Though it can be difficult to do, having an understanding of our own personal wellness can be extremely beneficial to our well-being. Living well does not equate to living perfectly: eating strictly by Canada’s food guide, always getting at least 8 hours of sleep at night, and never missing out on 30 minutes of exercise a day is an unrealistic expectation of ourselves. Living well means living a balanced life and enjoying all things in moderation. Eating a treat one day should not invoke guilt. If living well is your goal, the focus should be on achieving balance – not perfection. Living well means different things to different people. Some might picture living in the city surrounded by riches where others might picture living a simple life on a beach. We can feel unwell when we living in someone else’s idea of living well. Our wellness is beneficial when we can find a balance of what it means to us as individuals to be well and to live well.
Being well can means accepting that things change and things go wrong and in this case, we adapt and do the best that we can to do well by our own standards. For example, if you are unable to set aside enough time to make a healthy meal before a big term test one day – that is okay. Our wellness can fluctuate and change and some days, achieving our wellness goals are simply unrealistic. It is important that we are striving to achieve a balance in our lives. Concerning ourselves over small changes in our health routine or feeling guilty for not being able to live a perfectly healthy life are both possibilities of when living well can become an issue. By not accepting the possibility of change and attending to a definition of personal wellness and balance that is not your own, your aspirations to live well could become an issue.
Eating well does not have to equate to eating perfectly. When we eat well, it means that we are “eating a variety of foods that give you the nutrients you need to maintain your health, feel good, and have energy.” Part of eating well is also enjoying the time when we are eating, which can be described as being mindful when we eat. This can involve behaviours such as eating slowly, taking a break from studying or work while we eat, turning off the television, and eating with others when possible.*
If you would like more information on eating well, see the Healthy Eating Active Living Information Kit.