THE DANGERS OF WELLNESS AS A STATUS SYMBOL
Text any of your friends and ask them: what does wellness mean to you? Be sure to preface that message with: don’t use google. The answers will vary depending on who you ask. Wellness is something that should be universal, so why, as a society, do we define the concept so illusively and identify wellness as a wealthy, high-class concept or elitism?
WELL-NESS (noun): the quality or state of being healthy in body and mind, especially as a result of deliberate effort
There’s a reason why grammar-police patrol the terms “good” and “well.” You’re supposed to say, I am well as opposed to I am good. Activities such as these should be accessible and transparent for everyone.
This includes a random assortment of activities; for example, eating right and exercising. Eating right in my kitchen means incorporating more, fresh and raw produce into my body and less eating/order out. However, when wellness is a status symbol, it is perceived as a complete, whole body transformation of pampering the body with a fully-organic smoothie and cold-pressed juices both topped with chia seeds or any other superfood to destress the body. There’s nothing wrong with this idea, but if you don’t have access to fresh, local, and organic produce, this presents problems to one’s overall health and image of wellness. For those that can’t afford these items, try building a 7-Day meal plan when grocery shopping like this budgeting and meal plan created by Victoria Seaver, M.S., R.D.
My number one self-care routine is a nice, comforting shower. When wellness is perceived from an elitist perspective, it makes self-care seem like sensuous bath salt tubs and spa treatments. If one does not have the time for these activities due to the daily grind of putting food on the table and keeping the internet billing company happy, people may lose sight that self-care can simply be summed up of taking care of yourself. At least one day out of the week, I turn off all my cell-phone notifications. It removes the stress of the daily president tweet think pieces and I can focus some of the time on number 1 – Me!
Those Yogi-instructors have a very soothing voice, but they have their way of creating a healthy state of mind. This is probably the most noted hustle associated with wellness too. Most people think it is dominated by wealthy and well-to-do-and-meaning white women; However, yoga finds its origins in Northern India thousands of years ago. We need to stop associating white women with wealth. If we continue to associate white women with wealth and yoga, it makes wellness inaccessible, making it harder to build a healthier society.
Other activities in the wellness conversation are things like SoulCycle memberships, organic skincare rituals, and herbal remedies which finds its roots in cultures before colonization. When equated with a status symbol, wellness activities like reiki, acupuncture, meditation can make achieving wellness out of touch.
Trends tend to come ago, while health is forever. People tend to focus on the next big thing instead of putting the effort to prevent illness and disease through self-care activities. Instead of making wellness trendy, we need to make it sustainable.
THINGS THAT GO MISSIN’
Detaching from technology on a temporary basis and experiencing nature and the effects of the sun on the body go missing from the wellness conversation. For a healthier society, we need to focus on the self and mental health. We need to listen to our bodies and relieve the stress on our souls.
With wellness lifestyle sites that rhyme with Oop(s) leading the forefront of the wellness conversation, a knowledgeable and healthy society becomes a luxury. The wellness lifestyle is, after all, one of the biggest and still growing profitable industries.
And when digesting all of this, it is important to remember what it really means to be well and healthy. Yes, we all want a beach bod and killer abs. But at the end of the day, it is all about how we treat one another. How do we affect people we interact with every day, on the subway, on lines, etc.? This is how we move through life, and measure health.
WELLNESS TO THE PEOPLE
Just remember, if we want a healthy society, it begins with the self. We need to change the conversation. With wellness seen as a status symbol and cult-environment, our minds can retox quicker than they detox. We can cleanse our minds and bodies with pure intentions, but we must also remember to remove the negativity and toxicity that remains. Live better. Be better.
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