The current climate we are experiencing is nothing like any of us could have imagined. It’s in moments of uncertainty like this that we need to find comfort and solace in the things that support and nourish us. The term ‘wellness’ is about becoming aware of and making choices towards living a healthy and fulfilling life. It encompasses a healthy balance of emotional, physical, social, spiritual and environmental wellbeing.

Our bodies are greater than the sum of their parts and in order to help us live an enriched, fulfilling life, we need to care for all aspects of our health, not just a single entity. Living a balanced lifestyle and putting our personal wellness first is essential to our overall happiness. In this blog we’ll explore some wellness practices that can be incorporated into our daily lives, caring for our wellbeing not only during these unprecedented times but in the future as well.

MINDFUL EATING

Mindful eating is based on the concept of mindfulness – a form of meditation that assists in encouraging the recognition and acceptance of physical sensations and emotions. Through the use of mindful eating, you can bring your full attention to your experiences and create greater awareness of your cravings and physical cues when eating.

Mindful eating has started to gain more traction recently due to the fast-paced society we live in and the constant stimulation we are exposed to. This has resulted in eating becoming more of a mindless activity compared to a conscious decision. By slowing down and making eating an intentional act, we support our digestive processes and improve the breakdown and absorption of nutrients. Easy ways to practise mindful eating include:

1. Eat slowly and away from distractions.
2. Take small bites and chew thoroughly.
3. Listen to physical hunger cues and only eat until you are full, not overfull.
4. Engage your senses by noticing colours, smells, textures, flavours and sounds when eating.
5. Eat foods to support your overall health and wellbeing.

GRATITUDE

Gratitude is a feeling of appreciation or thankfulness. It’s been shown in numerous studies that regular gratitude practices resulted in fewer health complaints, greater optimism and improved life satisfaction. It increases the sense of connection felt towards others, while also promoting empathy and compassion, reducing inflammation and in turn supporting immunity and calming the nervous system to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Practising daily gratitude doesn’t have to feel like a chore. There are so many different ways you can do it. A few suggestions are:

1. Keeping a gratitude journal and jotting down two things you are grateful for each day. It can be anything from the sun shining to doing an online dance class.
2. Perform an act of kindness.
3. Tell someone how much you love and appreciate them.
4. When you think of a negative thought, try to also think of positive thoughts to accompany it.
5. Post quotes or images that remind you to be grateful around your house.

HYDRATION

This probably isn’t the most exciting thing you’d think of when it comes to being your best, but it’s actually one of the most important things you can do to look after your body and mind. Our bodies are made of up to 70% water. It assists with the conversion of food into energy, enhances absorption of nutrients from our food, improves joint mobility and flexibility, supports brain function, and improves the elimination of waste.

An easy way to work out how much water we should be drinking each day is to divide our body weight (kg) by 30 and that will be the litres required (eg. 50kg/30 = 1.7L). With a lot of physical activity, this amount increases by 350mL for every 30 minutes of exercise to compensate for the fluids lost through perspiration.

Another key thing to remember is if you’re thirsty, your body is likely to already be dehydrated. Try to keep a reusable water bottle with you throughout the day so you can easily sip at it and prevent yourself from getting too dehydrated. A win for you and the environment!

SELF CARE

Taking time to care for yourself is essential to ensure optimal wellbeing. We’ve heard the expression “you can’t pour from an empty cup” and there’s no truer saying. By taking the time to care for yourself, you are increasing your ability to care for others too. Self-care looks different for everyone. For some it may be spending time outside in the sunshine, getting a smoothie or coffee from their local cafe, or maybe it’s doing some form of physical activity. For others, it may be as simple as just being able to sit with a cup of tea and gather your thoughts for a moment. Whatever self-care looks like for you, try to prioritise it in your day. Schedule it in like an appointment so you are held accountable for not showing up.

GROUNDING

Grounding, also known as earthing, is a therapeutic technique that involves doing activities that ‘ground’ you or reconnect you to the earth. The practice focuses on how the changes in the earth can have positive effects on your body and mind. There are many ways to perform grounding exercises. All of them focus on reconnecting yourself to the earth. This can be done through either direct or indirect contact with nature.

One of the easiest ways to ground yourself is to walk barefoot. It doesn’t matter what the surface is (grass, mud, sand), just allow your skin to touch the natural ground. You can also lay on the ground to increase that skin-to-earth contact. If neither of those appeals, gardening and getting your hands amongst the earth is another great way to get grounded and centred. Plus you can also start a little side hobby at the same time!

Caring for your well-being doesn’t need to be difficult. It can be as simple as spending some time outside in nature or showing gratitude and appreciation for the life you have. By taking the time to address your individual needs, even for 5 minutes a day, you can create a habit that becomes a lifelong exercise that your future self will thank you for!



Julio Gutierrez is the founder and Head Coach of Hurricane Fitness. His love for the deadlift is almost as big as his love of pop culture.