Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

The highly subjective nature of ‘Wellness’ means that we should be striving for an authentic and harmonious balance that feels most right for us.

The idea of ‘Wellness’ is at once both simple and yet complex. In the most basic format, Wellness can be defined as the state of being in good health, and thus pursuing & practicing wellness means striving to achieve good health. But, the very notion of ‘health’ itself is nuanced, and at times even contradictory, meaning that aiming for ‘good health’ can get confusing; should we be focusing on mental wellbeing more than our physical health? Or does focusing on keeping physically well keep us in the best possible state to feel happy? Its probably not what you wanted to hear, but I would argue that there isn’t really a right answer. And this isn’t a cop out answer, either, trust me, but, rather, a reminder that our minds and bodies necessarily correlate- the trick is to find a balance of the dynamics of wellness that works best for you.

Original Illustration Designed in Canva for Her Campus Media

For there is no doubt that taking care of our bodies, physically, is important. From fuelling ourselves with nourishing food and staying hydrated, to moving around and giving our eyes a rest from our screens, there are conscious measures we can take to improve our physical health. Not only does this stand us in good stead for feeling physically at our best, but such habits, like adequate hydration and frequent exercise, can have a direct impact on our mental health.

The endorphins released in our brains following a workout, for example, have been shown to have a direct positive effect on our mood. When we incorporate a conscious lifestyle change such as regular exercise into our schedules, this can lay the foundation for an overall improved state of mental health, which in turn makes physically healthy habits easier to maintain, and you’ll likely find that the two begin to correlate well. This is why I theorise that wellness isn’t really about one or the other, but rather how the two compliment each other. For its no good having a physically healthy body if what you’re doing to achieve this vigour isn’t making you happy. Generally, eating well, getting good sleep and moving your body will have unequivocally positive effects on your mind and energy levels, making you feel better overall. Our bodies are conveniently wired that way, and a healthy body will often fuel a healthy mind, partly fuelled by release of chemicals like serotonin and an intake of the right amount of nutrients, like B-12, responsible for keeping you alert and energised. However, if the methods you are undertaking to obtain physical fitness are taking their toll mentally, then this is no longer a sound practice of wellbeing.

Original Illustration in Canva for Her Campus Media

Indeed, there are times when conventionally ‘healthy’ habits and choices, like eating nutrient dense meals, or going for a workout can actually become counterproductive for our mental stability, or even just simply not actually make us feel good, which is essentially the primary focus of wellness . At times like these, practicing wellness arguably becomes more about preserving your mental health than your physical health. Whilst fundamentals of physical health should rarely steer you wrong mentally; there are times in our lives when our emotional and spiritual needs are more louder and more demanding than what may be the most physically nourishing. Ignoring these signals in favour of trying to maintain a wellness routine based around optimum fitness and physical strength, especially during times of feeling low, anxious, or over-worked, can cause our mental health to suffer

And when our mental least suffers, our physical health also suffers as a result, which creates a cycle of demotivation, and our wellbeing will unavoidably decline. Sometimes the best thing for us, physically, is to focus on what we need to fulfil our mental needs; whether this be a night-in, a counselling session, or eating our favourite foods. And sometimes the best thing for us, mentally, is to physically do the things we may not have initially associated with optimum wellness. We all have different needs, tolerances and preferences; so the right balance of mental/physical is whichever feels good to you. Experiment with different modes and frequencies of physical wellness methods like exercise and meditation, and see how your mentality adapts and changes, then you can find your own way to create a harmony that allows you to live your life as fully as possible.

Emily Veith

Our minds and bodies are not entirely separate entities. Whilst it is important to sometimes detach our spirits from the bodies we live in, and not define ourselves through our corporeal features, it is also important to remember that our brains are also organs, and they can benefit from physical. There are times when methods for attaining optimum physical health can be put on the back-burner in favour of preserving mental peace , but really we should be striving for harmony between the two, in whatever capacities of attention we feel are necessary to bring us peace and stability. If you want to eat your favourite comfort food instead of opting for a salad because you know you’ll feel good eating it, then this is healthy. But if you want to put together a running schedule because you know that the consistent exercise will make you feel good, then this is also healthy. Wellness is about feeling as good in yourself as you possibly can; in mind and body. A healthy state of one is the foundation for a healthy state of the other; and there’s no wrong way to go about balancing the effort you put into the preservation of either, as long as it feels true to you.

Nicole Quy

Bristol '23

Hi, I'm Nicole & I'm currently studying English at the University of Bristol. Here to share good books, good food, good advice and good vibes :)
Similar Reads👯‍♀️