Why Physical Wellness Is Important For Mental Health
Dec 04, 2020
You’ve always been taught that exercise is good for your body. You’ve seen it on the news. You’ve read it in glossy magazines. You even take Physical Education (PE) classes in school.
But you hardly find yourself enrolling in a class for mental health. “How To Manage Your Thoughts Well 101,” said no class ever. (If you know of a course like that, please let us know. We’re curious.)
With the pandemic changing our everyday routine and becoming a regular in the evening news, self-care has never been more important. In fact, there are studies that show a link between our body’s immune system and our mental health.
So if you want to care for your mental health in the new normal…Spoiler alert! There’s no magic trick to do it. Minding your physical wellness is the way to go.
Wellness For Immunity
Our body’s immune system, one of our most important barriers against the coronavirus, depends greatly on how well we take care of ourselves–both physically and mentally.
Your science teacher would say that ‘mind’ and ‘body’ are two distinct matters. And it’s true. But when it comes to your mental health and physical health, it’s hard to separate them.
Poor mental health affects your physical activities in the same way that a poor physical state affects mental processes. It’s two sides of the same coin. The answer, then, is caring for both mind and body!
Defining Physical Wellness
If you’re like most people, the first thing that comes to mind when ‘physical wellness’ is mentioned would be pictures of running, exercise, yoga poses, or maybe even sports. You’re not wrong. But there’s more to it than these physical activities!
By definition, physical wellness is a “commitment to self-care through regular participation in physical activity and healthy eating.” This covers important areas of physical wellness that can help you stay mentally healthy.
- Eating well is good for the body and mind. That’s why a healthy, balanced diet will never go out of style! Taking vitamins (though important) is no substitute for real, whole foods. And as much as you can, eat local! Fruits like calamansi, coconut, and mangosteen are native to the Philippines and are full of immunity-boosting nutrients.
- Daily showering, brushing your teeth, and washing your hands may be bare minimum. But it does wonders for your physical and mental health. Good hygiene doesn’t only make you look good, but also feel good!
And since we’re talking about wellness, why not look after
your hygiene in all-natural ways? Certain fruits and herbs have natural qualities that make them great additions to moisturizers, shampoos, and soaps.
- You don’t have to run a marathon or lift dumbbells to be physically healthy. The key to good exercise is doing exercise that you enjoy, and doing it consistently. And there are a bunch of free workouts online that let you do that safely from home.
A recent study shows that exercise improves your mood and lessens risks of both physical and mental illnesses. Win-win!
- It’s no news that getting sufficient, quality sleep at night makes you healthy and alert. But just like exercise, consistency makes all the difference.
Being stuck at home for months may have driven our schedules out of whack (we sometimes wake up not knowing what day it is), but we need to strive to follow a regular bedtime. It can help keep us energized and less irritable throughout the day.
- Last but not least, here’s your daily reminder that doing nothing can also be productive. Slow down and relax. Physical wellness includes “me time,” too! Care for your physical and mental health by doing things that you love. And this is all totally doable at home!
Making It A Lifestyle, Not A Chore
The thought of physical wellness is exciting and all, until you have to get up from your bed and actually do it. We get you. It’s easier said than done.
But when your body says no, give yourself some pep talk and ask yourself, “Will my current lifestyle help me enjoy my life five or ten years from now?”
Make wellness a lifestyle, not a chore. Start with what you can. Maybe shifting from a can of soda to a bottle of fruit juice or reading more about healthy habits you can strive for.
Together with Locally, we understand that the path to wellness starts with a single step. Let’s do it together, the fun way. Start your quest for wellness by taking the Locally immUNITY Quest at Edukasyon.ph now!
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