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The Science-Backed Benefits of Travel for Wellness: Destinations and Activities Post-COVID
The past few years have been challenging for everyone, with the COVID-19 pandemic limiting our ability to travel and explore new places. However, as travel restrictions continue to ease, more and more people are beginning to rediscover the joy and benefits of traveling. In this blog post, we will explore the science-backed benefits of travel for wellness, suggest destinations where you can find rejuvenation and relaxation, and recommend activities to help you recharge and improve your overall well-being.
The Science-Backed Benefits of Travel for Wellness
Reduced stress: Travel has been proven to reduce stress levels, as it allows us to break away from our daily routine and experience new environments. A study conducted by the American Psychological Association found that vacations lead to a decrease in stress levels and improvement in overall mood (American Psychological Association, 2018). Improved mental health: Traveling promotes mental health by exposing us to new cultures, experiences, and ways of thinking. A study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that those who travel and immerse themselves in different cultures exhibit increased levels of creativity and openness (Maddux & Galinsky, 2009). Enhanced physical health: Engaging in physical activities during travel can improve cardiovascular health, lower blood pressure, and boost the immune system. A study conducted by the Global Commission on Aging and Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies found that regular travel is associated with a reduced risk of heart disease (Global Coalition on Aging, 2013). Wellness Travel Destinations Post-COVID
Costa Rica: Known for its lush rainforests and stunning beaches, Costa Rica is a popular destination for wellness retreats that focus on yoga, meditation, and relaxation. The Tabacon Thermal Resort & Spa is an excellent example of a wellness-focused destination in Costa Rica, offering natural hot springs, spa treatments, and yoga classes. Bali, Indonesia: With its rich cultural heritage and beautiful landscapes, Bali is an ideal destination for wellness travel. Como Shambhala Estate is a renowned wellness retreat, offering programs that focus on holistic health, stress management, and rejuvenation. Iceland: Home to breathtaking natural wonders, Iceland is an excellent destination for wellness travel. The Blue Lagoon is a famous geothermal spa where you can relax in mineral-rich waters surrounded by stunning volcanic landscapes. Activities for Wellness Travel
Yoga and meditation: Practicing yoga and meditation during your travels can help reduce stress, increase mindfulness, and improve mental clarity. Many wellness retreats offer classes and workshops for beginners and experienced practitioners alike. Hiking and nature walks: Spending time in nature has been proven to have numerous health benefits, including reduced stress levels, improved mood, and increased feelings of well-being (Bratman et al., 2015). Hiking and nature walks are excellent ways to explore the beauty of your travel destination while also promoting wellness. Spa treatments and massages: Spa treatments, such as massages, facials, and body wraps, can help alleviate stress and promote relaxation. Many wellness destinations offer a wide range of spa services to help you unwind and rejuvenate.
Traveling for wellness is not only an opportunity to explore new destinations and cultures but also a scientifically proven way to improve your mental, emotional, and physical health. As you plan your next vacation, consider incorporating wellness activities and destinations into your itinerary to experience the full benefits of travel for your well-being.
As the world continues to adapt to the new normal following the COVID-19 pandemic, it is essential to prioritize our well-being and focus on activities that promote wellness. Traveling for wellness is not only an opportunity to explore new destinations and cultures, but it also provides numerous scientifically proven health benefits. By choosing wellness-focused destinations and engaging in activities like yoga, meditation, hiking, and spa treatments, you can experience the transformative power of travel to improve your mental, emotional, and physical health.
Embarking on a wellness-focused journey will not only enhance your travel experience but also positively impact your overall well-being in the long run. So, when planning your next vacation, don't forget to prioritize your wellness and choose destinations and activities that align with your well-being goals.
Safe travels, and here's to a happier, healthier you! Ref:
American Psychological Association.(2018). Stress in America: Generation Z. Stress in America™ Survey. Retrieved from https://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/stress/2018/stress-gen-z.pdf
Bratman, G. N., Hamilton, J. P., Hahn, K. S., Daily, G. C., & Gross, J. J. (2015). Nature experience reduces rumination and subgenual prefrontal cortex activation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 112(28), 8567-8572. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1510459112
Global Coalition on Aging. (2013). Destination Healthy Aging: The Physical, Cognitive and Social Benefits of Travel. Retrieved from https://globalcoalitiononaging.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/gcoa-destination-healthy-aging-report.pdf
Maddux, W. W., & Galinsky, A. D. (2009). Cultural borders and mental barriers: The relationship between living abroad and creativity. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 96(5), 1047-1061. doi: 10.1037/a0014861
Affordable Wellness Technology to Streamline Your Lifestyle
Looking for affordable tech-savvy gadgets to streamline your everyday life and keep your mental and physical health in check? If yes, then this blog post is the right place for you!
