December 2017 Wellness Article

December 2017 Calgary Wellness Article
By Karen Ogilvie

What’s your wellness activity?

When we think of wellness activities, what immediately comes to mind? Probably physical activity. Wellness tends to have this attached notion of physical wellness, whether it’s losing weight, staying active or finding ways to focus on your physical self. And, to be fair, this is good idea. There are lots of benefits to maintaining your physical wellness: it has an impact on your physiological and mental health, it keeps you strong, and can help to fight off illness.

But let’s expand our thinking for a moment and think about what a wellness activity really is. We can develop this idea that something we do for our wellness isn’t just for our physical self. It’s something we do that engages us: it makes us happy, feeling good, and involves our mind. It has a fulfilling quality that leaves us with a sense of satisfaction and reward. For some people, physical activity is therapeutic. It generates this engagement and satisfaction that we want. But for others, physical activity is more of a task. It’s something you need to do to maintain your physical health, and it’s also tedious and takes more mental effort to get through than it does to just relax.

I’m not suggesting that you shouldn’t engage in physical activity, but if for you it’s more of a chore than it is enjoyable, perhaps there are other wellness activities you should be engaging in for yourself. 

What to look for in a wellness activity:

  • Enjoyment—you look forward to going and are happy while you’re doing it
  • Satisfaction—when you are done, you walk away feeling good about the activity
  • Mentally Energized—Did you wake up your mind? Did it relax your mind? It should leave you feeling like your refreshed your brain.

Here are a few suggestions for wellness activities you can get involved in:

  • Take an interest course: Cooking, photography, or an art class
  • Volunteer: This is a great way to play off your interests and get that feeling of helping. Get involved with an organization like Alberta Special Olympics, the Calgary Humane Society if you like animals or Grow Calgary if you enjoy Gardening
  • Book Clubs: Do you love reading? This is a great option for meeting new people while also getting into new books
  • Join a Makerspace: Places like ‘Protospace’ offer a space, tools and community for people to come together and work on projects, get creative and collaborate.

So if you’re looking for a new activity for the New Year, or just a strategy to improve your wellness. Think outside the box, and look for something you enjoy!

Happy Holidays!