Recently I read a commentary that wellness is not the responsibility of the employer. To a certain extent this is true, but that’s an article left for another time. To address the statement that wellness is not the responsibility of the employer, it is then suggesting that wellness should be from non-work-related engagements. Wellness should begin at home!
In fact, wellness should be something that is passed on and educated to children at home, by their caregivers. The school could be another environment to further reinforce the values of wellness to the young ones.
What is Wellness?
But just how do we define wellness to a child?
It is having that quality of good health and possessing healthy habits on a regular basis to have better physical and mental outcomes. I call these healthy habits - the bucket of wellness activities. As parents and caregivers at home, we are in a privileged position to be able to set the parameters and boundaries towards this defined bucket of wellness activities.
Here’s an easy guide on how you can achieve better physical and mental outcomes for your child, with the introduction of wellness.
Our gut is our “second brain”. What we feed our gut (ie. What we eat), determines not just energy levels but our ability to learn, grow and focus on tasks. Proper nutrition is stress busting and will increase immunity towards common illnesses and other associated metabolic diseases.
Here are three foods to avoid that might prevent/hamper learning, growth and focus.
a. Refined sugar (eg. Bubble tea, sweetened sodas and beverages, donuts and
b. Deep fried food (Anything that is buried in high heat oil as a cooking method)
c. Ultra-processed food (eg. Fast food, canned food, instant noodles and food
highly seasoned with preservatives)
Here are three foods to add to boost energy levels and mood.
a. Whole foods (Food as recognizable to its original form before it was prepared
b. Probiotic-rich food (eg. Yogurt, tempeh and kombucha)
c. Superfoods (eg. Antioxidant rich blue berries, black berries and strawberries)
Rest is more than just sleep. Help your child understand that rest also means taking a break from handheld devices, social platforms and being able to feel at peace with oneself. This practice of mindfulness helps with stress management by building emotional and mental resilience through self-coping strategies.
Here are three things you can do for rest.
a. Sleep at least 8 hours a day.
b. Spend time in nature.
c. Practice deep breathing exercises.
Adhering to a daily habit of at least 8 hours a day for sleep is crucial for cognitive development and growth of a child. Building this habit prepares your child to continue to do the same as they progress into teenagerhood and adulthood. The side effects of sleep debt have been well documented, and the Sleep Foundation found that it can affect daytime concentration and productivity by as much as 32 percent.
3. Physical Activity
Encourage your child to be active in a sport or activity that will require them to be up and about, in the outdoors and breaking more than a sweat. Physical activity gets the cardiovascular and respiratory system working, produces happy hormones dopamine, endorphins, oxytoxin and adrenaline, and is an excellent social engagement activity.
Here are three things you can do for your child.
a. Sign your child up for regular team sport training.
b. Learn to rough it out in the great outdoors.
c. Find playmates in the neighbourhood for regular playtime of running around.
Why the focus on Wellness?
The outcomes that you can achieve by following the easy guide will be increased health awareness (and health), positive habit forming, and elevated happiness. I am certain that is something every parent would want for their child. By creating wellness awareness at a young age, positive habits are formed for greater sustainability and your child will be able to adapt as they progress through the different life stages.
How can we go about adding Wellness to our lives?
Start with identifying your own bucket of wellness activities, so that you too can help your child with theirs. Use the easy guide as reference.
Wellness helps with Figuring Life Out
In line with this topic, I want to share that I just published two children’s books this December. The Figuring Life Out Series is a direct enabling resource for building resilience and elevated wellbeing. Each book helps children see themselves in the characters and to identify how they can better navigate life and the challenges they encounter on a daily basis. The takeaways will build the foundation required for adulthood and work-life.
I feel very strongly that wellness begins at home and there is much that we can do as caregivers and parents to be able to lay the foundations of wellness, so that the young ones can be well-informed and more resilient through wellness, to make better decisions as they progress through life, to navigate the uncertain future.
Books are available on Amazon Books.
If parenting is a popular topic that employees in your organization are looking to hear more about, drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can explore rolling out some workshop sessions for your teams.
About the Writer:
Alex Loh is a consultant and coach in the fitness, health and wellness space, business owner, podcast host, loving husband and doting father. His compass is guided by the desire to help people, where his focus is to help businesses and organisations harness fitness, health and wellness as the vehicle to build sustainable solutions. This led him to Co-found Actxa Wellness, where he leads as CEO.
Connect more with Alex Loh here ➡️ https://linktr.ee/alexlohsengyue