With technology continually advancing, it is likely that you have seen and observed a plethora of wearable electronic gadgets that claim to boost your health and contribute to your wellness. People have turned to the latest wellness tools, and to a technology lifestyle, to tackle the rising health crisis of the times and to improve their general wellbeing. The best part? Opting for a lifestyle that fuses tech and wellness is actually making a difference in how people spend their lives. The increasingly mainstream availability of fitness tools helps us to keep track of our mental and physical health - so use the guide below to make your technology lifestyle one of health and happiness. In the hustle and bustle of daily life , it has become challenging to maintain our health. We all know that we need to eat healthily, exercise daily, meditate regularly, get enough sleep, practice self-care and keep ourselves hydrated to lead a happy and healthy life. But how many of us are actually taking time out to practice these essential self-care activities? The main aim of technology is to make our everyday lives easier. If you are wondering how the tech lifestyle can help to amplify your general wellbeing, keep on reading. Before proceeding further you need to know; what is wellness technology? In simple words, the term wellness technology or fitness/healthiness tools refers to a set of (often) wearable tech gadgets that enables you to improve your overall health and keep a track of your general well-being. This includes the use of smartwatches, meditation-tracking devices, smart jewellery, and aura devices, but can include non-wearables, too. We have rounded up some of the best and most affordable wellness technology tools for you to practice self-care and level up your general wellbeing. Have a look: Wearable smart jewellery Thanks to advancement in technology, wearable smart jewellery (rings, bracelets, and necklaces) have gained immense popularity in recent years. Bonus point? They are super chic, fashionable and help you keep track of your personal well-being. These devices monitor your sleep schedule, track your water consumption, calculate your daily intake of calories and provide suggestions to help you manage your health better. The built-in sensors and microprocessors monitor BP and pulse rate. With these devices by your side, get ready to look great whilst improving your general health. You can connect them to multiple devices to monitor your daily activity. Fitness tracking apps Apps such as My Fitness Pal can be immensely helpful when it comes to taking care of your health in today’s fast-paced world. The app is equipped with features that help you to track your eating habits and also to assist with coming up with meal ideas for you. You can keep count of your calories while traveling, working, or sleeping by installing this app on your smart watch or mobile phone. Exercising regularly and eating healthy meals diminishes the likelihood of developing anxiety and lethargy. Nutritious food enables you to feel happy, full of energy and promotes general wellness. Similarly, working out regularly elevates your mood and relieves feelings of stress and anxiety. From customized workout plans to yoga sessions and healthy meal prep ideas approved by a nutritionist – these fitness tracking apps help you to bring transformational change into your life. The virtual coaching programs available on these apps enable you to put together a plan for cognitive and physical exercises based upon your needs. Wearable blood pressure monitors: Wearable blood pressure monitors can also be a great way to improve your wellness. The oscillometric blood pressure monitor looks like a typical smartwatch but is equipped with a plethora of useful features. The device keeps a track of your blood pressure rate, steps taken, calories burnt and pulse rate so you can keep your blood pressure under control. Connect the monitor with your mobile phone or laptop to view, compare and track your daily habits and keep your blood pressure in check. The best part about incorporating a wearable monitor is it calculates the blood pressure rate conveniently by gathering biological data from your body. Wearable technology is a great innovation to improve your lifestyle and facilitate better general health. Meditation gadgets and devices Meditation helps in restoring inner peace by eliminating feelings of constant stress and anxiety. The ability of meditation to provide you with a deep state of relaxation and a tranquil mind is phenomenal. A technology lifestyle can motivate you to begin practicing meditation, yoga, and mindfulness, and maintain these activities as part of your daily routine. Just a few days of training can contribute to wellness, improve your concentration and help diminish your stress levels. Wearable meditation tools are available to encourage your practice of mindfulness.
These devices usually come with a headpiece and a tracking app. They monitor your brainwaves to deepen your practice and amplify the results. The headpiece reduces the noise around you so you can concentrate effectively without any distraction. Using natural sounds of ocean waves, rain, and seashore, the meditation tracking devices also come with a range of different programs that cater to everybody’s needs. We tried them and the results were pleasing and relaxing. Massaging devices (seats and cushions) If you are suffering from burnout and wish to boost your health, we have a great enjoyable wellness solution for you! Backed by scientific evidence, massage helps to reduce muscle soreness, eliminate stress, increase productivity, and improve immune function. Regular use of a massage chair can have tremendous positive effects on your wellness. They facilitate the stimulation and relaxation of the muscles to relieve headaches and migraines. In today’s fast-paced world, the stress of daily chores adversely affects our quality of life. This stress directly affects the neck and shoulders, and using a massage cushion or chair is a great way to relieve muscle tension in these areas especially.
These full-on chairs can be a little pricey to purchase, but cheaper, portable options are widely available and work wonders in your home or office! Check this one out for starters! (And it doesn't cost an arm and a leg, either.) The regular use of wearable tech can amplify your wellness and improve your overall quality of life. Technology is a great way to connect, too – so why not visit our website and book an analogue in-person yoga class with us?
Click to register for Flexibility Focus (Starting March).
Yoga for People Who Don't Do Yoga
To live a healthy lifestyle, we should commit to developing changes in our way of life. We have to get friendly with the uncomfortable inevitability of change as we grow into the next version of ourselves. Choosing the right food, gym, sleep aids, and different activities to boost your health may sound overwhelming, especially to someone who prefers to just lay in bed and doesn't feel like moving too much. At. All. But one thing's for sure - it is possible, and yoga is a great way to start! It can be really tempting to just turn into a blanket burrito and watch Netflix all day, but some days require you to be more productive than usual. That being said, why not get yourself moving by doing yoga. What exactly is it, and why do you need to try it? This practice requires holding poses, maintaining focus and various breathing techniques. It also helps you develop mindfulness by connecting your thoughts to your breath. Although there are pretty intensive forms of yoga, you don't have to start that way (right away, anyway). It is best to follow the simple movements first through stretching your body. Below are some asanas you can do very (VERY) easily, even when you don't have the will to do any exercise, or anything at all, really. Child's Pose This position encourages mindfulness and is perhaps one of the most calming poses. First, you rest your knees on your mat and then bow forward while lowering your bellybutton to your thighs and your forehead until it touches the mat. You can add a blanket or your hands beneath your forehead for additional comfort, or simply relax your arms behind your thighs with palms facing up. Allow your entire body to loosen up and breathe slowly. By practising this yoga posture, you are stretching your thighs, hips, ankles and spine. Plus, it also provides tension relief to your chest, shoulders, lower back muscles and hamstrings. The blood circulation to your head will also increase by regularly doing this. In addition to that, your digestion will also improve. Besides the benefits of this pose for your body, it can also affect your mental health by reducing anxiety and fatigue. Hence, promoting both a healthy mind and body. Legs-Up-the-Wall Pose Viparita Karani or Legs-Up-The Wall pose is best done after a long day at work, before going to sleep. Putting your legs up against a wall helps you unwind before going to bed. You can start by sitting on the floor facing a wall. Proceed by lying on your side and rolling onto your back. You can slowly stretch your legs up the wall while positioning your tailbone towards it. Relax them and find a comfortable position for your arms at your side while breathing slowly. This is a great yoga pose to enhance your sleep because of its calming and relaxing effect. It triggers the parasympathetic nervous system that helps you relax and suppresses the sympathetic nervous system, which is stress-inducing. Not only that, but it also reduces the swelling of the lower extremities, giving you more comfort after working all day. Mountain Pose Also known as Tadasana, the Mountain position helps improve posture and is the best starting position for other asanas. It does look effortless and is basically like standing up straight. The main thing you should keep in mind is to stand with your feet a few inches apart. Then start lifting all your toes and fan them out before slowly touching the ground. Rock gently back and forth before going to a standstill. Make sure to keep your arms beside your torso throughout. Regularly executing this will give you good posture, stronger lower extremities, toned abdomen and buttocks, reduce the pain from flat feet and ease the pain brought by sciatica. Not only that, but you also improve your focus and concentration! This is such a great way to protect and elevate your mind and body! Downward Facing Dog Pose Adho Mukha Svanasana, commonly known as Downward Facing Dog pose is an inversion type posture that targets the lower body area. Although you'll be stretching your whole body for this, having the alignment in this yoga position can provide alertness and relaxation within you. Since both strengthen and stretch, you can also improve balance and flexibility – just the perfect combination for nurturing your mind and body. You can do this position by going down onto your hands and knees. Then lift your knees from the floor with an exhale while you push your tailbone towards the sky. Straight legs and feet flat on the ground are NOT and essential component to this pose. For comfort, you can maintain slightly bent knees and lift heels off the floor. Let your head hang. Neck relaxed, then breathe as you push your thighs back and engage your quadriceps. Exhale and bend knees to release, then go back to the first step. Wind Relieving Yoga Pose Pavana Muktasana or Wind Relieving Yoga Pose is a lying position that can be done in the comfort of your bed as well. However, it is better to do it on the floor for a flatter surface. When lying on your back, you will need a stable surface as you bring your knees to your chest and wrap your arms around your knees. Hold your breath for 4-8 seconds and exhale while releasing your arms and legs to the floor. This can be done with alternating sides or with both legs at the same time. One significant benefit of this yoga pose is how it helps in the digestion and elimination of waste of the human body. It also makes your lower back flexible and lengthens the spine. Corpse Pose The Corpse Pose or Savasana is the most favourite yin yoga pose for most as it is somehow something we do all day in bed-lying down. Just rest your entire body on the floor with your knees bent or legs extended. This position helps you prioritise your well being as it allows you to enter a truly relaxed state. A state we all love to be in! Just by incorporating these simple poses, you can prioritise mindfulness and your well being even if you are lazy and have absolutely no idea how to practice yoga. In fact, people who have no idea can learn with those basic yin yoga positions. These kinds of yoga asanas are fit for those who want to take things slow. They are slow-paced styles that will leave you flexible without working out vigorously. This is also perfect for busy people who don't have enough time to go to a studio as this can be done anywhere. Although it is not as intense as other poses or workouts, it actually contributes a lot to your wellbeing, affecting your quality of life. Imagine how you get healthy by doing some of these Yin yoga postures! Ready to get started with yoga? If you're ready to join our Lazy Sunday Yoga Sessions (online from the comfort of your own pajamas!) visit our website and sign up for February!
