True wellness: living your best life
According to The World Health Organization1, wellness is an active process of becoming aware of and making choices toward a healthy and fulfilling life. It’s not just being free from illness; it’s a dynamic process of change and growth. Those may sound like lofty, and perhaps even unachievable goals, but it’s really all about ensuring that the choices you make always support your physical and mental well-being. It’s making decisions based on, “will this make me feel happier/better/healthier/more fulfilled/more purpose-driven” as often as we can.
There are some things we simply can’t change, but often we do have the power to alter the course of our lives in ways both big and small. For instance, research has shown that 1 in every 5 Canadians feel some level of loneliness or isolation.2 A widower may have no control over the fact that they now find themselves alone, but they can look for ways to reach out to the community for support and friendship.
True wellness is empowering. It’s living your best life, regardless of the circumstances in which you may find yourself. By keeping your focus on what makes you feel truly and wholly well, you can strive towards true wellness every day.
How to live a life of wellness
- Connect with others. As we age, circumstances and health issues can mean that we interact with others less frequently. This isn’t just an unfortunate situation – it’s one that can actually impact our health. Studies have shown that seniors who have more frequent social activity have lower levels of disability in several areas.3 That means they may be able to live independently longer than those who are less social. Not only that, staying connected may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, cardiovascular problems, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and some cancers – and can even boost your immune system.4 Consider volunteering, meeting your neighbors, joining a club, taking up a social hobby – anything that connects you to the people and activities around you.
- Get enough exercise. It’s never too late to start taking control of your physical fitness, and the benefits are so worth the effort. Reducing your risk of coronary artery disease, reducing your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, increasing your bone density, improving your cardiovascular health, increasing your strength and power, reducing your risk of falling, and helping you manage arthritis?5 Yes, those are very good reasons to lace up and get moving! Read our article on how to get fit over 50 for great tips and simple suggestions.
- Find a purpose. A purpose-driven life keeps us anchored in the moment, searching for ways to make the world around us better. As we age we can sometimes feel that we are not as useful as we once were. But this is, of course, utter nonsense. Older members of our communities have so much to give, and their advice, compassion, and wisdom are much needed in this hurting world. For ideas on how to make positive contributions in your community, read our article on how to find purpose in your life.
- Have a financial plan. You may wonder what this has to do with wellness since it’s true that money can’t buy happiness. But knowing that you and your family are financially prepared for whatever the future brings allows you to have the peace of mind and the mental energy you need to enjoy your life to the fullest. Foresters can help. Visit MyForesters.com to find out more about the services, products, and benefits that are available to our members.
417024A CAN/US (04/19)