One thing that I have felt particularly bombarded by recently is the idea of "wellness". There are wellness sections or tags on many blogs I read (including this one!), drugstores claim to promote wellness, people can become experts in wellness, and it almost feels as though if you're not actively pursuing wellness and all that it entails, then you're not doing something right. In fact, I've even read that 2015 has been dubbed "The Year of Wellness". Ok, that's great, but what does wellness actually mean? "Wellness is a state of optimal well-being that is oriented toward maximizing an individual’s potential. This is a life-long process of moving towards enhancing your physical, intellectual, emotional, social, spiritual, and environmental well-being" (source). Sounds valid and like something we should all be working on everyday of our life.
Except that the type of wellness I am feeling pressured to pursue by external sources is sort of different. According to instagram, tumblr, blogs, and TV, wellness means: photogenic smoothie bowls with 10,000 ingredients, top of the line exercise gear, perfect glowing skin, tight pilates bodies, nut milk and coconut water, ridiculously expensive non-toxic beauty finds, chia seeds, logging each and every meal in a journal, and the rare indulgent bite of pizza or bread, to keep things balanced you know. And all of that seems to fit into only one of the categories mentioned above — the physical element of well-being. But what about the other elements?
This might be an unpopular opinion but it seems to me that this is all just a new way to hyper focus once again on our looks, bodies, and social statuses without it coming off as shallow. Don't get me wrong, I think it's great that it's trendy to eat nutritious food and consider what chemicals may be in the deodorant you use — that is all valid and important. What I don't like is the fact that we're still comparing ourselves to one another, only now it's about who eats the most quinoa and the least amount of baguettes, and who can take the prettiest picture of a pitaya smoothie bowl (what is that exactly? I admit I like the color). This is just a new form of targeted marketing designed to leave us feeling inadequate, yet again.
If 2015 really is "The Year of Wellness", then we have to consider all of the elements described above, and then some. And what's more, I think the best practice would be to define each of those elements for ourselves and figure out how to realistically work each element into our lives, rather than subscribing to a premade photogenic yet often unattainable definition.
Here's where I put my money where my mouth is and define each of the above categories for myself and my own, unique set of circumstances: