Posts for: August, 2018
The world is changing. The effects of our collective behaviors have reached a level where they are now very noticeable. The planet is heating up, species of plants and animals are disappearing at an alarming rate, natural disasters are on the rise, single-use plastic waste has become an epidemic, and certain resources are dwindling. However, there are individuals and organizations that are doing extraordinary things in the way of saving our planet.
What’s truly inspiring though, is that each and every one of us has the power to affect the planet in a positive way. Little changes in the way we shop, commute, consume, take care of ourselves, and live can make monumental differences in the future of our world. As we are living in an age where health and wellness consciousness is at the forefront, integrating a wellness routine into our lives that is also environmentally-friendly is a trend that only seems to be gaining more momentum.
What’s good for the planet is good for you.
The beauty of creating a wellness-based lifestyle that is also environmentally-friendly is that it is easy! To get started, start by
Eliminating the use of single-use plastics
Did you know that 8 million tons of plastic finds its way into our oceans every year? A lot of that plastic is from items that we only use once and sometimes only for a few minutes. Plastic bags, bottles, coffee lids and stirrers, and straws are among the most commonly disposed plastic items.
Making the switch to re-useable water bottles, to-go coffee cups, grocery bags, and straws is a simple switch that can make a significant difference in the future of our seas.
Giving up red meat
The amount of water, land, and resources that is required to maintain livestock is mind-blowing. Did you know it takes around 2,400 gallons of water to “create” a single pound of beef? Did you know that it takes 10 pounds of grain to “create” a single pound of beef?
And did you know that cow farts and burps are responsible for 14-18% of the harmful greenhouse gas methane that is released into our atmosphere every year? There are over a billion and a half cows on the planet and every day each cow is very regularly releasing methane, which is greatly contributing to the warming of our planet.
In addition to all the run-off from the antibiotics, hormones, pesticides, and other chemicals that go hand-and-hand with the large-scale beef industry, regular red meat consumption has been linked to heart disease among other health conditions.
Not only is spending time in the great outdoors good for your physical and mental health, it is also good for the environment. By running, walking, biking, practicing yoga, or other forms of exercise outdoors you are eliminating the use of electricity from your exercise routine.
Eating seasonally, locally, and more plant-based
The further food has to travel the more of a negative impact it has on the environment. Today, we can pretty much get any type of food from anywhere around the world at any time of the year. However, opting to eat what is in season and what is grown or thriving close to your home-base will significantly reduce the carbon-footprint of the food that you are eating.
Plus, the fresher the food the better it is going to taste!
The ignorance card is not valid when it comes to making choices that are not only good for our health and wellness, but that are good for the planet. It is truly impressive that amount of information that can be found on the packaging and label of an item.
Look for items with labels like “Cruelty-Free,” “Non-GMO Certified Project,” “Eco-Friendly,” “Rainforest Alliance Certified,” “Animal Welfare Approved,” “Fair Trade Certified,” and “Good Housekeeping Green.”
Other simple ways to lead a more eco-wellness lifestyle include…
Supporting brands and companies that are environmentally-conscious
Giving up fish oil supplements (check out a plant-based Omega Blend)
Switching out cotton for more environmentally-friendly products like bamboo or hemp
Using eco-friendly house products (cleaning supplies, laundry detergents, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, etc.)
Every decision that you make not only affects you but the world around you. Everything and everyone is interconnected. If we start collectively making better decisions, we will come into a future where we are not only healthier, but our planet is healthier too.
As we’ve just wrapped up a seven-part series on the seven dimensions of wellness (check it out if you haven’t yet on the Parker Dentistry blog), we thought it only made sense to dive a bit deeper and look at some of the top wellness trends of 2018.
As preventative healthcare continues to evolve, and research continues to provide us with more valuable information regarding our health and wellness, we have the unique opportunity to continue to learn and improve our state of wellbeing.
At Parker Dentistry Facial Rejuvenation and Wellness, we believe in holistic and preventative healthcare. We know that your oral health affects more than just your mouth, and the same applies to all of the other systems and parts of your body.
