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Wellness demystified

Feeling slightly stressed every once in a while can help motivate you to meet challenges and reach your goals, however consistently high stress levels can contribute to mental and physical illnesses.

This is greatly concerning considering the results of a recent survey conducted by an international research company, which concluded that South Africa is the second most stressed nation in the world after Nigeria. Stress management is therefore crucial, especially locally.

The key to subdue levels of stress is to try and find a balance between the mind, body and spirit which results in an overall feeling of wellbeing. This is often referred to as wellness. Wellness is not something which can be achieved overnight, but rather requires a concerted and ongoing effort to make positive changes to your everyday life choices. In order to achieve wellness, it’s best to break down the various aspects and act accordingly.

mind, body and soul

Physical:

Be kind to your body, it’s the only one you’ve got! Food plays a vital role in this respect and everything must be consumed in moderation. Keep the tips below in mind during your next meal:

  • Include all food groups into your daily diet. Each plate should be divided into
    ¼ protein, ¼ starch/grains and ½ vegetables
  • The more colourful the food on your plate, the better from a nutrient perspective
  • Try and limit your sugar and salt intake
  • Avoid excessively fatty, deep-fried foods
  • Where possible, try and swap processed foods for fresh options such as steamed fish, grilled chicken and whole vegetables and grains
  • Don’t forget to cut back on the sugary drinks and drink plenty of water too

Exercise is an important part of the physical equation. Although you may view exercise as a chore, it’s important to exercise for at least 20 minutes three times a week. If you find it difficult to exercise on your own, consider joining a walking or cycling group or just go dancing. The important thing is to get moving.
alarm clock

Emotional:

Your emotions contribute greatly towards your sense of wellbeing. If you feel angry, sad, depressed or overwhelmed on a regular basis, it’s a good idea to step back and try to analyse why you feel that way.

Make a conscious decision to focus on the positives in your life, avoid unnecessarily stressful situations, practice being grateful, go out of your way to have fun and foster the healthy relationships in your life.

It’s also important to change gears from time to time and have interests outside of work and your daily routine. Try new things, be creative and take up a hobby. This can range from reading a new book, baking, gardening, taking up chess or drawing.

Spiritual:

Lastly, in order to achieve an overall sense of wellbeing, the spiritual side of your life also needs to be nurtured. The frantic pace of life dictates that we must always be switched on, available and ready to go. With this in mind, take time out to be quiet with yourself. This is more important than you think. In a similar vein, try and be present and mindful. Mindfulness is described as a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment. So, just enjoy what you are doing now, try not to relive the past or fret too much about the future. What will be, will be.

Content provided by Naazneen Khan, Nutrition, Health and Wellness Manager at Nestlé South Africa
Click here to view her bio

Join the conversation by sharing a photo or how you experienced a Wellness Moment on @NestleSA with the #WelnesWednesday.