you my naturopathic version of Wellness. Where I have decided to draw the line in the sand. It’s not ground breaking, it doesn’t cost a fortune and it is easy to navigate…
- Sleep between 7-8 hours per night
- Eat a varied diet and never become dogmatic about any one thing
- Eat an 85% plant-based diet
- Avoid processed foods where you can
- Move your body at least twice per week for more than 1 hour per day
- Try to move more than you sit on a daily basis
- Take a probiotic every evening
- Enjoy eating treats every now and then
- Drink plain water and herbal tea during the day – minimum of 2 litres per day
- Have no more than 1 caffeinated drink per day if needed or desired
- Find stillness in your day for a minimum of 5 minutes – just sit and allow only your inner world to exist
- At least 2 nights a week of no screen time – enjoy reading, cooking, colouring, taking a bath, knitting, reading, chatting with friends and family instead
- Eat your meals at a table without a visible screen in sight
- Spend at least 30 minutes in sun light each day or even better spend at least 1 day a week in nature
- Eat every meal at a table
- Belong to a community where you can socialize and connect
- Have a grateful mind
- Maintain a healthy stress level and make sure you have tools at your disposal for when you need to manage stressful periods of time – learn to say ‘no’
- Honour you body’s needs by listening into it each day
- Have fun and be free to express yourself everyday
Remember this: Wellness is an active process of becoming aware of and making choices towards a healthy and fulfilling life. More than being free of illness (which is the medical definition of health) it is a dynamic process of change and growth - a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing - not merely the absence of disease or illness. Wellness is a positive approach to living - an approach that encompasses the whole person, a person who is ever changing.
If you follow at least some of my points above, you will have your own version of wellness – its then up to you whether you decide to brush your teeth with a bamboo toothbrush, use eco-makeup and drive a Prius. Get the foundations right first and then worry about the raw desserts and healthy boot-camp holidays.
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