The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
How To Start Incorporating Wellness Into Your Life
It’s important to note that everyone has a different idea of what wellness really means to them. For the most part, there are two main branches of wellness: mental and physical. On the surface, physical wellness could look like just working out and eating healthy, but it is so much more than that. Mental wellness is equally as important as the physical aspect. We spend all of our lives in our minds, it’s essential to keep our minds healthy, just like our bodies. Think of your mind as your living space. The dirtier your environment is, the harder it is to be productive and be happy.
What Exactly Is Physical Wellness?
I’m sure you’ve heard of the term, “your body is like a temple.” While people may think this phrase is overused, it is simply the truth. The food you ingest isn’t the first step of physical wellness. What if I told you that you could start smaller, and start now?
Though the skin on your body is significantly less sensitive than the skin on your face is, it’s still important. Heavy fragrances in body wash and lotions are very damaging to the skin. It’s likely that you won’t see any downsides in the moment, but in the long run, the skin will age and start to dry out a lot quicker. It’s better to use chemical-free products everywhere on the skin and in body washes, lotions, and deodorants that have essential oils as fragrance. Bonus points if you use a natural loofah and not the plastic ones that will end up in our landfills, harm our marine life, and may actually create more bacteria on the body since they collect so much already on their own. Some reasonable body wash and lotion brands that are non-toxic include Native, Moon Valley Organics, Method, and most Sprouts & Whole Foods brands. As far as deodorant goes, the most popular ones include heavy metals and unnecessary chemicals that can lead to breast cancer and other illnesses. Personally, I had a hard time finding a deodorant that lasts and smells good. I tried all of the natural deodorants, and hundreds of dollars later I finally discovered that Native and Humble deodorants are the best. They last even when I work out, they smell good all day, they’re not harmful to the skin, and, most importantly, they have amazing scents. You can’t beat a successful and clean deodorant that smells like a matcha latte!
A good skincare routine is a key to good skin (unless there are some underlying skin conditions involved). Products that are non-toxic, fragrance-free, and altered to your skincare needs should be part of your routine. First, determine the type of skin you have and identify the struggles you have with your skin. For example, if you have dry skin, do not purchase products for oily skin because these will cause extreme dryness and flaking. Some good, clean skincare brands are Good Molecules, The Ordinary, Youth to the People, Cocokind, Sea, CeraVe, La Roche Posay, and Ella MD (for sunscreen). Another impactful step toward good and healthy skin is eating clean, beneficial food.
Maintaining a good diet and healthy gut is the way to a healthy body. It should be noted that being healthy doesn’t always look like being flat-tummied. All bodies are beautiful, and feeling beautiful is far more achievable when eating clean is part of your daily routine.
Eating clean could look like eating greens in every meal, incorporating proteins in foods, cutting sugars, and limiting dairy. Though most of us love our desserts and cheese, it does no good to our body or our skin! Sugar has been proven to be addictive and weight gain is linked with intake of sugar. Our bodies also work overtime to break down the heavy proteins in dairy. Most dairy is saturated fat and can lead to heart diseases and a variety of cancers later on in life. On top of all of that, staying hydrated helps our body flush toxins and is the best way to keep us and our muscles energized.
A variety of people that promote wellness constantly emphasize that exercise helps heal most problems within the body. Working out daily doesn’t have to look like running seven miles every day. If you’ve never committed to working out on a regular basis, the best way to do so is to start small. You can start with yoga, then hot yoga, level up to pilates, and then HIIT, running, or incline walking. The feeling you have after working out is immaculate! You feel energized, confident and accomplished. Imagine feeling that every day! Best part? Not only does it make you feel good, but it’s good for your body too, and your mind!
What Is Mental Wellness?
Mental wellness is creating a safe space in the mind. Many of us struggle with mental illnesses like anxiety, depression, ADHD, etc. Being mentally healthy is just as important as being physically healthy. In fact, with a weak mindset, you cannot commit to good physical wellness.
Meditation is like exercise for the mind. You’re training your mind to dismiss unnecessary thoughts and invoke silence and peace while thinking. Interestingly enough, being able to think of absolutely nothing and let the mind flow is one of the hardest things to accomplish. There are many easy guided meditations on YouTube and on apps like Calm and Headspace. Make sure to start simple and work your way up to advanced meditation. Meditating in the morning before starting the day, before an exam, a heavy conversation, after an argument, after experiencing high levels of stress, and before bed, all work best!
A few things that people don’t ever mention with mental wellness is knowing when to set boundaries in the mind. You’re allowed to feel emotions, but it’s important to realize when sadness, fear, or anger has taken over completely and therapy or counseling is needed. The people we surround ourselves with also take a huge toll on our mental wellness for the worst or the best. Know when to cut off toxicity.