Your physical wellness is connected and dependent on your emotional, spiritual, occupational, environmental, social, and intellectual wellness. A lot of the wellness trends of 2018 reflects this interconnectedness. Many of us are looking for new and better ways to take care of our mind, body, and soul.
Wellness trends seems to be moving in a more eco-conscious, “from the earth,” and mindful direction. Many of us are now more interested in finding natural alternatives and realizing that a lot of our symptoms and ailments come from what we are putting in or on our bodies. Many of us are also more interested in finding the source of the symptoms opposed to solely medicating the symptoms into dominancy. This is a positive shift.
The perfect balance is a combination of preventative and curative healthcare since not everything that happens to us from a health prospective is completely in our control or completely preventable. However, through education, self-inquiry, and guidance from healthcare and wellness professionals, more of us are learning the true power of nutrition, exercise, stress-releasing activities, and adequate sleep.
The things we have control over we need to take control of and this includes our wellness. Come with us on a journey of exploration as we take a look at some of the most impactful and inspiring wellness trends of the year. The more you know the better equipped you will be to make the best possible decisions regarding your health and wellness.
Sneak peak of some of what’s to come…
A more in depth look at:
Environmentally-conscious wellness routines
Intermittent fasting benefits
Collagen is the new superfood
Organic and natural beauty products
Breathwork verses meditation
How technology is the next “Big Tobacco”
And so much more…
The last dimension of wellness that we will cover in this series is occupational wellness. Occupational wellness is “the ability to achieve a balance between work and leisure time, address workplace stress, and build relationships with co-workers. It focuses on your search for a calling and involves exploring various career options and finding where you fit in.”
Life is about balance. It is about finding your happy medium. Living your best life involves finding a career that gives you a sense of purpose and pride, managing your finances in such a way that you don’t feel constantly stressed or anxious about money, having the financial means to take care of your physical health, and earning a living that allows you to live the life that you want to live.
This balance is not something that is just given to you. You must find it. The path to obtaining this dimension of wellness isn’t necessarily a straightforward path, at least for some; and that is completely fine. Part of achieving occupational wellness might include “exploring various career options and finding where you fit in.”
Life is about making mistakes and then learning from those mistakes. Life is about taking risks and following your heart and your intuition. The majority of us have to work and will have to work for a significant portion of our lives. To settle for a job that doesn’t allow you to create a balance between work and leisure and that doesn’t award you with a feeling of accomplishment and fulfillment the majority of the time is a mistake that far too many people make.
Occupational wellness greatly affects your physical, emotional, and intellectual wellness, which in turn affects all the other remaining dimensions of your wellness. In order to achieve occupational wellness, self-reflection is vital. You must ask yourself questions like:
Do I enjoy the work that I do most days?
Do I feel that the workload I am responsible for is manageable?
Do I feel that I am able to communicate openly and honestly with my co-workers and superiors when problems arise, or I need help with something?
Do I feel that the work that I do is valued?
Do I have time where I am completely free from work and can enjoy the things that I love to do with the people whom I love to be with?
We are solely responsible for all dimensions of our wellness. It is important to develop a relationship with ourselves that is honest, positive, and communicative. The deeper the sense of awareness that we develop within ourselves, the easier it will become to recognize and address issues or faults in our personal holistic wellness plan. We must learn to listen to ourselves and do what is best for the sake of our wellness, including our occupational wellness.
Our environment, on a global, community, and home-base level, directly affects our physical and emotional wellness, which in turn affects all other dimensions of our wellness. Environmental wellness is dependent upon the way that we take care of our environment. The idea is to live consciously, mindfully, and harmoniously with the Earth, and to also care for the spaces that we create.
What’s good for the planet is good for us. Living an environmentally-well life is having respect for the Earth and respect for yourself through your choices and actions. The same way that we are only given one body for the entirety of our life, we are collectively only given one Earth. We must take care of our environment so that our environment can take care of us.