10 Instant Wellness Boosts Without Leaving Your Neighborhood
Are you suffering from burnout? Do you need an instant wellness boost to get back on track with your life? It is essential to be of sound mind and body to fully function, and there's nothing wrong in trying to achieve this with enjoyable wellness solutions. A change of phase will give you a shift in perspective, helping you clear your mind and relax. In fact, you don't have to search far and wide to experience this. By exploring the vibrant community you live in, you will see that you already have a highly accessible way to reduce stress instantly. Here are ten local places you can go to that will immediately benefit your health. Book in a Nearby Hotel Most people come home to reduce workplace stress, but that's not the case for everyone. With all the household chores that need to be done, one can't just find the time to relax, which can affect your physical and mental health. Not to mention how incredibly hard it is to distinguish when to work or not if you're working at home as well. This setup is becoming popular with the world's current situation. It is best to find a place to relax and not think about anything else at times like this. If you can't be away from your home for too long, it is ideal to book a nearby hotel instead. You're not only supporting the local businesses, but you'll also have more time for yourself to relax completely. Go for a Wellness Tourism RoadTrip Ride in your car and explore your local area. Hop into a road trip and opt for wellness tourism by being in touch with nature or simply taking a breath of fresh air. Drive to places you haven't been to and explore as much as you can. It's been proven that when you travel and see new places, you give your mind time to relax and heal. Relax at your Local Park, Forest or Beach Have you've been to your local park? Or have you ever tried going there? Community parks promote wellness tourism and prioritize health by conducting various activities that you can be a part of. Parks are usually used for exercises such as jogging and yoga, which aims to develop a sound mind and body. If this is not for you, you can relax and grab a book to read or simply observe. You'll be able to learn as well by watching. Plus, parks are valuable green spaces with relaxing scenery that you can enjoy, and it won't cost you a thing unless you buy yourself an ice cream, of course! If you would like more intimacy and to be alone with your thoughts, going to the nearby forest for a hike can heal your whole being! Simply unwind, let go and listen to the sounds of nature. Furthermore, go to a local beach if you can because nothing rests the spirit like gazing in waterscapes. The slow movement of waves, the horizons in front of you, the beautiful serene atmosphere… for that reason, we love to visit our local beauty in Busan - Dadaepo Beach. Visit your Local Museum A great way to get out of your mental rut is to get attached to your environment. This is something you can do to learn more about the place you live in. Your local museum gives you a positive distraction from all the unhealthy habits you are brewing inside of you. Besides, a visit to the museum relives the child in you. You get to be curious and imaginative once again! Try New Restaurants Do you notice how your mood is affected by the food that you eat? It is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle by eating a balanced meal. Indulging yourself in good food that you haven't tried will instantly change how you feel. Aside from being proud for not giving in to the calling of sugar and processed food, you also contributed to a local business. New Year, New You Change. Sometimes all you need to feel okay again is to make little changes. Since it's a new year, changing your look to feel better is a welcomed thought. Get a haircut, enjoy a facial and schedule a day of pampering just for you or with your chosen company! It can be with your best friend or loved one. You'll feel instantly renewed after seeing your new look - a glow-up you needed for the new year! Travel the World with Virtual Tour With the digital age, you can actually travel some part of the world without leaving your seats. You can partially tick some off your bucket list with virtual tours becoming in demand because of the pandemic. Somehow, you can already visualize places you want to visit once the pandemic is over. You can also get the feeling of the Amazon and Australian wilderness virtually. Experiencing the world, even virtually, can uplift your spirit. Learn a New Skill Sometimes when you're burnt out, you just need an extra push, and you'll feel empowered once again. An effective way to work on your wellness is to learn a new skill. By doing something that you haven't done before, you earn not just new knowledge but also develop self-confidence with which you can do basically anything - including being healthy. Camp in your Own Neighborhood Vitamin D is known to help your physical and mental wellness. It wards off depression and prevents certain diseases such as heart attacks. Therefore, it is recommended to bask in the sunlight for a few hours every day. A great way to enjoy the sunshine is going camping. You don't have to go too far to do this. Bring out your tent and set it up in your local camping spot instead. It's fun and easy to do! If you don't have your own gear, why not join us for one of our tree tent camping wellness retreats this year? Details are in the works, and more information can be found on the website. Enjoy at-Home Activities Sometimes the things that can help us is already within our reach. Just give yourself the time to explore your own home as well. Rediscover past hobbies such as baking, painting or playing the piano at home. There are a lot of fun at-home activities that can help you feel at ease. Although it's challenging to set yourself apart from your responsibilities, prioritize giving yourself some time to do the things you love. It is also recommended to inform the people you live with that you need some time to do certain things for yourself, so they know what to expect. Follow our Instagram page for a more visual representation of how wellness will look like in 2022!
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🌿2021 Busan International Wellness Conference 🌱 7/23(Fri)~7/25(Sun) 3 days of diverse and insightful wellness contents for you to enjoy at BIWC 2021~!😊 【Pre-registration】 👉🏻 https://pf.kakao.com/_GAUns 【Event Info 👀】 👉🏻http://www.biwc.kr/ 🌿2021 부산국제웰니스컨퍼런스🌱 7/23(금)~7/25(일) 3일 간 다양하고 건강한 BIWC 2021만의 웰니스 프로그램을 함께 즐겨주세요~!😊 【사전등록 하러가기】 👉🏻 https://pf.kakao.com/_GAUns 【행사정보 보러가기👀】 👉🏻http://www.biwc.kr/
Meditation for Beginners – Tips to Help You Get Started
It seems like everyone is talking about meditation these days. Maybe you’re a long time meditator, and you’re all about the apps and the retreats. Awesome! But maybe you’ve tried it a few times and just couldn’t get the hang of it? If that sounds familiar, don’t despair! Meditation is just like any other skill – it takes time and effort to get better, and when you do start to feel improvement, it’s like a breakthrough that brings tears to the third eye. You might get a little addicted to the feeling of being in quiet, calm, alert but restful awareness. Some say it’s like being in a vast, peaceful plane that keeps expanding, like you’re floating above yourself, or like you feel weightless and heavy at the same time. However you experience meditation – and perhaps you’re experiencing frustration at having a monkey mind, amarite? – there are little things we can do to help the process along, and cultivate the optimal environment for practicing meditation. TIP 1 – De-clutter There’s nothing worse when you’re trying to de-clutter your mind than a room full of clutter. Create a calm area, even just a wee corner of the room, that allows for maximum relaxation and minimum distractions. Use a focal point to help you become grounded, like a statue or candle upon which you can set your worldly gaze. Ohhmmm… TIP 2 – Get Comfortable Ok sure, we’ve all seen the pictures of meditating sages of yore, with their legs twisted into pretzel shapes, 12 hours on the clock and still counting. For us regular folk, though, sitting down in the lotus pose for just 10 minutes may indeed pose some ‘dead-leg’ problems, to name just one. Find a comfortable position that works for you. Bring in cushions or a chair, yoga mat, blanket etc. Get comfortable, and settled, and get ready to breathe. NB: remember to keep the spine straight but not stiff. TIP 3 – Get Personal It always helps to remember why you’re trying to meditate in the first place. If you have no why, you won’t try. Create a mantra or an affirmation that you associate with your cozy little meditation space, and say it each time you sit down to meditate. Why are you here? Why are you taking time to connect with the breath and the self? Something simple like “I’m here to learn, grow and care for myself” or “This is my space to be at peace” will remind you why you’re there, and why you care. TIP 4 – Go Green! Plants are good for our health for a variety of reasons. Having a living, breathing plant in your meditation space allows you to connect with nature, a reminder that it’s you and all the other living beings of the world in it together. Perhaps you’re not feeling that connection yet but trust me; get a little plant with you in your meditation space, talk to it, nurture it and be amazed as you watch it grow with you. Celebrating life, in all forms, brings you closer to who we are deep down. TIP 5 – Have some fun Meditation can seem tough at first, there’s no doubt about it. It’s frustrating, it can be disappointing, and it takes patience and compassion for yourself to get better. Getting through the first few weeks, therefore, needs a resilience that can be helped along with a healthy dose of humor. When you inevitably become distracted, instead of feeling defeated, smile, have a little giggle and be amused at the nature of the brain to pull you into thought. Laugh at yourself, at your brain, at the process. Life becomes lighter when we smile. I hope these tips can help you along in your meditation journey! Let us know what you think, and if you have any tips to share let us know!
