achieve wellness

How to achieve wellness – simple tips

How to achieve wellness – simple tips

Alex Reed, from Good Life Yoga Wimbledon, shares her tips on how to achieve wellness and allow yourself some quality downtime.

Words and images:  Alex Reed

Wellness has become more than a buzzword – it’s an industry! I believe, as a yoga teacher, I work in it. It’s become another box to tick in the workplace, a hashtag on social media and another thing to achieve on our to do list. But it’s a woolly word, a bit vague, so what’s at the heart of wellness and why is it important?

Wellness, and it’s close relative wellbeing, refer to all of you – your physical body, your energy levels, your emotional stability and what’s going on in your mind. These components that make us, us, work in tandem and affect each other; when they are all working well, we feel great, but when one or more are out of kilter it affects everything, we feel sluggish, tired, unhappy and unable to focus. The good news is that our bodies naturally work towards wellness, but we have to give them the chance. If we run around all day with a long to do list, then crash out in front of multiple screens for the evening, we aren’t getting enough downtime.

The key to wellness is to allow yourself some quality downtime, a chance for your body and mind to rest, process and recalibrate. What you do in that downtime is the fun bit – your idea of fun, that you are motivated to do. The essential quality of downtime that leads to wellness is perspective, it’s an activity that takes your focus away from day to day living and onto something different. Here are a few suggestions for downtime activities that could lead to a wonderful sense of overall wellness:

  • Walking, running, cycling or swimming are great ways to clear your head and move your body. If you can do it out in nature the impact is even greater. 
  • Expand your horizons – quite literally, find a wide view, across the city, out into the countryside, or best of all out to sea! When you change your viewpoint, your body feels less restricted and your mind opens, there are more possibilities than before.
  • Take a Bath – the perfect way to awaken your touch and smell senses and relax.
  • Music – listening to music or attending a concert can be a powerful emotional uplift
  • Gardening – nature again, it’s an instant fix for wellness
  • Get Creative – knitting, embroidery, calligraphy, pottery, painting, sculpting, baking – while you focus on your activity your subconscious mind is free to process new thoughts, ideas, solutions to existing problems.
  • Sport – team sports require your full attention and keep your mind focused and stable. Nothing else seems to matter!
  • Reading a book – if you love reading, you already know it’s a great way to settle your mind and body, find calm and expand your horizons. It’s different to TV and film watching which can be relaxing but are more a distraction or entertainment than a wellness activity.   
  • Yoga – as a yoga teacher, yoga was always going to appear on this list, but it doesn’t have to take the form of an energetic sun salutation. The goal of yoga is to quieten the mind, so any practice that has that aim could be considered yoga; some days yoga might be a physical mat-based practice, other days it can be sitting on a park bench in silence for a few minutes.  

Be kind, be realistic, do what you can, when you can, and celebrate feeling better afterwards.  Wellness is not an industry – it’s being you – unique, kooky, fabulous – you!  

If you’d like to make yoga part of your wellness routine in 2022, Alex teaches regular group classes in Wimbledon Village and private lessons in the local area.  


The best apps for mental health and happiness