National Wellness Month: Modern society brings new approaches to wellness.

There has never been a time in my life when wellness was as much of a focal point as it is in the era of COVID-19. As a mother, not being able to find (what used to be) common products for the care of my family is upsetting at best. Yet, here we are in heading into the fourth quarter of 2020 and our world, country, cities, schools, and communities have drastically changed. This upheaval as been an eye-opener for many people… a sobering reminder… of how important our wellness is.

We often hear about how we should work towards wellness in our mind, body, and soul. Many times the approach to this leads to a focus on one area alone and not the mind, body, and soul as a whole. For example, it’s easy to go to the gym, but not make it to the therapist. It’s easy to go to church once a week, but not eat well daily. Everyone’s experience is different. For me, eating well is a challenge… sweets, especially chocolate, just get in my way! We are all on different paths to wellness. While I am not a wellness expert, I have a deep belief that the mind, body, and soul are one very interconnected being. This is, of course, backed up by science. Yet, I have found one must truly believe this in order to understand the connection of our thoughts and actions to our lives and wellness in order to put it into action. 

 

We know eating right and exercise will support a healthy body; that therapy, meditation, and reading will support a strong mind. We know the connection to the God of our understanding, the connections to our mighty universe, and the relationships we make within common communities of faith are good for our soul and spirit.

Drink water. Wash your hands. Get enough sleep. Wear a mask.

 

But in 2020, there are also larger happenings impacting our overall wellness. COVID-19 has had staggering effects on our schools, jobs, economy, etc. The ramifications of this on the mental health of children and families is very real.

 

"We must not be mistaken that the impact of COVID on our individual and collective mental health will be the second wave of this pandemic. It will be long-lasting. We are all experiencing Pandemic Trauma that is changing our lives forever."

 

Now is the time to seek support for our children and ourselves because the wave is building and the systems we have are very likely unprepared to meet the needs of this eventual tidal wave. Be proactive with your mental health! 

 

Additionally, the collective wellness of our country in the midst of the Black Lives Matter movement is divisive and at the forefront of many people’s minds. Protests are erupting as black men and women are slain in the streets. 

 

The revolution WILL be televised… or live-streamed that is. 

 

Our children are watching. The parts of our society who either didn’t know this was happening or turned a blind eye to it are forced to watch Facebook Livestreams of people dying over racial injustice, systemic racism, and implicit bias. Not to mention, BIPOC communities are disproportionately impacted by COVID. 

 

This is all affecting our overall wellness. 

I bring these issues up to emphasize the importance of taking care of our WHOLE selves. I believe there is a great awakening happening. I am a woman of faith and I am not one who is riding with the script of “cancelling 2020.” As I mentioned earlier, we are interconnected. There is a lesson here. There always is. I remember when I was a little girl, I was always frightened when there would be news stories of “the ending of the world.” My dad would always tell me the would was supposed to have ended at least ten times in his lifetime and hadn't happened yet. But he always reminded me that it was our job- my job- to be good people, help others, take care of our neighbors, friends, and family, and always seek God’s help and guidance. 

 

This is wellness to me. 

Drink water. Wash your hands. Get enough sleep. Wear a mask.

But also…

Volunteer. Smile at strangers. Call your grandmother. Recycle. Find something to fight for and get in the ring.

 

August is National Wellness Month. At Pinnacle, we have lots of resources on our website. Click here to check them out. Also, COVID has brought is so many great free resources we can access right in our own homes. Remember, wellness is what YOU make it, what YOU believe in, and what makes YOUR heart soar. 

 

Be happy. Be safe. Be well.

 

 

Kristi Glenn is the Co-Founder and Chief Experience Officer of Pinnacle Partnerships.

As a professional with lived experience of raising her own child with emotional health needs, Kristi brings personal and professional passion to her work. She has worked in government, community, and direct service to support family driven care and advocate for family voice at the highest levels.

 

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