5 Simple Tips for Boosting the Immune System at Home
First published for My B B Bounce www.mybbbounce.com A f un, energetic health & wellness website with a range of products that are effective, good for you & our planet.
Given our global situation, the buzzword of 2020 surely has to be ‘home’. Everything has become home-centric thanks to you-know-what, so I’ve been turning my thoughts to how we can stay healthy and happy without setting foot outside. Not always easy when things seem back-to-front and upside-down, right? The world is in a state of panic, and if there was ever a time to get to the chopper , this would be it. Have faith, friends.
I find that a giant dose of pragmatic optimism is important - the mindset that no matter what happens, we can handle it, we can get through it, overcome the difficulties we’re facing and come out the other side stronger and smarter, ready to face the next challenge. Sure, things are bad. But they will be good again.
Weathering this storm is not something we can do alone, however. We are stronger together. So here’s 5 simple tips you can try to help boost your immune system and keep you feeling good, all from the comfort of your home.
Try one or try them all, and push those positive vibes. You got this.
Eat the Rainbow
Self-isolation has bestowed upon me a few extra kilos. Super, thanks! It’s easy to lose track of how many calories we’re getting never mind if we’re getting enough essential micro and macro nutrients. To make sure I stay on top of my vitamin and mineral intake I like to ‘eat the rainbow’ - I don’t mean skittles (way too tempting) - I’m talking about the rainbow of fruits and veg! We know that eating a healthy balanced diet is the first step to maintaining a healthy balanced lifestyle, and that means eating a variety of foods to help us grow and repair and thrive. Try to get a variety of colors into every mealtime - broccoli, carrots, pineapple, aubergine etc. We’re way closer to getting a decent dose of immunity boosting vitamins and minerals essential to our health. Add to that, it’s just more fun to eat colorful foods, and great if you have kids, too. Stock up on leafy greens especially, that stuff is like magic!
Stay Mindfully Connected A few weeks ago, while South Korea was experiencing the worst we’ve seen of the pandemic, I had friends and clients reaching out to me for advice, comfort or simply a kind word. So many were feeling overwhelmed, anxious and out of control. My first answer; get off social media!! Scrolling for days with all the negative news and hyperbolic headlines…Bad news indeed. Prolonged activation of the body’s stress response can wreak havoc on our immune system. But studies have also seen a connection between chronic disease and loneliness, with social isolation linked to increased stress. We need to stay connected, and for many, SNS is the only way to do so. SO…stay connected, but do so mindfully. Before you go online, make sure you have a specific plan of action. Who will you reach out to? How long will you connect for? Set an alarm to prevent mindless scrolling, and utilize your device’s ‘digital wellbeing’ function. There are lots of apps out there too, so have a look on the app store and find one that fits you.
Get moving Numerous studies have shown that being active on a regular basis is a sure fire way to feel great and stay healthy. When we exercise the body releases feel-good hormones, known as endorphins, which make us feel happier while simultaneously reducing the stress-related hormones that directly affect the body’s ability to fight off nasty bugs. Exercise it is also said to accelerate the circulation of white blood cells, needed to fight off disease.
Set aside a time every day, 10 to 30 minutes would be perfect, and stick on a YouTube home workout video. Exercising in the morning is my favorite, as it sets you up for a great day and makes you feel accomplished before you’ve even had breakfast (and will help you get a better nights sleep)!
The best thing about a home workout; at home you can exercise in your pajamas…or naked!! (but please, don’t send us those photos).
Wind Down and Catch some Zzzs
I don’t know about you, but I never feel I like I get enough sleep. Whether it’s 5 hours when I’m on a deadline or 9 hours when my son’s at his Grandparents for the weekend, I could always do with 10 more minutes. Sleep is essential to maintaining a strong immune system, as well as being the time when the body repairs, grows and the brain consolidates memories. So developing a solid wind down routine is essential, and one of the most important parts of my day. Usually, we turn off devices around 60 minutes before bed, drink a warm caffeine-free cuppa (I love Madame Flavour Lemongrass Lime & Ginger Tisane), brush teeth and wash faces, MOISTURIZE like there’s no tomorrow, then snuggle down and read a book before snoozing off.