- Using re-useable bags and bottles, instead of single-use plastics
- Saying no to plastic straws, coffee cups and lids, to-go containers, and any other type of plastic that you use for mere minutes and then throw away
- Turning off the lights, fans, TV, and other electricity-dependent things when you are not using them
- Buying and eating locally-sourced fruits and vegetables
- Buying organic and fair-trade goods
- Eating more plant-based verses animal-based diets
- Limiting or eliminating red meat
- Walking or biking instead of driving when possible
- Using environmentally-friendly products including sunscreen and cleaning supplies
- Supporting or volunteering with causes that you are passionate about
Taking care of your environmental wellbeing also includes:
- Keeping a clean house (excessive trash, mold, dirt, dust, and clutter are detrimental to your health)
- Making your home a sanctuary (a place where you feel safe, comfortable, and at peace in)
- Surrounding yourself with positive people
- Spending more time outdoors and in nature
- Walking barefoot more (stay tuned for a post about “earthing”)
- Protecting yourself against environmental hazards such as harmful ultraviolet rays from the sun, secondhand smoke, chemicals, air pollution, contaminated water, and even too much noise
We are responsible for the space we live in and we must be respectful of the space that others, including all living beings not just humans, live in. Our living environment should reflect the way we want to feel, which of course is happy and healthy.
As a species, we are social creatures. We have evolved and long thrived as part of familial and community groups. While some of us are more “social” than others, we all need a social life. Our social wellness involves our ability to connect and maintain positive relationships with others.
“Social wellness involves openly communicating needs, feelings, thoughts, and desires to those we trust, and actively listening with empathy when they share with us. It involves engaging in and enjoying positive interactions with people in work and leisure and building and maintaining friendships, intimate relationships, and professional connections.”
Friendship should be right up there with diet, physical activity, hydration, rest, intellectual stimulation and growth, spirituality, and stress management when we consider what contributes to comprehensive wellness.
In this day and age, with increased work hours, increased screen time and technology use, and the seemingly ever-increasing demands for our time and energy in all aspects of our lives, meaningful and deep friendships tend to sit on the back burner. The excuse is often “lack of time.”
Relationships, like other components of our lives, take time, energy, dedication, compassion, and love to develop and maintain. It is through these relationships though that our physical and emotional wellbeing, in particular, heavily rely on. It is believed and backed by quite a bit of scientific data that those who have healthy, positive, and supportive relationships are physically healthier and emotionally happier.
Leading an active social life doesn’t necessarily mean that you have dozens of friends, a calendar colored with parties and events, or even that you are engaging socially on a daily basis. The definition of a healthy and active social life is person-dependent. What’s important is that you have at least one person in your life that you can wholly depend on, confide in, lean on, and laugh uncontrollably with.
Our social wellness is dependent on give-and-take relationships, not one-sided ones. We need to build bonds with individuals, whether family or non-related, whom we feel we can be completely ourselves around. We need to feel connected through shared interests (sometimes singular), shared morals, and a shared commitment to honesty, trust, and support.
Don’t wait until you really need a friend to try and make one. If you feel that your social life is lacking, take charge in the same way that you would take charge of other dimensions of your wellness if they were lacking.
Remember, all seven components of your individual wellness are connected and dependent on one another. By improving your social wellness, you will in turn be improving other dimensions of your wellness.
Tips for social wellness:
- Join a gym, fitness class, yoga studio, or outdoor activity group.
- Volunteer doing something that you are passionate about.
- Attend a fundraising event and/or participate in fundraising for a cause you believe in.
- Set a weekly breakfast, lunch, coffee, dinner, or cocktail date with a friend (new or old).
- Treat yourself to a retreat (yoga, paddle boarding, surfing, photography, hiking, or whatever you are interested in--there is a retreat for nearly every interest).
- Take your dog to the dog park or out and about with you more often (dogs are an excellent ice breaker for meeting new people who also love dogs).
- Pursue a hobby and take a class.
- Smile more.