Wellness is a journey, and we define it by the five pillars of health, lifestyle/adventure, nutrition, fitness, and mental wellbeing.

We often hear the words health and wellness tagged together, but really, health is a part of wellness. We see more magazines, books, podcasts and blogs about wellness, but it can be confusing at times and defining it can be like tossing sand in the wind.

At OptiMYz, we believe that wellness is defined by five main pillars. Taken together, they comprise what it means to be well⁠—to be happy, and fulfilled. Wellness is about looking after oneself. When we look after ourselves, we can create our own best lives. And also help others, especially those who mean the most to us.

The good news is, you don’t have to go to extreme efforts to live a life of wellness. Small changes in daily habits and thinking a little differently here and there will lead to a better life. While our focus is on women’s wellness, these five pillars can apply to anyone.

Five pillars of wellness

Health: It all starts with our general health. This creates our baseline energy for the day to day. It creates resilience to the inevitable trials of life. It is an indicator of resistance to disease and, over the longer term, of longevity. 

This doesn’t mean you  or that you have to be obsessive about your health.  Living healthy means paying attention to your body by making healthy choices: avoiding things like smoking cigarettes and cigars, considering what you eat and how. It means paying attention to your body and being aware of changes. Living healthy fits in with the other pillars. Pay more attention to them and you’ll find your health follows.

Fitness: Now, we’re not talking about having to join a gym and do a hardcore two-hour workout at 6 a.m. every morning or jogging 10km a day! Fitness can be walking a dedicated amount every day, getting out on hikes, taking up a new activity or sport, a daily 10-minute kettlebell routine even. Get some cardio every day, do physical activities, and have fun!

Lifestyle: This ones a little broader in scope, but living in a wellness mindset means being social, spending time with friends and family. Going out to events such as local concerts, a book club, or theatre. It’s about treating yourself to something nice every now and then. It’s also about learning something new and trying new things.

Nutrition: In a world of highly processed, mass produced food full of things that don’t do our bodies any favours, nutrition is incredibly important. Less meat, more plants, less highly processed foods and more natural foods. Hey, every now and then we can veer off the path, that’s good sometimes. But, if we keep an eye on what we’re eating consistently, we can avoid issues like leaky gut, diabetes, and other problems.

Mind: We talk a lot about looking after our bodies with fitness and nutrition and our overall health. And a lot of that means looking after our minds. From mental health to learning and exercising our brains. Our brain is where our minds reside and it’s a muscle. We’ve got to look after it.

Wellness is all of these pillars combined and all that is part of each pillar. When we aim to live a life of wellness, thinking of these main categories can help you on your path to learn more about yourself and what makes you well. If you’re just starting your wellness journey, it’s important to make a plan, take your time, and go at a pace that pushes you, but doesn’t overly stress you out. Make it sustainable⁠. Set goals, and objectives that are reasonable and stick to your plan. You’ll get there. Wellness is a journey, not a destination.

More Inspiration: If you’re now inspired to take the wellness journey, maybe you’ll like this article on taking a wellness vacation.

Author: Giles Crouch is part of the Optimyz management team. He is a design anthropologist working at the intersection of people and technology and has been featured in Philanthropy Magazine and is regularly interviewed by news media. He also publishes on Medium as Webconomist.

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