And if you do feel tired during the day, take a little disco nap!
TOP TIP: Many of us like a wee nightcap before bed, and while this might make you fall asleep faster, it will actually inhibit the quality of sleep you get. Stay off the booze for a quality snooze.
Soak up the Sun!
Vitamin D is essential to a healthy immune system, and sunlight directly onto the skin is the best way to synthesize a good dose of it. But getting outside to the ‘fun-in-the-sun’ spots during a pandemic is simply just too dangerous, so soaking up all those delicious rays of sunlight might seem like a long distant luxury of the past.
It won’t help to simply sit next to a window or in your car. Provided its safe to do so, go and open your front or back door, take a seat and enjoy some sunshine. If you have wide-opening windows crack a few and bask like a cat, or if you’re blessed with a garden jump out there and enjoy.
If this isn’t possible, you can boost your vitamin D levels through foods; the best dietary source being cod liver oil. Vitamin D supplements are also available, but you should always speak with your healthcare provider before starting a new supplement. Even if your aunt Janet’s best friend Jeannie says ‘such-and-such’ supplement is really great, speak with a professional. Jeannie can’t be trusted.
Whatever this global pandemic means for you and your wellbeing journey, one thing is certain; we need to do all we can with what we have at our disposal. Staying healthy in body and mind sets us up to more effectively deal with difficult situations, which means we can show up for ourselves and for those who need us. Stay healthy and stay calm, friends, and we’ll get through this together!
[Social Media Diet - Why counting SNS calories is essential to your wellbeing.]
#SocialMediaDiet Counting calories isn't for everyone, but it's a well-known fact that a well-balanced diet helps us maintain a well-balanced lifestyle. When we eat, we consume energy stored in the foods we choose, which then provides the energy needed to keep our bodies working in tip-top shape. Simplified explanation, sure, but we know it well (even if we choose to ignore it sometimes). Here's the thing. Our diet doesn't only consist of what we eat and drink. What we allow into our body - what we consume; whether calories, conversations or social media content - transforms the conditions of our internal environment, and can have lasting negative effects on our wellbeing if we're not mindful of maintaining good balance. We've been on an SNS binge for years, (can't get enough of those goat yoga videos! !) but how exactly does it affect our wellbeing? There are a plethora of related articles that cite social isolation, fear of missing out (FOMO), jealousy, lower self-esteem etc. etc. as byproducts of (mis)using social media. Just type 'social media negative impact' into google and you'll be hit with over 800 million results. These past few weeks have seen us clutching our devices with more intensity (and seemingly compromised powers of discernment) which has left many fearful, misinformed and in a state of panic. Misinformation is rife. Trolls are going viral. Hysteria is impacting significantly higher numbers of people than the coronavirus itself, as we lose ourselves down rabbit holes of opinion posts and pseudoscience. It's not surprising that in the midst of the COVID19 crisis, many people find themselves stuck in a cycle, glued to their screens, unable to stop scrolling for the latest update, diving into one sensationalist clickbait article after another, checking our phones every.five.minutes. It's like opening the freezer each time you 'find' yourself in the kitchen, and end up eating an entire tub of chocolate cheesecake ice-cream spoonful-by-spoonful. We keep coming back, like a moth to a flame. In one Forbes article , Alice G. Walton writes, "Part of the unhealthy cycle is that we keep coming back to social media, even though it doesn’t make us feel very good. This is probably because of what’s known as a forecasting error: Like a drug, we think getting a fix will help, but it actually makes us feel worse, which comes down to an error in our ability to predict our own response." We think getting a fix will help. That just one more spoonful will do it. But it doesn't. In fact, it has the opposite effect. Relentless scrolling for the next COVID19 update, the newest fatality statistic, images of church doorways and figures in hazmat suits…it causes unnecessary stress, anxiety, fear and feelings of distress and hopelessness; ultimately making us ill. And perhaps even more worryingly, we may not notice that it's having any effect at all. But, why? Our brain is predisposed to latch on to negativity, which can stimulate an in-house response to produce cortisol - the body's main stress hormone. It's an essential part of the body's natural 'fight or flight' response, kind of like an in-built red alert system. But what if the body can't move from red alert back to a state of rest and recover? If the body is in a constant state of stress, perhaps triggered by fear-posting and propaganda *cough cough*, this could lead to some serious damage to our health; emotional, mental and physiological. According to mayoclinic.org , 'The long-term activation of the stress-response system and the overexposure to cortisol and other stress hormones that follows can disrupt almost all your body's processes. This puts you at increased risk of many health problems, including: Anxiety Depression Digestive problems Headaches Heart disease Sleep problems Weight gain Memory and concentration impairment That's why it's so important to learn healthy ways to cope with your life stressors". Sound familiar? Too many stress-inducing SNS posts can lead to a real, negative impact on our health. So what can we do to say NO to this unbalanced social media diet? Take time away from those newsfeeds. Turn off alerts for certain groups. Only watch things that give you a boost (goat yoga) . Maybe just turn off your phone for a while, and do something else. There's a great feature on many phones called digital wellbeing. It allows you to set timers for certain apps, records your overall use and where you're spending your time, and how many 'unlocks' and notifications that occur throughout the day. You'll find it in 'settings'. This was my phone from yesterday. Pretty shocking to think I spent 5 hours on my phone. 