What is wellness? What is wellbeing? What is aging well? How did what we now have, as ways to be well (exercise, sleep, mindfulness, Mediterranean diet, etc.), come to be?
Wellness is a modern word with ancient roots. As a modern concept, wellness has gained currency since the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, when the writings and leadership of an informal network of physicians and thinkers in the United States largely shaped the way we conceptualize and talk about wellness today.
The origins of wellness, however, are far older—even ancient. Aspects of the wellness concept are firmly rooted in several intellectual, religious and medical movements in the United States and Europe in the 19th century. The tenets of wellness can also be traced to the ancient civilizations of Greece, Rome and Asia, whose historical traditions have indelibly influenced the modern wellness movement.*
The Global Wellness Institute summarized the "The History of Wellness*" fairly succinctly. You can see more details following the above link.
The bottom-line is that progress has happened and will continue to happen. In 1979, Surgeon General Julius Richmond issued a landmark report titled “Healthy People: The Surgeon General’s Report on Health Promotion and Disease Prevention.” Then, in 1980, Healthy People 1990 was released, which was followed in later decades by new iterations of the Healthy People initiative, each building on the last. The one currently in progress is Healthy People 2030.
Why should you care? Because through all these decades of research and studies, many of the recommendations remain tried and true: Exercise, Drink Water, Eat Fruits and Vegetables, get Sleep.
Zooming in to your life: Knowing your family history is important. Who in your family has had Cancer, Diabetes, Strokes, etc? Sharing with your doctors all medical family history you can, will help your doctors to determine when preventative tests should be given and what lifestyle changes can be helpful to improve your chances to avoid illnesses.
And zooming in even more: Take a moment to pause and reflect on healthy steps you used to do in previous years. What did you do that made you feel well, that you are no longer doing?
It's a very effective strategy to pause and think about previous successes. Remembering when you used to walk after dinner a few days a week, or you ate a piece of fruit each morning, or you drank a bottle of water before dinner. Remembering how good you felt and what differences it made in your days and life.
What is one past wellness action that made you feel good, that you can do again?
As we continue to live, let's continue to learn and let's love ourselves the way we love the others we take care of, and give ourselves that same attention, compassion and support.