It’s great to make an effort to improve your mental or physical health, but what about other wellness areas? There are a variety of wellness areas that contribute to our overall well-being, and it’s important to give time to each of them when we can.
National Wellness Month is a great time to start investing more in your wellness, whether it be emotional, physical, mental, or spiritual.
What Is National Wellness Month? Understanding the Significance of National Wellness Month
National Wellness Month, celebrated every August, focuses on practices like stress management, self-care, implementing healthy routines, and improving your overall health and wellness. The aim of National Wellness Month is to educate people on the various ways that they can take care of their minds and bodies.
The holiday works to bring awareness to different ways you can prioritize your health, as well as the thousands of different activities you can engage in to promote and sustain every area of your health. It can also diversify people’s knowledge of health and wellness by bringing awareness to many non-Westernized ideas of what health and wellness are and what practices other cultures use to improve their health.
Is There a Health and Wellness Month?
Currently, National Wellness Month is the main month focused on overall wellness. However, May is Mental Health Awareness Month, which focuses more specifically on mental health and wellness.
Prioritizing your health, in all its forms and ways, is critical to overall wellness. There is no way to have overall wellness without good health, and vice versa—both of these things are critical to functionality and have a direct impact on overall life satisfaction and well-being.
Why National Wellness Month Matters
National Wellness Month matters because it brings awareness and focus to a large area of life that many people can tend to neglect or forget about. It’s easy in our society to prioritize meeting the needs of a job or loved ones before tending to and meeting your own needs.
The holiday serves as an important reminder to check in with yourself and others, finding ways to take care of yourself a little better and remember to meet more of your needs.
While many people might think of their physical and mental health as the only types of health, in reality, there are many more aspects of healthy living that also need care and attention in order for you to live the best life possible. National Wellness Month celebrates all the different types of health and healthcare: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health.
Prioritizing Your Well-Being
During the month of August, take a moment to remember yourself and what you need. A great way to start prioritizing your well-being is to learn about the many different forms of health and wellness. Take a look at how you engage with your wellness. Are there areas you commonly care for? What are some that you don’t give attention to as often? Those might be the areas to prioritize.
Some simple ways of prioritizing your well-being are:
- Not every act of caring for yourself has to be big or grand—integrating small, doable habits in your daily routine can give your overall wellness a boost and is a great way to improve the way you live.
- If you want to help loved ones prioritize their wellness, you can check in with them by inviting them to participate in a self-care activity with you, like working out, going out for coffee and having a chat, or just having a quiet night in.
- Try setting aside a specified amount of time each day to engage in a wellness behavior that fits your needs. Even as little as 15-30 minutes of time daily can go a long way in helping you integrate a healthy new behavior into your daily routine.
- If you are having trouble discerning what area of your life could use attention or feel like you might need more help and support on your wellness journey, consider seeing a therapist about your concerns. They can help you identify patterns in your life that aren’t helping you and lead you to ones that will. Therapy can also help you unearth what might be hindering your wellness while giving you the tools to manage your life and wellness on your own.
Taking Steps Towards a Healthier Lifestyle During National Wellness Month
The best first step to take when looking to make healthier lifestyle choices is to first engage in reflection. What activities or wellness behaviors seem the most appealing to you? Have you perhaps been missing an activity, such as a sport or hobby, that you used to enjoy? Think about things that align with your core values and bring a sense of accomplishment.
Next, think about ways that you can incorporate these activities into your schedule for at least 30 minutes a week. That’s all it takes to get started. As mentioned above, starting small can have a significant impact on overall wellness.
Tips and Strategies for Enhancing Your Mental and Physical Health
A great option for enhancing your mental and physical health is participating in healthy, nurturing activities and behaviors that are highly enjoyable to you. Some great ways to do this are to think of hobbies or activities that you used to love or have been wanting to try—for example:
- Playing a sport
- Seeing friends
- Going out to dinner
- Doing art
- Setting goals
- Going to therapy
Remember, making even one small change to your habits and routines as a way to improve your health can go a long way. Give yourself permission to take your time with it—these improvements won’t take or lose effect in a day.
Exploring Resources and Services for National Wellness Month
There are multiple resources and services for you to explore for National Wellness Month, many of which are free. Local libraries offer a variety of free resources, both in print and online, that promote wellness behaviors. They will also likely have information on local community programs and organizations that promote overall wellness.
Another good resource for exploring spiritual wellness is spiritual or religious groups. They can open up a new community of peers for you to connect with as well as help you engage in mindfulness.
Finally, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) hosts free online mental health support groups and is home to free mental, physical, emotional, and other wellness information.