5 hours. And how much of that was useful? Sure I studied an online course, I used my YouTube playlist, but still. I was totally unaware of how much time I spent on Facebook and Kakaotalk. We ( I ) need to set some healthy boundaries for ourselves. Every time you reach for your phone, ask yourself this, 'What is my purpose for checking my phone?' If you can't give yourself a rational, reasonable answer (no BS excuses) then put your phone back down and go do something else. Tango in your living room. Make a paper plane. Making a mindful decision to stop checking our phones (as often) can break the patterns of behavior we've settled into, allowing us to move outside of harmful 'consumer' habits and move into something that will have a positive impact on our emotional, mental and physical wellbeing. We are creatures of habit, so cultivating healthy habits that compliment our lives makes perfect sense. "SO WHAT THE HELL AM I GOING TO DO THEN??" I dunno. Other stuff. Engage your brain in some kind of rainy day activities; Take a walk outside (where appropriate). Enjoy time with the family. Enjoy time away from the family. Call a friend. Be a friend. Do a puzzle. Drink some tea. Learn to foxtrot. Tango. Waltz. Twerk. What makes you feel chilled? Do that. Nobody says you have to quit your phone! COVID19 is without doubt a very serious issue, and we should stay up to date and informed, there's no doubt about it. However, the relentless spread of toxic misinformation, or bad content calories, is dangerous, insidious and causing harm to a lot of already anxious people. Make an informed decision to COUNT YOUR CALORIES and take time away from your screen. Remember that app timer? Set a timer or an alarm once or twice a day to check for the latest updates... And stick to it! Here in Korea, for Non-Korean (and Korean) speakers, the following links can provide you with updates of the COVID19 situation in English. 한국 코로나19 발생 관련 업데이트된 정보를 영어로 보시려면 아래 링크를 참조하세요. ▶️ Korea Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (KCDC): https://www.cdc.go.kr/board/board.es?mid=a30402000000&bid=0030 ▶️ Ministry of Health and Welfare : http://www.mohw.go.kr/eng ▶️ BeFM English Radio: http://www.befm.or.kr ▶️ TBS eFM Radio: http://tbs.seoul.kr/eFm/index.do ▶️ LIST OF OTHER GREAT RESOURCES: Below*
Nobody says you have to quit social media. But you owe it to yourself, and those around you, to maintain a healthy, well-balanced social media diet.
Look after yourself and your families, and stay safe both off and online. <3 Lots of love, WellMi. FROM ANOTHER EXPAT IN KOREA http://joshphilipross.com/ : Here’s a list of useful links for information on dealing with the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak in South Korea and globally. Some links are in Korean, so it’s best if you add a translation extension such as Google Translate to your browser.
If you have more useful links, please mention them in the comments! We hope to keep this list updated.
Emergency Ready App
Korean government app that provides emergency alerts in English.
Itaewon Global Village Center
Doing a heroic job of translating government alerts.
Korean Centers for Disease Control Coronavirus-19 page
Korean-only (for useful info, anyway), but with links to daily briefings in English and possibly with more coming.
KCDC latest stats
Updated twice daily, at 10 am and 6 pm, as far as I know. (So you don’t sit there hitting Refresh all day.)
KCDC FAQ (Korean)
Helpful if you can translate it.
You should know this one if you’re a foreigner living here, but they have press releases on issues like the visa extension due to the coronavirus.
World Health Organization Coronavirus website
Generally straightforward information from the global organization.
Yonhap News English
Lots of news outlets in Korea, but everyone seems to copy from Yonhap. They seem mainstream and legit, without any obvious partisan bias.
For those who like their English-language Korea news televised.
New York Times Coronavirus
The Gray Lady has been providing clear, detailed coverage, with reporters on the ground in a lot of places. Scroll down for their feed of the latest updates.
Global travel restrictions from IATA
Tip: Run a browser search for your relevant country.
Corona Map (Korean)
Popular local map that lets you zoom in and get pretty granular.
Johns Hopkins global map
Fear-inducing UX design, but a quality global map.
A poorly named site with a ton of statistics. I haven’t checked the sources, but it seems solid.
Good stats and news feed, available in English.
[Workplace Wellness] Mindfulness for Turning off 'Autopilot'
Hello WellMi Family!
As promised, here is the mindfulness exercise for turning off 'Autopilot' that we didn't get to last week at our Weekly Wellness Meet-up! If you have any questions or comments let us know!
Workplace stress may seem like an inevitable downside of joining any organization, but there are ways we can battle it from the inside. Of course, we often can't make waves, let alone changes, in our workplace - even less so in our culture. But what we can do is build our own defenses by becoming more resilient, poised, mindful and ultimately less stressed in the workplace (even if it feels like an impossible dream at the moment). Turning off autopilot - the brain's natural tendency to drift off or tune out, while the body continues to respond - is the first step in becoming more mindful, to help manage our emotional responses. Here we've broken down one of our exercises to help you intercept autopilot and take control of your wellbeing. Mindfulness for turning off autopilot (at work, and in life)
-Write down 1 thing that stresses you about work (there may be a few, repeat as needed)
-Be specific, details details details
-Think about how you react in those situations, emotions, reactions, words, feelings
-Write them down, too
-Close your eyes and visualize the stressful situation. See faces, colors, furniture, and see yourself reacting as you normally would. This is your AWARENESS phase.
Now you've brought awareness to that particular situation. That's the first important step! Good job!
-Now think of how we can interrupt that automatic pilot/automatic reaction.
- We know the situation, and how we normally react, so now we need to include an intervention to the situation. How can we intervene here, before we blow up/cry/panic etc?
Deep Breathing, simply recognizing the situation out loud, a big wide smile, mantra (I am calm, I'm remaining calm), physical action (tapping the fingers etc)…Or something else that might work for you. Choose one thing. Let's use 5 deep breaths, for now.
