Fitness is so important after 50, especially now when we’ve all been spending more time at home. That’s why I’ve been doing everything I can to help you stay physically active during this time. But fitness alone isn’t enough to maintain wellness during COVID-19.
It’s helpful to remember the other elements of wellness, too. We might have to put a little more energy into maintaining our overall wellbeing nowadays. But trust me: There’s nothing more important.
Let’s review the main components of wellbeing. Then I’ll share some tips on what you can do for them.
What is Wellness
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) writes “People often think about wellness in terms of physical health — nutrition, exercise, weight management, etc., but it is so much more. Wellness is a holistic integration of physical, mental, and spiritual well-being, fueling the body, engaging the mind, and nurturing the spirit.”
There are many definitions, all generally meaning the same thing. I like this from one from the University of California:
“Wellness is an active process of becoming aware of and making choices toward a healthy and fulfilling life. Wellness is more than being free from illness, it is a dynamic process of change and growth.”
Most experts list six to eight categories. Feel free to adapt the list as necessary but remember to keep it as broad and robust as your life. Here’s the breakdown provided by the International Council on Active Aging:
- Physical – Exercise and nutrition are essential to maintaining independence and health. Period.
- Emotional – “coping with challenges and behaving in trustworthy and respectful ways.”
- Intellectual/Cognitive – “engaging in creative pursuits and intellectually stimulating activities.”
- Professional/Vocational – using your “skills while providing personal satisfaction,” including as mentors, volunteers, caregivers and more in retirement.
- Social – “interactions with family, friends, neighbors and chosen peer groups.”
- Spiritual – “living with a meaning and purpose in life, guided by personal values.”
- Environmental – practicing habits that promote a healthy environment; understanding how different environments affect you.
Ten Simple Tips to Maintain Wellness During COVID-19
- Move More / Sit Less. Every little thing you can do adds up. So put on some fun music and dance… stand up and walk around during TV commercials… work in your garden, put away the dishes, and fold the laundry. Go for a walk, jog or bike ride outdoors.
- Volunteer online or over the phone. Call local charitable organizations, community centers, and your religious leader to see how you can help.
- Express yourself. Write in a journal, paint, play music or sing. Talk about your feelings with family, friends, a therapist or a spiritual leader. Don’t be shy about calling people. Everyone is stressed about this, not just you.
- Limit the time you watch the news or look at social media. It’s responsible to stay informed, but once or twice a day should do it. More than that can lead to being overwhelmed.
- Order jigsaw puzzles, T-shirts or coffee mugs with photos of your family or pets on them.
- Meditate or pray each day. Schedule the time and treat it like an important appointment.
- Keep a clean, orderly home.
- Read books. Talk about them in an online book club or with family and friends.
- Research for your next trip, or plan something to look forward to.
- Try to be thankful, tolerant and patient with yourself and others.
We’ll get through this. Remember that you still have access to online fitness and nutrition coaching as well as virtual personal training sessions. Contact me now to learn more about how I can help you maintain wellness during COVID-19. I’m here for you now and in the future.