Yesterday, I had the honor to be the keynote speaker at Philly Exchange, a conference for brave souls that support college students at Mid-Atlantic universities. My talk, entitled Cultivating Wellbeing, was based on my deep belief that the greatest gift you can give your family, communities, and ultimately the world, is your optimal wellbeing.
When you feel good, you help others feel good. When you flourish, others flourish. If you feel lousy, it is almost impossible to inspire others. The greatest gift you can give the world is to make your wellbeing—your mental, physical, and emotional health—top priority. This means no guilt about self-care and definitely no shortcuts. When you see how every person in your life benefits from your wellness, you’ll be inspired to step up your game.
Simply defined, wellbeing is a combination of mental clarity, emotional stability, and physical vitality and can be intentionally cultivated through daily practice—small positive thoughts, words or actions that energize and empower you. Taking time for a mid-afternoon cup of tea is a daily practice, as is your evening walk after dinner. More obvious practices of meditation, yoga and journaling can invigorate and inspire you and directly influence every one in your path. Simple practices—done over and over—have the potential to redirect how you move and speak in the world. Small positive thoughts, words, or actions—done over and over—will shift you into becoming a fully healthy you.
You already have daily practices; you just may not label them as such—yet. You already care for yourself but may simply need to pay attention to how you are doing so or find the courage to raise the bar on how you are living. Deep down, you already know what you need to do in order to cultivate your wellbeing.
Having consistent daily practices has, no doubt, shifted my own life. My practices help me focus and be more effective professionally. They have helped me lighten up, have more fun, and be more flexible in my personal life. My practices have supported me in letting down my guard and allowing myself to intimately connect with others.
Your Daily Practices
Knowledge is power so grab your journal and list five current routines that help you feel mentally clear, emotionally stable and/or physical vital. Choose only those routines you are already consistent in doing daily or a few times per week. They can fall under any of the categories below. Start calling these routines your daily practice. Notice how they help you feel, i.e. energized, happy, calm, etc., and how they influence the way you move and speak in your world. Next to each practice describe a benefit you enjoy from doing it consistently.
Next week, in Part II, we’ll dive a bit deeper into specific ways to cultivate wellbeing through daily practice. For now, keep reminding yourself that the greatest gift you can give the world is a fully healthy you.