As the calendar moves deeper into August, it is hard to believe how much has changed since the beginning of the year. It seems that everything and everyone has had to adjust thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, with now working from home, schools transitioning to online learning, and other changes to normal activities and hobbies. For me personally, 2020 has also included a move to a new city and a start with a new company—all that, along with the many other changes all of us have made thanks to the virus. Given the global scale of the ongoing battle against COVID-19, this “new normal” may seem overwhelming. But August is National Wellness Month and this year, perhaps more than ever, it is important to make your health, as well as that of your loved ones’, a top priority—and that includes physical, mental, and social wellness.
The physical is often the first thought of many people when considering their health, and it’s true that physical wellness can translate to other areas such as lower stress levels and improved mental well-being. Even if it is as simple as going on a daily walk, physical activity can help in dealing with this abnormal, worrying time. For those who usually travel or commute for their jobs, working from home has freed up time that would normally be spent in the car or the airport, and such freedom can be filled with new hobbies to get active, such as kayaking or hiking. Personally, I have turned to golfing on the weekend and going to the driving range to get outside. Whatever you choose, taking the time each day to be physically active is a great boon to a better well-being.
"Often overlooked, mental wellness is also more crucial than ever."
Often overlooked, mental wellness is also more crucial than ever. Now that home and workspace have morphed together, the remote work has left some feeling like they cannot escape their job, making it all the more important to take the time to mentally escape through meditation or reading. These efforts provide a break from the stressors of everyday life, but make sure to do them somewhere besides your workspace! Time that would be usually spent in public places can now be used to make those home improvements on the to-do list, or to finally learn how to make the perfect apple pie. Still, that doesn’t help the creeping feeling of isolation, so regarding those social needs, take the time to talk to your coworkers outside of the work environment. If happy hours used to be routine, they still can be—just schedule one for the team over Zoom. Despite the differences, seeing your coworkers in this environment can help foster interaction that would normally occur in the office.
Moreover, schedule time to video chat with your family and friends. Like those Zoom happy hours with your coworkers, social wellness with the people close to you is another important piece of overall wellness. Even if the wine nights and cooking parties must now also take place over Zoom, it is important to keep relationships a top priority. Taking the time to check on and converse with family or friends is a great way to promote wellness, and will help to promote the wellness of others, especially those higher at-risk individuals who must isolate more. For those living in the same household, creating fun evening events can also help to alleviate the monotony of everyday life—no one ever said no to a Taco Tuesday, even pre-COVID.
"National Wellness Month couldn’t have come at a better time in 2020, and it serves as a great reminder to take care of all the facets of our lives..."
Yes, National Wellness Month couldn’t have come at a better time in 2020, and it serves as a great reminder to take care of all the facets of our lives, including the physical, mental, and social parts. Whether it is reading a book, golfing a round, or having a family movie night, there are many ways to alleviate stress and improve our individual and collective well-being, all while remaining safe.
About the AuthorMore Content by Eric Aulbach