-Visualize the moments before the stressful situation. You're there, taking 5 deep breaths, in full awareness of the situation you're about to move into. You're calm, breathing deeply, anticipating. But you're not worried about the situation. You're prepared to face it. -Now actually take those 5 deep breaths, and visualize the situation again.
- See yourself in the situation, but this time you’re unaffected. You're totally in control. Utilizing your intervention to block the autopilot reaction. Inhaling, and exhaling. This is your REHEARSAL phase.
Here's the tough part… EXECUTION DON'T PANIC. -Get into work, sit down for 3 minutes, go through the visualization. If you need to do this before you get into work, do it on the subway, or in the car. Visualize yourself in the stressful situation, but calm, cool as a cucumber, and in control.
- Next time you anticipate finding yourself in that situation, go through your intervention (AWARENESS. REHEARSAL. EXECUTION - A.R.E) and you’ll be in a space to practice turning off the autopilot reaction when you encounter the stressful situation for real. NB. When this situation arises as per your anticipation, you've already gone through the steps to prepare yourself. If this stressful situ arises unexpectedly, we'll say it again; DON'T PANIC. You weren't prepared, but you DO have an intervention, and you can deploy it anytime! - Take those 5 deep breaths, say the mantra in your head, tap your fingers. You might be caught off guard, but you've prepared for this. Life is keeping you on your toes! You're gonna get through it.
Getting it spot on the first time would be great, right!? But remember, this is a process of progress, so give yourself Kudos for the little wins!
Practice makes progress ;)
Lunar New Year Survival: 3 Minute Meditation for Busy People
Perhaps many of us can agree; life is busy, fast and complicated, with little bits of napping and eating in between. For some of us, it can get even busier over the holidays; Family, travel, cooking, cleaning…It's the perfect recipe for excitement, fun, and stress . If this sounds like you - holidays or otherwise - here's a quick fix mindfulness meditation that can be done in 3 minutes (or longer if you have the time!) no matter where you are. EMERGENCY TOOL KIT MEDITATION Step 1. Five Deep Breaths Go somewhere quiet (if possible, if not, no worries) Take 5 deep breaths On the inhale, think 'peace'. Exhale, think 'calm' 2. Pay Attention Relax into your space and sit (or stand) with every sensation; every sound, smell, emotion or anything else that comes up. Let it exist without your interference. It is as it is. Without judgement. Without criticism. Without attaching meaning. For 1 minute, just be. 3. Breathe Head to Toe Close your eyes if it's safe to do so. Breathe in and out slowly. Imagine the breath soothing and relaxing you, melting away stress. As you inhale, imagine the breath rising to your head. On the exhale, imagine the breath reaching all the way down to your toes. Back up to the head. Down again, all the way to the toes. Your breath is clearing the way for relaxation, for non-judgement, and for calm. With each breath you're more relaxed, with each meditation you're training your mind! Win win. We all deserve a win. It's the holidays, after all. Breathe Deeply Friends~ #breathe #mindfulness #meditation #lunarnewyear #stress #설날 #스트레스 #호흡 #마인드풀니스 #명상 #웰미 #웰니스 #웰미웰니스솔루션 #wellmiwellnesssolutions
WellFEST Vol.2! Tickets on sale now!
After a long, sweaty summer of typhoons and air-conditioned cafes, we're ready for something to refresh the mind and body! Our full day wellness workshop WellFEST Vol.2 is back and we're excited to share what's in store for you! The WellMi family is always getting bigger, and we're very grateful to be part of your journey towards health, wellness and feeling great. In that spirit, let us share some of what we do best and meet us at the WellFEST Vol. 2 this September 29th!
More details to be confirmed later, but for now check out what's going on below~ And whatever you do, feel great about it! WellMi x
Wellness On The Water, 요트 선상에서 명상 요가 시간을 가져 보았습니다!(웰미 웰빙 투어 WellMi Wellbeing Tour)
Written by Heewon Kim 김희원
저번 주 목요일 WellMi wellbeing tour에서 선상 명상 요가 시간을 가졌습니다! Sea1 요트 클럽 함께했는데요. 미국인, 러시아인, 영국인, 호주인, 이란인, 스코틀랜드인 그리고 우리나라 분까지 다양한 국적의 참가자 분들이 함께 하셨습니다! 친절하신 선장님 덕분에 안전하고 편한 요가 시간을 가질 수 있었어요. Thank you captain! 해운대 요트 선착장을 떠나 동백섬 부터 광안리까지 돌아보며 마린시티와 광안리의 멋진 야경을 배경으로 멋진 사진들을 찍었습니다! 저도 오랫만에 제 카톡 프로필 사진을 바꿀 인생샷을 얻었어요~ ㅎㅎ 무더운 여름을 시원한 바닷 바람 그리고 마음이 편해지는 음악과 함께 하는 명상을 떨쳐 버려요! 함께해요 웰미 웰빙 투어! WellMi Wellbeing Tour! I had a mindfulness meditation session at the Wellmi wellbeing yacht tour. We sailed with Sea1 yacht club together. American, Russian, Brits, Australians, Iranians, and a Scot all together with our countrymen enjoyed fun, safe and comfortable meditation time thanks to the kind captain and the WellMi team! Thank you~ Leaving Haeundae yacht marina, I looked around from Dongbaek Island to Gwangalli and took great pictures against the backdrop of wonderful night views of Marine City and Gwangalli! It's been a while since I got a life shot to change my Kakao Talk profile picture. Haha~ Let's shake off the hot summer with the cool ocean breeze and relaxing music! Let's do it together. Welcome to the Well-being Tour!